Thursday, July 11, 2013
Today was a good holiday. I had an amazing pedicure and steam bath at the spa before a hilarious dinner with Alexis and Sarah M. Then they took me to this shoe store that everyone has been raving about. It really was an experience! I didn't buy any shoes, but I will definitely go back at least to take pictures. It is crazy. All of the boxes of shoes are in some sort of attic. So, when you find shoes you want, you tell one of the million shoe guys your size and he gets a man to drop it through the holes in the ceiling. Then, if you don't want it, he throws it back up. Amazing. We actually went to the shoe store to look for luggage for Alexis for our trip this weekend because her carry-on luggage broke on the way here. There was luggage at the shoe store, but Alexis thought it was too expensive for the quality, so we decided to test our haggling on the street since there are about 5 luggage stands within a block of our hotel. She ended up getting a suitcase for 700 rupees (roughly $14) which we have no idea if that is a good price, but it was cheaper than the store and loads cheaper than the 2500 rupees that he initially asked. I guess I could learn a lot about bartering from Alexis. The best part of my day was watching her barter with a few street vendors on our walk home from dinner. When they wouldn't accept her offer, she would ask what she could get for that price. Most of them clearly did not understand the question. Eventually, they all gave in and accepted her best offers. This may have been in an effort to rid their sidewalk space of Sarah and me since we were doubled over with laughter the whole time Alexis was talking. I am not sure that I will ever be able to do justice in describing how hilarious my India teammates are. I must videotape an outing sometime. Sarah S. and I decided before even leaving D.C. that Sarah M. and John W. had laughs that would make life in Kolkata completely fine despite its trials. They have not disappointed us yet.
Posted by Jodi at 9:25 AM