Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pink City Bazaar Shopping

Saturday I woke up and did my laundry for the first time. There is no washing machine. It is all done in a bucket with powder detergent. Then you hang dry the clothes. There is a lady who will wash your clothes for 7 rupees a piece, but I haven't been able to do that yet.

At noon, Anna, Alena (another Russian woman), Martin, and I went to the Pink City to shop. I planned to buy some scarves to cover my shoulders. We were bombarded by gawkers, beggar children, and store owners. Learning how to saw "no" is something I had to learn quickly. In the first store we entered, I was easily swindled into paying 180 rupees for a 50 rupee scarf. It is a beautiful scarf, however, but I guess it is the principle that bothers me more.

Lining the streets were jewelry, spice, shoe, fabric and clothes, and appliance stores. We spent about 7 hours in the markets. In that time, I bought two pairs of shoes and two scarfs. Each time, I paid way too much. Initially they would quote 850 rupees, and I would try to bargain down from there. In the end, I still ended up paying too much. The store keepers would say, "How can I do that? It is impossible," to any reasonable price I asked for. I visited so many different shops to find what I wanted. The salesmen would try to sell me their crappiest designs or materials for the most amount of money. Smart for them. Bad for me. I spent about 1000 rupees (~$20). I was ripped off, yes, but it was a small loss for me and a great learning experience.


  1. One thing to consider is that while they may rip you off, the difference of $5 to you is a frustration while for them it might be a week of food for their family. Do the best you can but part of traveling to a poorer country is contributing to their economy. I had this debate myself a few years ago in Thailand.


  2. Absolutely, Diana. In fact, I plan on spending all the money I brought with me; however, I don't believe that because I am foreign (and often because I am a foreign woman), I should be taken advantage of. Also, I am staying here for almost two months so I cannot blow all of my money because I am uncomfortable with bargaining. I am very committed to supporting their economy whenever possible and reasonable. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Yeah I got more comfortable with bargaining over time and completely agreevwith everything you said! I was there 6 wkd and went through the same thing. My most successful bargaiining was done with the help of my friend's mom or cousin bc they were native speakers. It's sad of course but foreigners are definitely taken advantage of in the u.s. (ie: taxi drivers etc). Peole will usually try to get as much as they can in these situations. I just didn't want you to feel too bad because it's not just you and these sales people aren't out to get you personally. Anyway it sounds like you're balancing it well.

  4. Diana, you're awesome! I love you and miss you, girl. I guess I'm going to have to come visit you in beautiful Virgina :)