Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday: Exploring Pondicherry

Today is Good Friday and Habitat for Humanity does not work over Easter, so we have the entire day to ourselves...what a treat!!!  To start the day, we had all booked Indian massages in our rooms....what an experience that was!!!  These were full body massages and involved a LOT of hair and skin will never be the same!!  They also provoked many interesting comments and laughs from everyone when we all got together to compare the experience.  Certainly something to remember... 

After my 8am massage I headed to breakfast and then decided to go with some of the other girls to shop for saris.  We decided we would head to the major shopping area, which is about a 15 minute walk from our hotel.  I tell you I must be getting used to the hecticness of Indian roads, because all the vehicles passing by so close and the horns always honking isn't bothering me as much now.  We finally arrived a Nehru Street...alive and well... and walked to the end of the street to find the sari shop we were looking for.  Nehru is full of people and you can find everything from gold, saris, shoes, clothing and even stainless steel dishes here....oh and don't forget cows everywhere!!

The sari store we first went to was about 4-5 floors full of material and clothing.  We looked at a few items...the men are very helpful in the store..., some of us bought things and then we headed to a second store...right next door.  This sari store was also very big and very busy.  Saris were on the top level so we headed up and found all kinds of sari materials.  When you buy a sari you basically buy 6 meters of's all about draping the material to create the sari.  You then put what they call a blouse under the sari, as well as a petticoat or skirt underneath.  It's a bit overwhelming many different kinds of material and a huge price range. I decided to buy two saris...both were on sale for half price....always looking for the bargain!!!!  For everything I needed I spent about 15,000 INR...$38...for both saris.  Can't wait to wear them before we leave!!!

We headed back to the hotel for lunch and then I caught up on some emailing during the afternoon.  Many of the shops are closed at this time, as it is siesta time....the streets almost become empty...very nice really.  By 4:00pm, a bunch of us decided to head to the Grand Bazaar...or the local do some more shopping.  On the way I started to feel a bit sick...have been feeling a bit off for a few Jennifer and I went in search of a bathroom....easier said than done in India.  When we finally found one...back at the first sari store we went to, I had the lovely experience of having a GIGANTIC cockroach crawl up the toilet drain while I was there....OMG!!!!!!  I think I am traumatized for life by this whole experience!!!

Jennifer and I then headed back to the market and I took all kinds of photos.  I always love taking pictures in the's such a vibrant place.  The market has everything you could ever imagine...fruit, vegetables, spices, fish, flowers, textiles (fabric/clothing), jewelry and lots more that I didn't even get to see.  We spent a lot of time looking at fabrics and clothing and trying to make up our mind what we wanted...difficult task when they keep taking our more and more fabric!!  They actually will make garments for you right at the market and you pick them up the next day or so.  I bought some silk textiles and some raw silk material to make cushions for my living room couch...hopefully my dog doesn't eat these ones!!!!

We arrived back at the hotel around 7:00pm for a relaxing evening and dinner at the hotel....the food is very good at the hotel and the staff treat us like royalty.  They also mark all the food in the buffet by how spicy it is and whether is it veg or beef in India!!!

Another great day, but I could have shopped for so much longer.  I guess I'll have to fit it in sometime over the rest of the  weekend.

Until then.... 

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