Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Miles and Miles of Crap

Last full day in Delhi - Monday's kind of like Sunday over here so for once the rickshaw drivers are truthful when they say things are closed - a bit of local wandering before i took a tuk-tuk into Connaught, he started by going through the motions of saying that it would be closed until 330, just 5 minutes at a handicrafts place but there is no way that i could stomach another 30 seconds in one of those places so i put my foot down. He was very sour about this and dumped me at the other end - Connaught is a series of concentric circles yet is very hard to navigate, almost a spiral as some of the streets tend to come to dead ends and you're pushed into the next circle - the streets are lined with columns that are all very alike - wanted to go to the movies, mainly to escape the oppressing heat - the big Bap's latest had been recommended but unfortunately there were no subtitles so i was forced into seeing some more conventional fair - first time i've been in a film with an intermission for years although this film obviously was not supposed to have one, basically, halfway through the lights came on and the film ground to a screeching halt right in the middle of a conversation (I can advise that it didn't affect the pacing) and we were instructed to go to the candy bar to buy something (they are so insistent about that in this country) and a bunch of ads were streamed.
As it was a Monday the Karol Bagh (the area where i'm staying) Market was on and i thought it would be relatively entertaining and an opportunity to get some last minute doo-dads to fill the gaps in my suitcase - well, the market was enormous - bigger than Notting Hill (the only equivalent temporary market i can compare it to) - miles and miles going through several streets, all filled with loud hawkers and hundreds of thousands (maybe ... we are in India after all) of buyers but so much of it was plastic crap - i couldn't count the number of belt, fake sunglasses, counterfeit clothing and bags and all of the things you expect at a market (including a way-too-pushy guy who was trying to fob a 64GB USB stick on me for about 10 minutes until i snapped at me when he started getting physically pushy) - people were buying it all and they weren't just tourists - this place continues to baffle me - the economics of it are hard to conceive - so many people selling stuff that just isn't worth buying - but they're doing it every week so it's obviously working ... some how. Just like the rest of the country!

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