|If you enjoy shopping for clothes as I do, Delhi is the perfect place to visit with an empty suitcase. As Indian’s like their clothes.
I exchanged my money at the airport (see photo left). ₹500 (five hundred Rupee) is currently worth about £5 (five British Pounds).
My first shopping trip was on my first full day in Delhi. Robert, Michael, Neha, Neha’s sisters and brothers-in-law and I went shopping for an wedding outfit. Robert choose an attractive gold colour, Michael choose a grey and gold colour combination and I choose a fabulous purple colour.
Below is a photo of our wedding outfits, see my last blog post for photos of us in our outfits:
Then we headed to an outdoor market where we bought some wedding shoes. These shoes were more about style than comfort and I named them The shoes of DEATH after they shredded my feet.
Prior to travelling to Delhi, I had been talking to a lovely guy named Eddie. I needed to buy Neha’s parents a thank you gift and was in need of a guide and shopping buddy. So I hired Eddie and a taxi for the day. Eddie was gorgeous, patient, kind and caring. We quickly connected and became more than friends. During my stay in Delhi I visited at least five Malls, two Bazaars and four outdoor market places.
On my first shopping trip with Eddie (there were a few) we went to Benetton where I bought a fleeced hoodie, a smart shirt, two plain t-shirts and two t-shirts with designs all for £55. On another occasion Eddie took me to an outdoor market and I got two pairs of smart work shoes for £8. I bought two real leather belts for £1.90. Delhi could be cheap or expensive depending on where you shopped and who you shopped with.
Eddie helped me buy some small gifts for close family and some of my friends. Believe it or not is where most of my money went – on other people. When Indian’s see foreigners they triple their prices. So having Eddie who spoke Hindi helped barter the prices down. I am extremely grateful to him for his language skills, superb company and for soo much more ;).
My favourite place to shop was Connaught Place. It had a good mix of shops, a Bazaar and an outdoor market place. Plus, it has plenty of places to buy good coffee. However most importantly for me, it was where Eddie and I created some amazing memories.
After much searching, Eddie and I found the perfect gift for Neha’s parents (to thank them for taking such good care of me). We found this lovely stylish mirror in the shape of the sun, which was the perfect gift for them.
Wherever you shop in Delhi there’s plenty of roadside stalls selling drinks and ice cream. There’s copious Tuk Tuk bikes and auto Rickshaws that you can use to get around. Or there’s always the Delhi Metro. The Delhi Metro is cheaper than Tuk Tuk bikes or auto Rickshaws and is quite an experience.
Eddie introduced me to the Metro and we used it together on about six journeys while I was in Delhi. The Metro in Delhi has been so popular that it is currently being extended. By 2020 they want 50% of people travelling on the Metro, which in the sky, and 50% of people using the roads. This will ease the current road congestion problem Delhi has, along with reducing air pollution. The Metro is exactly like the London Underground, just above ground rather than under it.
The first two Metro carriages of every Metro line are reserved for women, along with woman only seats in the other carriages. Getting on and off the Metro was a bit of a challenge at times, with a little fast-paced pushing and feet shuffling required.
I got plenty of stirs on the Metro because of my white skin. They were stirs of curiosity because most people hadn’t ever seen someone with white skin. After a while it did leave me feeling a bit awkward and unsure of how to respond. I wasn’t sure whether to stir back, smile or do a little dance. Luckily for the the other Metro users it was too cramped to allow me to do a little dance. On most journeys Eddie and I held-hands and no one stirred because of this or seemed to even notice it.
Whether you’re shopping or using the Metro there are many security check points. Where civilians in official, security, looking uniforms will ask you to walk through a metal detector and put your bags through an x-ray scanner. They then frisk you with a hand-held metal detector.
Eddie is gorgeous and looks so young. I want to reassure you that he is in fact twenty-two years old and I am twenty-nine years old. He is funny, kind, caring, intelligent and multi-talented. He has already had much success and many achievements. He seems to do well at anything he takes his hand to, which is no doubt due to lots of hard work and determination. I know that I’m a very lucky man. Here are some photos of the gorgeous Eddie and me:
Can you recognise the brands photographed below?
I was pleased to be able to get a decent coffee from Starbucks, but the prices where the same as in the UK making it an expensive luxury in India. Costa Coffee was much more reasonably priced. Coffee’s from both shops tasted the same as they would in the UK.
Other recognisable brands in Delhi, India included: Pizza Hut, Dominos, KFC, Burger King, Vans, Levis, Van Heusen, Nike, adidas and Marks & Spencer’s.
On the departure from London Heathrow my suitcase weighed 11KGS. On the way back home it weighed 20KGS, which just gives you an idea of how much I bought during my time in Delhi. And it didn’t cost me a fortune.
In next part blog post in the series titled My India Adventure (Part 4) – Delicious Food, I will be talking food. It will be coming soon, so don’t forget to check back for updates.