Saturday, August 8, 2009

What, in the world, are they selling?

Going shopping for something specific is an adventure in itself in good ol' Kerala, especially in a suburb, which is the best way to describe Kunnamangalam. It's almost impossible to decide what exactly the shop-keeper intends to sell in his shop (not intending to be sexist here). You have the most odd combinations here. Bananas and hardware. Real gold jewellery and children's cheap plastic toys, the ones which leave you in no doubt about the toxicity of the materials used. Model wooden KSTRC buses, stationary, and a huge lot of something covered with a LOT of dust. Seriously, retail is a very interesting concept here. The selection of goods that a single shop will have is fascinating and mind-boggling.

Shopping here is one of the most entertaining activities you can think of (Yeah, I need to get a life :|). Of course, you need to be a bit flexible with what you want. And ready to have a bit of fun. I wanted a couple of nice plastic baskets, the types which are open and have a grilled bottom. Basically something to store all the paraphernalia I have which ends up hogging all the space everywhere. Also to keep some bananas to rot. I prefer them rotting in the basket, rather than in the plastic bags. That they would rot is beyond doubt, my timing of purchase is perfect in that sense. I go out and buy enough bananas to last a week, after not having any for a month or so, and whaam, next day I have a cold bad enough for me to stay away from even smelling the darn things.

So I went off to buy the baskets. A couple of plastic-thingy-selling shops had everything in baskets but the type I wanted. A couple of shopkeepers gave me strange looks when I asked for them. Maybe they drew the line at selling baskets in mobile phone shops, I realized when I looked at the boards after coming out. A couple of others tried to sell me an assortment of mugs, the types you use in the loo, a wastebin, a plastic bathtub and a plastic pot which looked suspiciously like one of those potty thingies, though I think it was merely for keeping potted plants. Finally, I saw 2 dusty looking things in a stationary shop which looked suitable. They didnt have grilled bottoms, but didn't wanna be picky. Atleast I could watch the bananas rot in their full glory now :)

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