We were "forced" to visit at least one agency-sanctioned shopping center every day that we were in India. Except for the carpet place in Jaipur, they all sold the same things-- clothes, jewelry, furniture, accessories-- that all looked the same.
Now that I think about it, there are probably hundreds of carpet places in the cities that we visited. But I enjoyed this one anyway.
I have a new appreciation for expensive handmade carpets, the operative word being "expensive".
They also have a woodblock printing workshop.
As we were leaving, they gave Desmond the piece of cloth that he "personally" printed as a souvenir. But actually, there was a stack of identical ones, already pre-made, under the table. The demo was fun, at any rate.
I admit that I'm a killjoy when it comes to shopping. Whenever I see something interesting, these questions always run through my mind: What am I going to do with it? Where will I keep it? How often will I use it? Do I even need it at all? Don't I have something like it already?
In the end, I bought some silk scarves, a few tops, a bracelet, an anklet and of course, a refrigerator magnet. I am satisfied with my purchases and have put them all to good use.
Still, I couldn't help but feel wistful about the street shopping scenes that I witnessed through the bus windshield. Not that I would have bought anything, but I would have liked to join the crowds. Looked really exciting.
On our last full day in India, we rode a rickshaw through Chawri Bazar in Old Delhi. I had to be physically restrained from jumping off and exploring the hundred little alleys of the market on foot. Sadly, we could only take blurry photos as our rickshaws whizzed by.
If only we were given the opportunity to browse through the bazaar, guess what I would have bought?
Read about Chawri Bazar on Wikipedia.