Saturday, 14 August 2010

My Diary of India: Thirteenth Extract

The Jeeps took us straight to Hava Mahal, the Old City’s central bazaar. It was crazy! Each shop sold identical things and each shopkeeper shouted at us to come into his shop! Trying to keep a group of seven together was difficult enough without men saying ‘Come into my shop Madam, your friends are in here’, when actually they’re in the shop next door. I had shoe sellers trying to sell me shoes that didn’t fit and jewellers chasing me down the road! In the end, the thrill of negotiating a lower price than the one before is what leads you into the sale, not the salesperson himself. I bought two pairs of shoes and four pairs of ali baba pants! We were going to go sightseeing but in my pursuit of a bargain I managed to lose the rest of the group, so I climbed into a cycle rickshaw and went for a quick look around the city palace. It was more like a village with an art gallery inside. I also went to Jantar Mantar Observatory, which had the biggest sundial I had ever seen, by myself. It was really liberating but I felt even more preyed upon than I had earlier this year in Paris. People everywhere tried to take advantage of you, although it ws really nice to have time alone. On the way back to the hotel, I went to an ATM: my balance was 146000 rupees!

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