Over the last three days, I have been introduced to the unique way of shopping at the Delhi markets. Even the journey there was an experience. We had our own escort and driver who brought the vehicle close to the entrance so we didn't have far to walk. They had obviously heard about my delicate constitution and didn't want to tax me too much!!
After we left the secure complex, the lane system didnot seem to exist. Cars, cycles and tuck-tucks darted around, peeping their horns as they narrowly missed each other. Surprisingly, most of the vehicles appeared undamaged, which only proved how skilful the drivers were. Even the local cows seemed unperturbed.
Our driver stopped in a random place close to the market and we alighted ??(alit??). got out. Accompanied by our elegant, turbaned bodyguard ( who was a dead ringer for Capt Nemo in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) kept a few paces behind as we surged forward into the melee of colour and sound.
Our first stop was a shoe stall/shop. One had to be careful where one stood here. One's head was likely to be crowned by boxes which hurtled from a hole in the ceiling. A secret shoe stash was stored here. The downstairs staff shouted up for different sizes and colours. Within seconds a hand appeared from above, clutching a box or a bag. Time to duck as the Hand took aim and flung the shoes to the waiting assistant.
Using said system, N had soon acquired a large pile of shoes and sandals. They seemed very reasonably priced to me. However, N demonstrated the art of haggling with aplomb. We left the store with the owner wondering exactly what had hit him......and N with a smile on her face as she passed the bags (note the plural) for our bodyguard to carry happily.
Capt Nemo guided us through the next section and the crowds parted before his confident, elegant stride. I scuttled behind keeping a firm eye on his colourful turban.
Then there were the occasions when we really, really liked something. These times we would allow the assistant to drape it around us!! He strapped me into a thick, elastic belt (ah, instant weight loss!). With deft fingers, he manhandled my material - stop laughing Mr S, that is not a euphemism!! I was instantly transformed into - just me in a very elegant saree. I added my solo contribution to the ever-increasing mountain of material before my eyes. As with all shopping, these were our 'starter for ten'. After careful thought we reduced the pile - by one.
N went into action once more. We soon had a reduction of over thirty per cent. She wasn't stopping there. The owner was soon quaking in his boots and under her magic spell. Not only had he discounted further, she had persuaded him to remove the blouse piece and add necessary stitching for free. Wonder Woman or what??