Thursday, October 28, 2010

Delhi Sightseeing

Here is a picture from a volunteer's trip to Shimla!

The volunteers went to the major shopping district in Delhi yesterday after having worked at the orphanage! The volunteers were washing all of the children's hair with medical shampoo, as one of the children had lice. It was nice to see that the volunteers were very dedicated to helping the children, and they are maintaining strict hygiene habits to ensure that the lice doesn't spread or come back to the children. Afterwards, the four volunteers (two from Barcelona and two from the US) went to see the famous Lotus Temple in Delhi, which they all really enjoyed. They then enjoyed a delicious North Indian restaurant nearby India Gate. The foreigners then went to Connaught Place, where one volunteer bought a beautiful emerald bracelet and two pearl necklaces, in the underground Palika Bazar. After finishing their shopping in the bazar, they resurfaced to reach the famous Janpath Market in Connaught Place, where they spent three hours in one Kashmiri Store! The volunteers bought many pashminas, mostly for gifts, and learned a lot about the tricks of the trade in the Kashmiri goods' industry. Finally, the volunteers had some comical encounters with the local people selling goods on the street: One volunteer bought two runners from, what seemed to be the same shop, but in reality the shop had two different owners, and the volunteer had accidentally purchased an item from the wrong vendor! Later, as the volunteers were walking away, the true vendor asked them to go back to the shop, where they finally settled the confusion and mix-up with the other store owner. They described that the local people were not upset, as they understood that accidents can happen. Later, one of the volunteers decided that she would like to have another bag, so that she could have more space to store her things while she is traveling around India. The four of them found a man who sells such bags, and he showed them a bag, with wheels, that was also a backpack, and also a sport bag, even with a lock on it! His starting price was fairly high (950 Rupees), but the interested shopper was thinking to purchase it. The shopkeeper thought he would make a great deal, so he started putting everyone's shopping bags, with newly bought pashminas in them, inside of the bag that he wanted to sell. When the volunteer noticed how heavy the bag was getting, she decided that she didn't even want a bag, because then she would have to lug the bag with her everywhere, and it would tempt her to buy more souvenirs than she needs. As they were walking away, he was shouting at them to buy it for 600 Rupees: Now, the volunteer thought, "No, it's still too expensive, and I don't even want the bag!" Well, the shopkeeper saw them walking away, chased after them, and pleaded to them to buy the bag at a price of 300 Rupees! Now, the volunteers were getting pretty annoyed, and even some local people were trying to tell the guy to drop the matter. Finally, one of the volunteers, who speaks Hindi, explained to the guy that it was not an issue about money, she just didn't have any interest in having the bag at all. As he was walking away, the shopkeeper grabbed his arm forcefully, and begged that she buy the bag for 250 Rupees. Aggravated with the shopkeeper, the volunteer explained that even if the bag were free she wouldn't take it! The shopkeeper must not have believed him, because now he said, "Ask her, if it is free, will she take it?" So, the volunteer, chuckling, asked her if she wanted the bag for free from afar. She gave a very loud response of "NO!" and frowned at the shopkeeper, who was flabbergasted that she truly wouldn't even take the bag for free! Finally, he must have gotten the point, and he left. The volunteers came home later, told me and my husband the story, and one of them said "If anyone ever needs a bag I know where I can get them a free one!" and we all burst into laughter.

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