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Buying New Things.

The zip on Nitin's schoolbag was gone. And the zip on my daily use handbag was gone too. I figured it was time for a trip the handbag shop! Well, that's a pleasure for me. There's nothing I like better than browsing in a handbag shop than maybe in a bookshop. So I decided to get some money together.

The man who drives Nitin to school in the van (vanwala!) commented on the broken zip when taking the schoolbag from me. He advised me to go to the zipwala (person who fixes zips). But as a foreigner, whose husband is, let's face it, out of town for most of the time, I find this business of looking for repairmen rather tedious.

A man was cycling by calling out something in Hindi which I did not understand. The vanwala stopped him. Lo and behold! A zipwala had materialised. And he fixed Nitin's schoolbag in three - no two - minutes! For just ten rupees.

I brought out my handbag and asked him to fix the zip. The vanwala drove off as he had other kids to pick up for school. The zipwala fixed the bag. In a minute. He asked me to pay him thirty rupees. Wait a minute! Ten for the school bag, thirty for the handbag? In front of the vanwala, he charged a fair price. But taking me to be a 'rich' (?) foreigner, he was trying to extract maximum money from me. Now where was Yash, my husband? Somewhere inside the house. And don't forget, I'm out on the road in my nightgown. I've just seen a kid into a school van!

You know what I did? I gave him the thirty rupees! You see, the expenditure on the two bags was forty rupees. That's almost one Euro or one dollar. The price of a new handbag and a new schoolbag combined would not be less than four hundred rupees. That's ten dollars or Euros. More or less. I spent one dollar and saved ten.

That man certainly deserved his money. But just to be on the safe side, I'll take my husband along next time I negotiate!


  1. i agree with you: browsing in a handbagshops and in bookshops is the best! great bargain anyways!
    wish you a great week, justyna

  2. I love bargin hunting as well for those items. What an adventure you had I enjoyed reading this post.

    Have a great week ahead!!!

    Hugz Lorie

  3. I love the way you turned it around. Sometimes we also do feel it is appropriate to pay more if the service we receive is worth it.;)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Now I want a new handbag! No I don't. YES I DO! Actually I seldom carry one these days, but I do love them....and... shoes!

  6. This is wat elders say 'A stitch in time saves Nine' ;) lets talk about the saved 9 dollars instead of that paltry one dollar to an almost 'poor' man (though you can read wicked in this guys case), and this crook is nor going to buy a mansion with that 1 dollar.... Trust me!!! They do this more often to locals than ‘foreigners’…and even if you go out with your hubby doesn't make any difference, if not worse….Anyway here is one simple suggestion ….being an ‘Indian’(like Sonia madam), try to learn a few Hindi words and believe me…..they will do it for free …just a couple of words…..enough!!! will get things done just like that……:)

  7. It helps to remember what the exchange rate is when you are bargaining. You still got a bargain, relatively speaking, even if the zipper man tried to take advantage of you. It was only a little bit.

  8. What an interesting blog you have here. I like the black and green design, so distinctive. I've come via Zuzana's blog.
    I'm still smarting from the cost of posting some swaps to the USA. I hadn't realised the true cost until I had left the post office, I was getting confused with the exchange rate. I'm still wondering whether I was overcharged or whether it was the true price.

  9. intriguing adventure...that he just materialized especially. in the end he saved you much more...i imagine it was worth it.

  10. Dropping by from SITS also...thanks for stopping in.I must say I too love bargain hunting as well. There's nothing like it!
    Have a great day!

  11. I've also learned from past experience, to wait until Mr Ayak is available to accompany me when I need some serious bargaining!

  12. Justyna - I'm glad someone else shares my addiction!

    Lorie - Shopping is an adventure alright!

    Zuzana - You have to go with something if it feels right for you!

    Marie - Get a new handbag! You need to even if you don't really!

    Greener Bgr. - Thanks for your good advice!

    Mountain Mama - I think so too!

    Brian - It was interesting, wasn't it?

    LisaLisa - Thanks for coming over, I'll be back with you soon!

    Ayak - I suppose we've both learned the hard way!

  13. bad even after so many years living here u have to go though this agin and again..

    but its same in bangalore also..
    as i am hindi speaking and native language here is kannada so we have to pay extra for lots of things ..atleast u have ur husband who speaks hindi but here no such luck..

  14. Wise. Very wise.

  15. There's no way I'm every going to be a zipwala, just replacing the zip on a pair of trousers causes a lot of stress in this house (both to me doing it and poor other half listening!). I couldn't do it half as quickly as that either!

  16. I like how he turned up just as you needed him; the universe was aligned for you that day. I understand you paying but I never understand why someone ever tries to overcharge when it is obvious; you just won't use them again. False economy indeed. For him I mean.

    Thank you for your lovely birthday wishes; it's good to be back. x

  17. :-) oh you did it right!
    You know a school bag is a school bag, but maybe this man knows the importance of a handbag for a woman! Anyway big compliments to him. My mum is a tailor and she hates fixing zips because it's not such an easy task (I don't know because I've never done it...) :-)
    The fact that he managed in a couple of minutes is impressive!

  18. Chris - I can't do it at all - some things are best left to others.

    Helen - Glad you're back again, hope you had a great day.

    Daisy - he did it in seconds, I've never seen anything like it!

  19. take the husband AND a robe? ;-) What a deal-- I wish there was someone like that here to fix the many pairs of jeans I can't think of what else to do with when the zip is broken.

  20. Well, when you put it that way it is a savings but it's unfair that he charged you so much more for the handbag.

    Thanks for coming over and commenting on my blog. Enjoy the rest of your day.


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