17/07/2013 by Siddiqui Fayesal
So today I did some personal reconnaissance of the market and the surrounding areas. I’ll post pics soon. There are various things that one learns about locals within a few minutes itself. The locals out here honk a lot. A lot is an understatement. And all of them use those air horns which blast you out of your suspenders (if people still wear them)!
I’ve never learnt the art of bargaining. And, if I’m honest to myself, I think a part of the reason is that I’ve not yet understood the value of money. I’ve been blessed with a well to do life. My basic needs, and many luxuries too, have always been met without an iota of struggle!
The Mall Road is a one way street, like I mentioned, and the other street runs parallel to the lake. Between the street’s fencing and the lake is a promenade housing candy floss sellers and nut sellers. Boats can be rented at 150 INR per hour. Everything can be reduced by bargaining.
The bhel seller selling at 20 was turned away by my mother, and he promptly reduced it by 10. I thought he’ll reduce the quantity too, but I was surprised to get my fill worth 20!
As every of us, at least us Indians, are aware that it’s rare to find roadside shacks selling cola and aerated drinks at the mentioned prices I wasn’t surprised when I was charged 2 bucks extra for anything refrigerated. It’s a sad sad place to be in. Do I bargain and refuse to buy? It won’t help because unless one goes to bargain stores who buy their stuff at wholesale you’ll always, more often than not, pay extra.
After an hour or so you can’t extract much in the name of local flavour thanks to rampant globalisation. Every shop owner is either based in one of the metros or in one of the closer cities and visits only during the “season”! There is nothing new. Burgers are more easily available than the once ubiquitous vada, the locally made lime juice is nowhere to be found but the packaged drinks are everywhere (charged 2 bucks extra if chilled). You get the drift, right?
Tonight is the last night I spend here. I’ve got a train to catch for Delhi tomorrow at 0900. There is a lot that I can write about Nainital. But I prefer to romanticise later.