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Excuse me………….

March 29, 2009

We have been here two months in Delhi and I really have not spent any time decorating our flat. It looks a little bland. A little “flat”. And we didn’t bring much with us from the U.S. – so there really is nothing on the walls. Well, there are some well-placed fingerprints, but my children are too old for me to actually consider that artwork any more.

So last weekend, number one hubby bought a clock. It has not come in yet but it should look pretty cool. It looks antique but the man has to make it, so I am pretty sure it is not actually an antique. When you see it, just pretend to be impressed with how old it looks. hee hee.

And, I did my part too. I saw a embroidered scarf that I just loved. It matches the couch here and the colors of one of the rooms back in the U.S. We can use it here – and there. Yahoo! I know most people wear their scarfs – but I wanted to have this one framed. I had been to Fab Foto in Khan Market and I knew they did custom framing. They do a lot of things for ex-pat organizations – so I felt at least a little comfortable using them. Off I go.

I showed them the scarf and they measured it by holding it up against the cabinet  – then marking the cabinet – then getting a 12″ ruler and measuring the markings. I was surprised that they did not have a measuring tape and that they measured it in inches – I thought for sure everything would be measured using the metric system here – but inches it was – maybe that is the standard for framing. Anyinch, it was quite a process.


Next, I picked out a frame and they quoted me a price. Hubby thought it was “bahut mahaṅgā hai” or too expensive – but I thought it was about 1/3 of what it would have been in the States. Sounds good to me. Frame away.

I got a call from Fab Foto that it was ready and that I could come pick it up.

Me: Great – I will be there tomorrow.
FF: And, ma’am there is just one more thing. We quoted you the wrong price – it is actually twice what we told you.
Me: Excuse me?
FF: Yes, it is twice what we told you.
Me: (not yelling, but certainly not happy) Yeah, no it’s not. I am not going to pay that.
FF: Just come in and see it – we can talk about the price. Maybe we can give you a 5% discount.
Me: That’s funny. Again – I am not paying more than you quoted me.

Armed with exactly the amount of rupees they quoted me, my receipt with the original price quote, and my resolve, I walked into Fab Foto. The guy who helped me was out to lunch – yeah, I’d say. Someone else showed my where my scarf was and told me the price was wrong.

Using my best mommy voice – I very nicely/firmly said, “You really have two choices here – you can either return the scarf to me, or I can pay the price I was quoted.” Who says parenting doesn’t give us life skills? I can now add negotiator to my resume.

A lot of words were exchanged between the guy helping me and the manager. I did not understand any of them. (I cannot add translator to my resume just yet.) And then manager ripped up the receipt and threw it over his shoulder onto the floor. It was very dramatic.

No one said anything for a minute – and I am thinking, does that mean what I think it means?

Then I was asked to pay my original quote and two very nice young men helped me get my framed scarf to the car.

The lesson learned here – be a little more optimistic – bring some small bills with you to tip the guys helping you get the scarf to the car.


Fab Foto is FAB and they stuck by their quote. I was very happy about that. And now they get some free advertising.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2009 4:30 pm

    Hey, that scarf is gorgeous! My colors all the way. Good for you for kickin’ ass!

  2. Tottsmom permalink
    March 31, 2009 10:27 am

    Thanks for the suggestion, but I’m one of those MATH people. English and writing were never my strong suits. I still have my grammer book from HS on my desk. hehe, funny, but sadly true.

  3. poupee97 permalink
    March 31, 2009 2:20 am

    Hmmm… Not cheap… But given that it’s Khan Market and all, not too bad. Glad you didn’t pay double, though! That would have been daylight robbery.

  4. March 30, 2009 8:20 pm

    Tottsmom – I recommend you start a blog too – it will help you remember the details you will otherwise forget – and it is therapeutic!

    Enchanted – we are hanging it up today and I cannot wait to see it on the wall. I have also heard of people hanging sarees as drapes or curtains. In the U.S., we would call that shabby chic.

  5. March 30, 2009 4:04 pm

    Framing a Scarf.. wow thats a very good idea. I can frame some of my sarees which I am about to throw.

    That frame looks grt.

  6. Tottsmom permalink
    March 30, 2009 4:03 pm

    Just an off the wall comment. Thank you! Thank you for being consistent. Of the blogs I read (an addiction that started out as research about moving to India.) yours, and only yours, is always updated. Some have gone for months without a post others just weeks. Yours however, has become a ritual for me. A cup of tea, or lunch and I sit down to enjoy. Not unlike a daily newspaper. This may speak poorly of my life, but I do look forward to it. Thanks again for your wonderful insight into the culture and life in India.

  7. Tottsmom permalink
    March 30, 2009 3:52 pm

    From you lips to God’s ears. 🙂

  8. March 30, 2009 10:32 am

    Naomi – apparently there is a good framer over at c-block who is more reasonable. Welcome to my blog!

    Bindu – that is too funny! You and I better not going shopping together. It’s tricky to figure out what the actual price should be.

    Tottsmom – when you get here – I will show you my mad negotiating skills – hee hee

  9. Tottsmom permalink
    March 30, 2009 10:18 am

    Great job!! Way to stick to your guns! The scarf does look pretty.

  10. bindu permalink
    March 30, 2009 10:07 am

    I remember us discussing skin tax in one of your blogs. Well actually, even though I am Indian, when I go to india, I have to pay skin tax. Reason? The shopkeepers are very clever ( not nice). They are experienced and quickly find out that you have come from outside( Foreign country!). I go through almost the same routine when I go shopping. I always let my mom or someone else do the talking for me. I never pay one rupee extra.

  11. March 30, 2009 5:35 am

    My husband and I were JUST talking about the framing options in Delhi – so your post is timely!

    Love the negotiating skills!

  12. March 30, 2009 4:22 am

    poupee – I hate to admit it – 2500 rupees – but not one rupee more. 😎

    Deep – I rock don’t I – hee hee

  13. March 30, 2009 3:37 am

    U just became my HERO!!!

  14. poupee97 permalink
    March 30, 2009 2:20 am

    Just curious – how much did they charge? Nice scarf, though. Is it silk?

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