Yay, shops are open and M and I are allowed to roam loose on the streets of Hyderabad once again!
We are leaving for Delhi tomorrow evening so I was determined to get all the souvenirs I wanted and hopefully just float the rest of the trip and not have to deal with lugging around potentially breakable artifacts.
I approach souvenir-acquiring like a battle. I have a list of things I want and I know that India can provide. The vendors are the gatekeepers standing between me and the things I want, a mild irritation I have to deal with. That’s why LePakshi, the handicrafts store Aakanshi recommended, was such a godsend this evening. It’s a government-regulated emporium and all prices are clearly marked, no negotiating. You just pick out what you want, the salespeople take it and give you a bill for the object. Wonderful. I didn’t have to hassle with bargaining at all. Win! The prices weren’t super cheap, but not unreasonably high either. I like.
There were housewares, dishware, boxes, statues, figurines, paintings, leather puppets, ugly toys, cloth in every hue, and all sorts of stuff. I was mesmerized. The actual store was huge too with a stiflingly hot upper floor and nooks and crannies filled with more schtuff. Insane.
There were lots of things I wanted, but just couldn’t possibly get either due to price or the question of transporting back to San Francisco. Yea…lovely 6-foot-tall ceramic lacquered urn? Probably not.
I loved the amazing Alice-in-Wonderland-esque vanity though. Really loved.However, I was able to somehow talk M into giving me the OK to purchase a jute 6×9 rug even though we don’t have any space for it right now in the apartment and it’s going into my “hoarding closet” ASAP. I am so excited about the rug though. It’s fantastic. And it also weighs at least 20 pounds.A surprise was when M got all twinkly-eyed over cups. Yea, cups. Ever since we lunched at Angeethi a week ago and happened to be served water out of these hammered copper/brass/stainless steel hybrid cups that looked like miniature vases, he’s been nuts over cups. He actually asked the waiters whether he could buy those cups off the restaurant. It’s a weird obsession. Never expected it of M.
End result of two hours of shopping?
1. Aforementioned awesome rug. ~$50
2. Gradiated onyx necklace – new favorite piece of jewelry. ~$70
3. M’s set of 6 cups. ~$35
4. Tea tray. ~$30
5. 3 bangles (very Kenneth Lane-like). ~$21
6. Other misc jewelry. ~$18
7. Gifts. ~$70
I’d show you what it all looks like except the shopkeeper wrapped everything up into tidy little parcels and I don’t want to open them up again before we’re back in SF.
Happy Birthday to my brother Chris!