Friday, March 06, 2009

Indian Efficiency



So, last night I was in the middle of writing an email about the efficiency of this place, and there was a power outage. Perfectly poignant, isn't it?

When we arrived, we needed money. There was an exchange booth in the international terminal, but there was no ATM (exchange counters notoriously overcharge). But the prepaid taxi service was in this building, and there was no way to pay them.

As it turned out, we needed to leave the building and walk to the domestic terminal (across a parking lot full of taxis and the occasional cow--it's true!). Then they wouldn't let us back in to the international terminal (I'm generally willing to be pushy, but not to a guard with an automatic weapon). There was another entrance they'd let us use, so we had to walk to the other end of the building to get in. Then we had to get permission to back track within the building to get to the prepaid taxi service.

This was a portent of things to come. Fortunately, we haven't tried to mail anything, although we are going to need to do so in a few days.

Then there was shopping. We needed to get Trina a sari and salwar or two (will explain later). Sure, yes, you can buy your sari here (well, this piece of it--it is three pieces). Now my guy will take you to the shop for piece two (oh, it is closed--okay, well, let's try this one). First price was good, but most of the shops are closing--these people are gouging...next shop, same story. Fine, we'll pay for it. Now to the third shop for the third piece...you get the idea.

My personal favorite--when you buy pants they are huge, and then you have to go buy the drawstring--for just pennies. So we had the shopkeeper send us with someone to find the drawstring guy--yes, yes, I have a drawstring. But would you like to buy this? How about this? What about this? No, no, no. Nothing please. Oh, I'm sorry, we are all out of drawstrings.

The next time we were sent to one of these, I paid the shopkeeper extra to go do it herself. So, we are learning.

Everything seems to involve more work than it should--so we don't get nearly as much done each day as we would like. Thus, the lack of blogs thus far (internet is really slow). We seem to have finally found a fast internet place though, so more from us soon!

1 comment:

erin said...

Sounds just about right for India. I always kinda felt it was a collision of a million different experiences all at once wrapped up in humidity with a nice scent of curry meets incense meets cows meets cars and too many people and all the various things that each put off.

Have fun!