The weekend was very quiet, except for a trip to church on Sunday morning, made much easier by our “personal” driver.
However, on Monday, we wanted to go shopping!!!
We called Vinayak and he said that yes, he could drive us on Monday but he suggested that we leave around 11:00am so that we would miss some of the traffic.
There were two places that we wanted to visit…..One was the “Central Cottage Industry”and the other was “Cauvery Handicrafts”. Both of these are government sponsored businesses and contain crafts from all around India.
We came to the Central Cottage Industry building first and entered with excitement of the thought of shopping for ourselves and our friends. We were met at the front door by Ali and he proceeded to show us thru all of the showrooms, with particular emphasis on the rugs.
We kept saying that we didn’t want a carpet, but when we saw the smaller green one that is being held up, we succumbed to good salesmanship and said that we would take it.
They had several sales techniques, including lowering the lights so that you could see how the colors changed in the dark. They actually did seem to glow somewhat in the darkness. Also, he took out a metal claw and molested the carpet to show us that it wouldn’t wear at all!!!
We shopped for some metal ware, scarves, jewelry and other bits and pieces. As we were paying for the jewelry, the salesman really tried to put a hard sale on me to buy a gorgeous bracelet for only $5,500….US DOLLARS!!! He was sure that I would eventually crack, even bringing the price down to $3,500. Needless to say, I said no thanks!!!
We arranged for these items to be shipped to us and then headed to the next store. We had actually visited this store when we were here before and I remembered it as having a lot of smaller items as well as big things. We spent a fun hour touring the store and picking out our purchases.
We had forgotten the method of buying here but were soon reminded that you pick your items in each section and they bag them up and attach an invoice. You are also given a copy of the invoice. Once you have made all of your purchases, you go to the cashiers desk and make a payment for everything at once. Maybe we got carried away……
One of the things that we bought were two Bidriware vases…..
…. and I was interested to learn a bit about the craft….. the metal is an alloy of Copper and Zinc that has a design hand chiseled onto it. The design is then filled with slivers of silver to give it a striking look……
We left with our arms filled with little brown bags filled with treasures from India!!!
On the ride back to Mandara we saw two interesting things. The first was a motorcycle blockade where the police were checking for registration and environmental test certificates.
Secondly we saw one truck that had the following sign……”In case of rash driving, please call #####”. Our question was exactly WHAT is considered as rash driving….keeping to your lane, driving a safe speed, or what!!!
We had been invited to Krushnamegh’s house for dinner and were picked up by one of the NCBS drivers. He started down the bumpy dirt road that I mentioned in a previous post but then suddenly threw it in reverse and started backing away. We figured out why when the big city bus appeared from the other direction, taking up ALL of the road. I still cant understand why people use this road!!