Marcelo Doffo’s trip to India continues as he and his companions explore new towns, meet new people and even do a little hard bargaining!
“Yesterday we went to the town of Bikaner, which at first seemed just like a any other crowded town..Until we went to the market and whole new world opened up. As we approached the market, we began to sneeze and our eyes started to water, it was the spices area! It stretched on for a couple of hundred yards, one stand right after another of the most exclusive and rare spices in the world-you name it, they had it.
“We moved on from the spices area, made a left and continued through the market. As we walked it got narrower and prettier, wedding dresses and so many fabrics, in all colors and patterns, lined the streets. You must leave your shoes off and sit or kneel on a soft carpet to deal or buy from any of the vendors..Of course I was not interested in any of that, so we moved on! We got to the produce area to see the streets lined with fruits and vegetables on both sides of the street and of course our best friends the COWS! They try to steal anything fast before they get kicked out by angry vendors.. It was fun to hear the stand keepers when the cows would come near, they would all yell at the cows, for fear of eaten product.”
“Next we traveled to the town of Bikaner, Rajasthan to see Fort Junagarh. This was a great town with an incredible fort, and a temple made of a white marble where you can see the exterior light through-out the walls. Truly an amazing experience.”
“We then went to an old city on the other side of the fort called ‘blue city’, as most of the houses are painted a blue color for the heat and to repel insects. The market area as usual was the fun part of the afternoon. There was all of the chaos of traffic, different aromas in the air, and colorful people walking the streets. We even saw a wedding about to begin and ladies who were apart of the wedding, were waiting in front of a temple.”
“The next morning at the hotel for breakfast we met two young Argentinean girls from Rosario, where I happen to be from – what a small world! The girls had all the concerns of a new person in a strange country- a bit intimidated by the impact of the area, so we decided to invite them to tag along with us for the day.”
“We went shopping in a very traditional store with a funny name “Ali BaBa” and the ceremonial way of selling was another unique experience. Just to purchase something took about two hours, but what’s incredible is how efficient and non-confrontational the way it’s done compared to back home. Here after you bargain, you end up being almost friends, exchanging phone numbers and texting each other!”
“The vendor said he would be able to deliver a great item that we had purchased to a restaurant nearby, for our convenience. Negotiating and bargaining is something that I learned from my Dad and here was the time to use my skills. They expect you to negotiate, so I did and very well I must say…Until next time, Ciao!”