Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Plastic and newspapers!

I have already shared the story about Indians keeping everything in plastic; however packing everything in newspapers is actually even more exciting!

Surprise number 14

When you buy anything on the street you have 80% of chances you will get it packed with newspaper. Bread, fruit, vegetables, pastries… Even when they deliver snacks to the office they usually bring them in big boxes, so that whoever wants to eat can come, take some, pack in their piece of a newspaper and have it. First days I was really disgusted and I was just not eating...but you cant keep avoiding… it’s India, what to do? ;)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Appreciating small things

When your every day is a constant hustle, when you have to struggle to have running water at home, when you have to figure out every day how to get to the office, when you sweat like nothing after having a 5 – minutes walk… you really start looking at the world around you from a different perspective. I didn’t even notice when I started appreciating small things in the way Indians do. Now you can often find me saying: “What a nice weather!” or “The food was amazing!” or “There was almost no traffic on my way to the office” or “I caught a rick immediately after I got out of the house!”
Interesting! I really don’t know what is happening to me in this country!!! ;)

Excuse me Madam!

“Excuse me madam, come here madam, have a look madam, only 50 rupees madam, madam… madam… madam!” This is what I remember from the first shopping adventure on my own! I was so proud of myself: I went to Bandra by train and found a proper shopping street (Linking Road). And then I went mad! These crazy people started with “Madams”, were dragging me into their stalls, wanted to show me everything, wanted me to buy anything from them! I even had to have a look at men’s underwear! Shopping which is supposed to be a pleasant activity (especially for me!) was like a nightmare, after 1 hour I was so tired that I decided to go home :)

However, I have quite an impressive list of achievements in terms of what I bought and for how much ;) My bargaining skills are improving every day, I can easily name negotiating techniques which are working best with these people!

Initial price: Rs 495
Actual price: Rs 270 (15.80)

Initial price: Rs 450
Actual price: Rs 250 (14.60)

Initial price: Rs 100
Actual price: Rs 40 (2.30 PLN)

Obviously, if I were there with an Indian I would get these things for lower prices as well but as for a gori I managed pretty well ;)

And now – the most annoying thing! I almost wanted to shout when it happened for the first time! As I wanted to buy shoes I had to try different types and sizes… and I forgot customers’ servicing is taken very seriously in this country… not only will they make sure they have a proper size and color but they will be themselves putting shoes on your feet in case you want to try them! I was honestly feeling very awkward – having someone to put my shoes on…. Guess I am still not used to Indian standards!