Today, Shekhar, our Indian friend took me to town on his scooter to meet with his friend to help us shop for household goods.
The ride was about 20 minutes, my longest scooter/motorcycle ride ever, and it was in India. It was a bumpy, windy, dangerous and smelly ride, which I actually enjoyed. I have always enjoyed speed and wind, so it was fun.
We live in the small village so we have to drive to the nearest city, Ahmednagar to get things. I am not sure if it is like this in other parts in India, but at least here, they have specialty shops. Meaning, you can’t go to one store to buy all your things; you have to go to each specialty store to get what you need.
They have shops for everything: mirror shop, sweet shop, kitchenware shop, clothes shop, plasticware shop, furniture shop, bathroom things shop, you name it. So, going to town for shopping is a little bit exhausting, especially for someone like me who is not used to it, yet.
I wish I had a better sense of direction because it will take me tons of time to learn where all the shops are and not get lost in a maze.
You have to walk around all these shops, find the one you need, bargain, and dodge traffic in all these narrow streets. Luckily we had Shekhar’s friend with us who lives in town and took us to all the good shops. Shekhar said he doesn’t know how to find the good shops because his mom does all the shopping. I guess it is a universal thing that women simply are better at shopping.
First stop was the kitchen shop where I bought a nice stainless steel kadhai pot, two hard anodized pots, measuring spoons, a stainless steel colander, and a wooden board and roller for making Indian bread. All for 1741 rupees, about 29 dollars.
Then we went to the plasticware shop, where I bought 6 glass containers for keeping spices, 1 metal soap dish, and 1 silverware container.
We also stopped at a fruit stand for bananas, apples and papaya.
Then, we went to the linen shop for a blanket requested by Josh.
And also the clothes shop, where I bought two Indian style leggings, the paint shop where we bought a litter of thinner for removing the paint stains on our floor, the pharmacy for a chlorine solution for washing produce, and a supplies shop for a black marker to write the names of spices on my spice containers.
We finished the journey back at the girl’s home where they gave Shekhar and I some Indian snacks, water and coffee. I actually don’t like coffee but I finished my cup. I need to learn how to make it this way. I also spilled water on myself various times because you are not supposed to touch the drinking glass with your mouth for sanitary reasons.
Included in the snacks there were some things I have never tasted anything like it before: spicy mango pickle, sweet mango pickle and lemon pickle. The flavors where STRONG. I could taste sweet, sour and spicy in stages. I can’t make up my mind yet, but I think I liked the spicy mango pickle. They gave me a bunch of all three to bring home. I kind of felt bad because I doubt we will eat them all. In fact, I doubted Josh would like any of it, and I came home to confirm he did not.
Definitely an acquired taste.
At this home, there were some kids playing with a swing which I thought was awesome.
Then we rode back on the scooter with all my things. And it did not rain.
It was a productive day.