One of the exciting things for the girls was the promise of shopping for Christmas outfits here in India. Some of the staff ladies loaded onto the bus with us and we made the short drive – time is relative in India to the Tuni market place. A call was made ahead to prepare the store owner for an influx of cash flush Americans were going to arrive and to prepare for the “event” with extra staff. Going into the store you are
hit with the smell of incense from the gods they are praying to to help bless these sales they are about to make – probably not unlike your local department store sales meetings, minus the smells! Funny how consumerism knows no boundaries. As you can see the ladies poured over dozens of outfits all looking for the right color and sizes. As one of the few men around the shop owner saw my lack of enthusiasm and offered me and the children a “drink”. Along many of the shops you see marketing signs for american products like Pepsi or Sprite albeit with Indian models…but this drink we had was nothing like that…Thumbs UP is a locally made beverage that is supposed to mimic those sodas. Although they serve beverages without ice and refrigerated temperatures…it was quite refreshing and not unlike a cross between Dr Pepper and a root beer if that makes any sense. After what seemed to be two hours but was probably more like 30 minutes to a bored husband; along for the Sari’s and Punjabi’s what does any well dressed american woman need,,,jewelry!
We made our way through the Tuni traffic yes that is a cow… and headed down through very narrow streets and alleys to JUST the right 20’x15’ store front that specialized in bangles and jewelry. It was helpful to have the staff along this time but it was also neat that we were allowed to haggle and question the locals even though we didn’t know the language. It’s funny how you just say rupees and they give you a number you can understand. If the size wasn’t right, you made hand gestures and said our words LOUDER like that might make them understand any better…so funny! This one little boy was behind the counter running back and forth to boxes of floor to ceiling shelves to find just the right things All my girls had a great time finding gifts for themselves and others and then comes to time for ME to pay since I was dealing with all the money. After the numbers were added and the amounts agreed upon we exchanged money for goods. At the very end after the process was done, this little boy comes over to me and holds this really cool necklace and says “You want” in broken english…I guess they do understand a little english – and the whopping total for my prized find…10 rupees or about 25 cents American. I asked if he had anymore but “NO” was all I got.
Well the day was good, our outfits are purchased and being tailor cut to fit by a local resident and our Christmas dress will be festive. I’m sure I will post about that later, just wanted to give a quick taste of an afternoon here.