Thursday, September 6, 2012

Relaxing and shopping - Day 2 in Delhi

The freedom to not feel rushed is the greatest decision I made when planning this trip. Yesterday, once I got to Delhi and got settled in, I stayed in. I napped. Talked to my hosts. Ate yummy home cooked meals (surprising Gauri with how well I handle spicy foods! I love spicy. I just don't like burning.) And made great lengths in adjusting to the jet lag.

Day 2 would have had a bit more to what I ended up doing, but another nap (and more yummy food that keeps getting placed in front of me!) ate up a good portion of my day! *Laughs* So Gauri and Rohit and I didn't end up heading over to the mall until closer to 5pm.

I was hoping to find simple salwaar kameez sets, which should have run around 1000 rupees each ($17). However, because I can't help having nice taste I just had to fall in love with slightly more expensive pieces. So I got two sets that mix and match and ended up spending a bit over 3000 rupees ($57, roughly). They also mix and match with the pants and single top I brought with me. And they not only serve as clothes for my trip but as lovely souvenirs! So I call it a win.

The mall was a very different experience from any other mall I have been to.  Most malls tend to be very shiny and eager to draw people in.  This one was definitely an older variety that was rather dim and quite a bit run down.  I was told that there is a newer mall across the street.  I almost wish we'd had an excuse to visit that one so I could compare the two.  I did notice that I was the only white person in sight.  And wow the eyes that followed my every move would have been extremely uncomfortable if I hadn't known to expect it (a) and (b) I wasn't alone.  I had Gauri and Rohit to help any translation issues and to sort of buffer me from the attentions around me.  I'll feel more comfortable going out next time dressed in proper Indian clothes, even if younger women tend towards jeans and western styles.

I also picked up a very basic cell phone to use here, and Rohit got me a SIM card set up with a pre-pay plan. I couldn't do it myself. Since the recent terrorist activity picked up here it's very hard to pick up a sim card. You need to provide a passport photo and proof of residence. I am yet again grateful and happy with my decision to couch surf in Delhi!

I had hoped to see something this evening but decided I'd fit it in on a later visit back to Delhi later on in my trip. Instead eating (some more) and fighting with the Internet to book my transportation to my next destination.

My plans have changed a bit. I'll do Agra a bit later, and am planning to head up to Amritsar late on Saturday. I'll spend 3-5 days there, then head to Ladakh for a few days before coming down to Dharamsala to spend a few days before my meditation retreat.

I had a bit of a panic trying to build when I found myself needing to juggle plans like this. But all the planning I've done and the amount of research I've done has helped me make the adjustments and not flail around blindly.

Go me!

Note - Indian rupees are generally 50 rupees to the US Dollar.

This black kurti was originally 1500 rupees but was on sale, so I got it for 950.  Got black leggings that were 800 rupees.  The chiffon dupatta was 300.

Pink kurti was not on sale.  So I paid the full price of 1500 rupees for it.  Purple leggings are a slightly different style (straight legs rather than tapered).  Chiffon dupatta just so pretty I had to get two!

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