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Oh yes, I did………..

February 2, 2009

All by my lonesome – I ventured out into India today. Oh yes, I did. I didn’t climb Mt. Everest or anything grand like that – I simply went back to the market – but I went alone. Yep, just me.

What’s that sound you hear? Oh, that’s just me patting myself on the back. 😎 Tap, Tap, Tap.

I got a few stares – okay – more than a few –  more like a lot of stares. But no one here is rude. At least it seems that way. Staring is perfectly acceptable here – and it isn’t that bothersome – because it is not accompanied by comments. Well, at least not any that I can hear or understand.

So, I went to by another drying rack (because we don’t have a dryer – have I mentioned that 500 times yet), two trash cans, a rolling pin, a cheese grater, and a slotted spoon. Are you wondering if I negotiated the price? Please. Baby steps. I did not.

Then into the florist. Two vases. No flowers – yet. No negotiating. Not yet. Besides the prices seemed reasonable enough.

On to the food market. I found one I really like. Lots of fruits and vegetables. Great English – that helps. No – still no negotiating. But I bought my items in the second food market I went in – so I did at least comparison shop. Here is what I got…

a watermelon – it is soaking cleaning solution
strawberries – soaking
apples – soaking
goldfish – funny enough, not soaking , even though water is where fish belong
sliced cheese
strawberry jelly
plum jelly – I can never find this in the U.S.
and fresh bing cherries the size of golf balls

The only mistake that (I know) I made was not asking the price of the cherries. I asked about everything else – so I guess I assumed they weren’t too expensive. Holy cherry batman. When I looked at my receipt later – $48 for a kilo of cherries. Yes, I agree – that is ridiculously expensive. I will enjoy them tremendously and then wait until I am back in the U.S. to get more. Ooops.

It was an interesting experience being in the market by myself. I was not distracted by watching out for my kids – so that was nice. I found a handmade paper store – which actually didn’t have much paper – but items made from paper. I was in a little bit of a hurry to be done before school gets out – so I will go back there.

Most of it went very smoothly. I felt unsure of what to do in the first store. There were items inside and outside. I paid for the outside items outside – it seemed to make sense until I went inside and the clerk inside said I should have paid for it all together. So, yes, I probably paid (way) too much outside. I’ll chalk it up to lessons learned and add that to the list of things to remember, along with asking the price of cherries.

But then, quite suddenly, there is a man beside me with my items. Apparently he is going to carry them to the car for me. Now, I come from an area where you sometimes ring up your own items, you often at least help bag your own groceries, then you carry them out to the car yourself, load your car yourself, push the cart back to the cart rack, and unload your groceries – you got it – by yourself.

So this was different – he is going to follow me to the car. Oh yeah, I did not drive here – I was driven. I am not sure where the car is and I am not sure how to tell this nice young man that I don’t exactly know where the car is. I call Kahn – our driver. His phone is on divert. Perfect. He calls me back. He’s by the airplane. Oh, that’s what he was talking about before. He’ll meet me by the airplane.  The one hanging in front of the store where he dropped me off. Yippee Skippee –  I remember where that is. We found him. But I did not know – do I tip this guy who carried my things. Kahn says no. So, I did not. The carrier of my things did not negotiate for a tip with me – so I am guessing that was the right decision.

Then at the food market – the clerk held on to all of my things for me. Then put them in a box. What I did not see was that he gave the box to another person – you guessed it – to carry for me. So, I stood there looking at him and he looked at me and then laughed and pointed behind me. Oh, got it – that’s my stuff and he is going to carry it for me. A little slow on the uptake – but I think I am figuring this whole thing out.

Today, before going to the market, I went to a meeting where I met about 6 really nice women from the American Women’s Association. So, I am thinking today was a success. I am going to get the kids from school and hope they feel the same way.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2009 10:12 am

    Jurate – that about sums it up! Welcome.

  2. February 5, 2009 3:57 am

    Good job with getting out and doing things on your own!

    In my early days, I went to a big shopping area/street market on my own and got a salwar kameez for a reception we had to attend later that night. The day was super hot, it was confusing, I was exhausted and absolutely loved the experience :o) Now things are getting more and more ordinary as time passes.

  3. February 4, 2009 1:23 am

    KE – thanks and welcome to my little blog space.

  4. February 3, 2009 9:47 pm

    You are a very good writer. This blog is so funny, I couldn’t stop reading it!

    Keep it up.

  5. February 3, 2009 8:20 pm

    Lola – it would have been fun to have you go with – I think you would have loved it – and that camera of yours would have been useful!

    Oma – get over here and come shopping with me

  6. Oma permalink
    February 3, 2009 2:26 pm

    WOW, I knew you could do it….Next Stop.. President of the Teachers Asso…


  7. February 3, 2009 1:59 pm

    What a brave girl you are! It sounds like fun, though, and you’ll catch on pretty quickly.

    No dryer though? Three kids, two adults and no dryer? UGH!!!

  8. February 3, 2009 3:10 am

    deewane – sure you can and welcome!

  9. deewane permalink
    February 3, 2009 3:05 am

    Just wanted to ask, may I add you to my blogroll plz??

  10. deewane permalink
    February 3, 2009 3:05 am

    Hi! I stumbled on to ur blog a couple of days ago an have been hooked ever since 🙂

    I don’t know what part of Delhi u r staying in but prices are not negotiable everywhere! I only say this coz sometimes this point (of foreigners being overcharged) is so overemphasized (to protect the travelers interests no doubt) that anybody could end up having misguided notions about it. Having spent 20 of my 22 years in Delhi there really were only may be a few places that would try to fleece you for regular everyday grocery products! (Or may be it just says something about my bargaining skills — Bad :P). Until or unless you are going to open markets (e.g. C.P., Janpath, Sarojini Nagar etc.) you don’t need to worry about being grossly overcharged. And as for the places mentioned in parentheses, well I never went there with out a couple of regular, stubborn and aggressive people who could really help me get a good deal on some very beautiful things (Yes yes I was born and brought up in Delhi, and you have no idea how much at home I feel in Connecticut now :P). Anywayz I hope you have a great time in Delhi. Good luck!

  11. February 3, 2009 2:09 am

    Tottsmom – you’ll be fine – seriously if I can leave my comfy cozy life and do it – so can you. 😎

    Grace – it was not really that bad – but I was intimidated by it – kind of like the first time I took all three of my kids shopping with me.

    Donna – it’s going well – Queso is diabetic and the vet and I were worried that it would be too long for her to go without water. Here is the post on that

    Meredith – the cherries are delish – but not $48 worth of delish

    Loco – if you come to Delhi I can show you the ropes! 😎 And I don’t mind about the money – some lessons are only learned when they cost you something!

  12. February 2, 2009 8:59 pm

    Congratulations! I’m proud of ya. Those better be some tasty-arse cherries though! Man, you make me want to go to another country and start again…I love the adventure of discovery, even if it does get a bit costly sometimes. Your writing is solid. I’m right there in the market with you…

  13. February 2, 2009 6:55 pm

    How were the cherries? Were they the best you’ve ever had in your life? 🙂
    Don’t feel bad, I remember paying $40 for a pizza in Iceland.

  14. Donna Affolter permalink
    February 2, 2009 5:29 pm

    Sounds like you are handling everything just great! I think I’m all caught up on your blog…but one thing. I missed why Queso was unable to go with y’all?

    I hope the kids had a great day! Oh…I can’t wait to see more pictures of your house.

  15. February 2, 2009 4:41 pm

    Good for you!

  16. Tottsmom permalink
    February 2, 2009 2:25 pm

    Huhzah!!! As I sit here reading your blog about how you hit the market all alone only days after arriving in India I am impressed and encouraged. We are currently wating for a call from India on a job. This could take some time as the company is wating on the government for some paperwork to be completed. The thought of moving to India excites and petrifiies me, but reading about the experiences of others has not only be VERY educational but also helped in, if not getting rid of my fears at least lessening them to some degree.


  1. To Market, To Market……………. « A Reason To Write - India

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