“What place is this?” We wondered. The alley was full of fake t-shirts, watches, groceries, shoes and none of the things that we wanted to buy.“I guess we are at the wrong place…this must be a market for local, not tourist…”
I quickly went to ask one of the shop assistants, “Do you sell magnet? Fridge magnet?” He shook his head.
I went to ask another shop the same question, he also shook his head.
“OK. Clearly this is not the place. No saree, no fridge magnet, no India t-shirt. Come, we go to the other side.”
We walked towards Chandni Chwok and started to get lost in pool of people. By this time, few guys started to call us, invite us to come to their shop.
Tips : Chandni Chwok is one of the best place for saree hunting.
“Haaaa this must be the place…” We smiled.
One of the guys persuaded Chawana to go into his shop and showed her few types of saree but the price wasn’t that cheap. We walked further up and went in few shops to find cheaper sarees but failed to get one.
“Come, please, come to my shop…you see first…no worry, cheap, cheap…” said one of local guy who looked like a Nepalese.
“Cheap cheap huh…ok, ok…” Chawana warned him.
We went into one small alley that led to few small shops…with not so good smell around it. The first shop took out all their good and so-so quality saree and lenga but after 15 minutes of browsing, none that caught Chawana’s eyes. I myself liked one lenga but unfortunately it was a sleeveless-type.
“That shop?” Chawana pointed to the other shop next to it. “Can…can…possible…” the guy shook his head.He must have ‘kowtim’ with all shops at that area for his ‘portion’ (tips). Hahaha! At this moment, all of us started to sit down on the covered floor in and outside the shop, browsing and selecting sarees. Chawana has gone crazy and chose more than 5 in a second, while I, still looking for lenga. While looking at the lengas, my eyes were attracted to one turquoise saree.
“How much is this?” I asked.
“Rp700=RM49.00” He smiled. “Very fine quality, cheap, see this…” He spread the saree to show the end portion of it, which was in purple.
“Na, how many you want to buy? If you buy many, include me in coz I’m gonna cut this off.”
“Errm…10 or 11…”
“WHAT??? HOIIII!!!! Are you crazy? For who?” I was totally surprised with her and almost got my eyes popped out there and then.
“Hahaha…my siblings, mom, and friends….I got few friends who already paid, so I have to buy lah…”
“Ok…get yours first, then lasttttttt thing I’m gonna do is to get mine, cheap cheap. Hahaha!”
It took almost an hour (or plus) for Chawana to choose all the 10-11 pairs…in various colors of Ranggoli. And she bought for her, two! (Or three! I don’t know!) Hahaha!
“Ok, she bought 11 pairs, now I really want this one (turquoise saree) for Rp500=RM25.00?” I gave kitty face to the shop assistant.
Tips : Bargain as long as you can. They will fall into you. Or else, walk away. There are MANY shops along this road.
I bargain hardly about 15 minutes and finally got what I asked for. Hehe! He packed our goods and we separated all sarees into few plastic bags. We went out from the shop, and walked towards the main road, with goods on our head! Hahahahaha!
“Still got time to shop…hey, we need to buy fridge magnet!!! OMG!!!” We started to get panic since we had no FM at all for souvenirs. We quickly took a train and stop at Rajiv Chwok, located in the heart of Connaught Place.
Tips : Connaught Place is one of the largest financial, commercial and business centers in Delhi.
The first thing that we saw was Palika Bazar, an underground shopping complex. Ignoring the place, we decided to explore those white two to three storey building that encircled Connaught Place. Besides, we were looking for our official restaurant, Pizza Hut. Tips : These shops are named with alphabet and you can begin with the block next to the right of Palika Bazar.
We crossed the road and walked towards the shops and found that this place were occupied with designers shop and branded stores. Hubby clearly got attracted with India Cricket jersey that he saw in Nike shop. Anyhow, after few trying, he chose a blue t-shirt with India team logo.
“Where’s Pizza Hut ek? Which block just now?” We tried to remember back the signboard.
“I think this way…” We passed few blocks and reached one construction site, where we saw a very small and not-so-new Pizza Hut signboard.
“Huh? This is it?” We had our jaw dropped!
“Maybe this is the back side…let’s go to the front.” We had to find a way to go to the front side and after a few minutes, we finally reached Pizza Hut and thank god, IT WAS SPACIOUS AND BIG. Hahaha! As usual, we ordered arabiata spaghetti and pizza. Like other Pizza Hut restaurant, we did the same routine, rang the bell.
Tips : If you are satisfied with the food and service, you can ring a door bell on your way out.
“Ok, our last hope…final shopping at Palika Bazar.” We agreed.
We walked out and headed back to Palika Bazar, and it was getting dark. By this time, we just prayed and hoped that we could find whatever we want in that bazaar. Once entered, we had smile on our face.
But the smile didn’t last longer.
After few quick searching, we found no fridge magnets! Most of the shops were selling t-shirts and China-made toys! OMG! How leh??? I ran into one shop and asked “Do you sell magnets?”
“Yes, yes…come in…” he shook his head and went to one corner at his shop.
“YES! FINALLY!” I smiled at hubby and Chawana.
After 5 seconds, the guy came and showed me a pair of red magnets…complete with North and South!
“NOOOOOOOO…NOT THIS ONE, FRIDGE MAGNET, INDIA, DELHI…YOU KNOW?” I felt like smacking his head over and over for killing my joy. OK, maybe it was my fault for asking 'magnet' instead of 'fridge magnet'...d'uhhhh!
“Oooo…don’t have…” He shook his head again. “But you can go to shop number 610.” He then suggested.
The time showed 30 minutes past 5. WE HAD NO MORE TIME LEFT! As quick as lightning, we ran to the shop and guess what, they did sell fridge magnets!!! DEARLY!!!
Tips : One fridge magnet cost you about Rp50=RM3.50 to Rp100=RM7.00, whereby, you can get it for Rp20=RM1.40 each! SEE?! SEE?!
AND WE HAD NO CHOICE, to buy 4-5 fridge magnets and wasted our money. Plus, I managed to grab one baby t-shirt with India map on it.
We then took Metro back to Delhi station and went back to the hotel. While collecting our bags, hubby went to ask few taxis, to send us to the airport. We managed to get a cheaper taxi from the other hotel at the corner and safely arrived the airport.
At the airport, we managed to 'finish' our rupees by getting miniatures of tuk-tuk (for Myra) and taxi (for Sami), along with three types of tea for our parents. These items were the MOST expensive souvenirs in India trip! And it was hell of fun to shop with whatever money left without thinking to save it. Hahaha!
We then walked to the immigration counter and AGAINNNNNNN, hubby and I faced the same issue of Web Check-In. The fastest and simplest check-in became the most difficult and time-wasting in India, since they didn't accept non-other than physical ticket!!!Tips : Meaning, though you have the print out of Web Check-in, you still need to go to the check-in counter, to get a physical flight ticket! Meaning, you have to QUEUE lah! ARGH!
Right after we got our physical ticket, we just got to know that we were out of time! We had to RUN (yes, we really ran like Amazing Race contestants) and guess what, running along with us were another Malaysian Chinese lady who traveled alone, and another Malaysian Indian guy. She even complaint that we actually still have 20 minutes and she was in the middle of having her dinner just now. Crazy huh?
While running, we heard the final call on the speaker, calling for our flight. We ran even faster! Thank god a buggy man called us and offered a ride. Believe me, we could have missed the flight if we still running.
He dropped us at the exit doorway and we quickly hopped down, NEGLECTING his request for a tips!!! Sorry man, Asian never do that. Hahaha!
We finally got boarded and passed by Chawana's seating, smiling and said hi...(siut kan?) From afar, I saw two guys sat at our seats. Without saying anything, both of them got up and went to look for another seat.
"Eh, we pay what...who cares..."
And that's then end of my/our India trip tales :)
For history element, read Travelista's version here (in English)
For trip experience, read Chawana's version here (in Bahasa)