Wednesday, April 18, 2007

mumbai shopping - the street

This is one of several examples of street shopping available in the city. These informal shops and carts are everywhere. This one is outside the fabric market, mangaldas market, from yesterday's picture.

On this street you will find ready made clothes (compared to the fabric indoors that you can have tailor made) and used clothes (story: I have been told that sometimes the donations made to missions or NGOs of clothing sometimes never make it to the intended recipients, at least not in the form of a donation. The clothes are washed, I hope, and sold on the streets. Another interesting market for used clothes is a bartering system involving metal utensils. I have not personally done this or seen it done, but there are vendors who will come around to your house or building and you can trade say 3 kurtas or an old sari for a new metal bowl. Not really sure on the exchange rate, just trying to give you an example).
Other items on this road, dishes, bath mats, table mats, purses, shoes, I guess it would be the home and clothing section in your local mega market. I think the street shopping in mumbai is a delight, from food, jewelry, shoes is what I always get excited about in the US, the farmer's market or vendors on the streets. Funny, we are so modern in the west, but my favorite is an everyday way of life here in India. I have seen other Daily Photo bloggers from western countries talk about their street markets, also saying how they enjoyable they are.


Blogger Fabrizio ikol22 said...

Yes, just near home there's a daily (work days) street market and when I'm at home I enjoy to go there just to visit it. In Mumbai it sounds *grreeaat* :-) Anyway you said, they sell food too, so, this is question: is it fresh food (or just fruit and vegetables)? In other words is it safe to buy food in a street market there?

1:43 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

both, fresh food, bhaji wallas and fruit wallas, sell veggies and fruit and cooked food. Then you have all sorts of fried snacks (samosas, wada pau), fresh fruit juice, sandwiches. Safe? my rule is if it is cooked and covered it is edible, but I have been here two years and my stomach can bear it most of the time.

Uncooked things such as chutnies (sauces), fresh veggies or the fruit juices I avoid. I will eat those only in proper restaraunts. Also, need to avoid a lot of the foods during monsoons, waters get mixed up, sewage and tap water.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Crankyputz said...

You make me so nostalgic, I love barganing with the street sellers

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have seen the "barter lady" a couple of times at my grannies' place. the lady decides the exchange rate for the utensils based on the clothes u give her & u hv to ofcourse bargain. i had seen them only in the old middle class areas of Mumbai like Dadar where there r just small old buildings and no enclosed "societies" where street hawkers rn't allowed. but they are a disappearing breed :(.


7:17 AM  
Blogger Stacie said...

oh thanks. Yeah, I had heard about these 'barter ladies' from someone who had grown up around Mahim/Dadar area and Shivaji Park.

thanks for the explanation anon

8:59 AM  
Blogger Shailesh said...

The best part is negotiations Most ladies get ready near evening time (almost everyday or alternate) and leave for "shopping". Basically they are buying vegetables and fruits for family. They will pick up other things they like on their "shopping round". The best part is negotiations. You should see the way negotiation goes...If the seller does not reduce price per KG of say potato, they will pick one or two extra :-) [ofcourse, the seller sees that but does not say anything]. Both party feels like having won and retun satisfied at the end of the day. I guess that satisfaction drives the whole market. Unlike western countries, in India, "shopping" is everyday event.

3:50 AM  

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