Sunday, June 2, 2013

Flea Market

There is something to say about a city that never ceases to surprise you every time you step out!

There is a flea market up north, an area we've been warned about and asked in no subtle hints to avoid. Exchange of drugs and murders are a regular affair. I am pretty sure the white population of the city rarely ventures into this part. But it also houses a flea market and one can't avoid a flea market!!

So we made a note of the transport routes that would take us there, filled a bottle of water and decided to go see the place for ourselves. After weeks of bad weather that wavered between windy, rainy and pleasantly warm, the sun was out bright and relentlessly unforgiving! We took the metro and  got off at the suggested station...and faced the by-now familiar hiccup-->We were unable to find the street that led to the market.

After referring to some maps at the station and asking around, we found the right street. The place did look a little eerie, or maybe the general perception of the area was feeding the psyche! We could tell we were heading in the right direction because people with gigantic reusable bags filled with stuff were heading towards us from the opposite direction.

The market place was bursting at its seams! ANYTHING that you ever wanted but were wary of buying because it was expensive, you can find it here. Spark plugs, mobile chargers, phone chargers for the car, worn out shoes of shapes and sizes, clothes, crockery, cosmetics, vegetables, hardware, meat, furnishings,........the list is endless. You can't haggle...I saw one merchant shoo some people away when they tried doing that!

Now the problem with me is, if I see something I like and know that it is cheap, I won't have the patience to check out better options. So I bought these 6 small jars for .80 euro cents each. You could tell they weren't the best quality but I didn't care enough. And then we walked further ahead and saw the same jars being sold in a nice pack of 12 for 3 euros!! Do the math.....and decide whose loss it was! Needless to say, I bought the pack as well. I am forever finding myself in this situation and I have stopped assessing it.

Other things that I bought include a whiskey flask for a euro. God knows where I"ll use it. I might be inspired to go hike in snow-clad mountains just to use the flask. We eyed a case on mangoes produced in the Ivory Coast for so long, it literally jumped into our welcoming hands!

But the actual thing that took my by surprise is that on the way back in the bus, we saw a SAREE shop! I wouldn't be caught wearing the sarees displayed here in India! But a city along the Mediterranean sea, so far away from anything Indian is a saree shop that also sells Hindi movie DVDs! I am going to go visit them soon!

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