Saturday, December 17, 2016
Low key Saturday (for Delhi)
I took metro to Central Secretariat, with the goal of checking out India's political core. Faced with a long walk towards India Gate in a smoky haze, I decided to allow myself to be "taken for a 100 rupee tour ride" with the expected probing about my interest in pashmina shawls, jewelry, Indian miniature paintings, etc. I'll have to admit, this Sikh guy was a pro. He even threw in a guided tour of the Bangla Sahib shrine. The real goal, of course, was to deliver an wealthy foreigner to an overpriced craft store. Been in these before, in Kathmandu and Kudadaci in Turkey, so when I pulled out a magnifying glass at the counter, the hard sell approach quickly adapted. As I had no real plans to buy overpriced Rajput-style miniatures, I tried, and failed to buy a couple of quite nice ones at 50% off the stated price. The guy wouldn't budge, so neither did I. Later I did buy a 4-set of joke miniatures, as it was fun to see the disbelief on the second dealers' face. Still paid too much, but it was today's whim. I was feeling pretty happy that I'd earlier figured out the way to get plenty of 100 rupee notes from the money changers in M Market near my guesthouse in Kailash Colony.