Monday, 1 February 2010

The Volunteer's New Clothes

Now my caste is off and my arm at least mobile again I can try for some more substantial shopping expeditions and and having managed the few days in Vizag I'm up for more travelling too. But first things first, I have major shopping to do in Rayagada over the next few weeks. The main item on the shopping list is a fridge. But that wasn't to be bought this Sunday but I did manage to find some new clothes. As my friend K says, I have of course "gone native" - eating with my fingers (right hand),  using my left for other business!, and I have taken to wearing the local  attire, the  Shalwaar Kemeez - cotton, loose and ideal for the dust and the heat. I purchased some kurta tops in Delhi to start my Indian wardrobe, but they were rather flimsy and probably won't last that long as I sweat my way through the expected 50 degree C temperatures come the summer months. So expecting that I will need several in the wardrobe to enable changes and getting them dry in the monsoon Sunday ended up being mainly a clothes shopping trip. I ended up with 3 new tops and 2 new trousers.

I also managed to acquire some new dishes. Up to now I have only had one set of small and large plate and bowl. Not so handy when you have guests! Also they are melamine, that plastic picnic ware stuff and I think perhars they get too scratched and become less then hygenie. So I have again adopted local custom and gone for the metal plates and bowls. Amazingly after searching high and low for a colander before there was one staring me right in the face as soon as I walked in this shop!
It never fails to amaze me how long it takes to shop and to find things. This lot took me 3 hours! It is not at all clear to me which shops sell what, I end up having to wander up and stare round the shelves. And not all of them are the ones where you can walk in, some are just counters at street side with people running to shelves at the rear as patrons shout their orders. So you have to know what you want, and be assertive. So just so you get the feel this is the main thoroughfare through the centre of Rayagada Market.


  1. Oh Lord - I would wilt away with that shopping environment - I spend an hour just wandering around the grocery store trying to find what is on the list since I am not the cook or regular shopper.

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