Category Archives: Shopping

Gettin’ Stitched

DSC_0107

I went to my neighborhood market this weekend to get fabric for summer clothes. The best way to beat Delhi heat is to wear all cotton “pajama” suits – three peice suits (pants, shirt, and scarf) are the standard summer ladywear everywhere in South Asia. I remember the first time I heard about these “suits” I pictured Ann Taylor Loft, when I should have been picturing MC Hammer (which is, by the way, a world more comfortable).  You can go to just about any fabric store to pick out three coordinated peices of fabric to bring to your tailor for a custom made suit. They actually won’t let you buy any peice indiviudally; you have to buy all three. By next week I should be able to show some of the final products from this market and others I’ve found along the way. Happy sewing!

DSC_0109 2

DSC_0112

DSC_0530

Fire Starter

DSC_0996

In Nepal my friend Diana showed me this awesome fire starter she got in Annapurna – a small metal and leather folding pouch (like a mini-purse!), that held a quartz rock to strike against the metal to make sparks to light a fire.  Would’ve been a perfect guy-present for my brother Nate, but I didn’t come across one while I was there.  Why are male presents so hard?  If only men wore scarves.

DSC_0979

DSC_0983

DSC_0989

Misa Pop-Up Shop – Kathmandu, Nepal

DSC_0077

My old friends in Kathmandu held an incredible pop-up shop in Imago Dei‘s gallery area earlier this month.  They brought in beautiful clothes, jewelry, and cloth from Northern Pakistan, and the ladies couldn’t get enough. The event was a total success, and I loved seeing my friends do something so entreprenurial.  I got a few choice peices myself, which I’ll be making into some great outfits back in Delhi.

DSC_0080

{Beautiful printed ready made tops}

DSC_0132DSC_0094DSC_0067

{Fun jewelrey}

DSC_0052 DSC_0084

{Beautiful fabric to make South Asian-style three peice suits}

DSC_0092

{Amazing intricate fabric I’ll be making some formal dresses out of}

DSC_0117 DSC_0110

{A great touch – locally made bags out of paper}

DSC_0119

{Bright shoes}

misa pop upDSC_0144

{The beautiful and talented organizers}

Lauren and Chrittie in Lajpat

DSC_0545

March was filled with the best of the best visitors from back home.  We got to show all of them around Delhi, and was really amazed by how much everyone loved India, but how they all took in each aspect of the city so differently.  But there was one unanimous favorite of all visitors: Lajpat Nagar Market.  My mother first called Lajpat my “WalMart” of Delhi.  It is a crazy bustling market, where you can buy everything from gold-chained sweatpants to brass cultery and stationary, all for a bargain.  Everyone loved the liveliness of the market, the deals, going home with fun treasures to remind them of everyday Delhi life.  I took my camera with last week when my friends Lauren and Christie were visiting, just as they began their shopping spree (first of two that is).

DSC_0541

DSC_0529

DSC_0537

DSC_0525

DSC_0533

DSC_0534

DSC_0535

Gold Rush

DSC_0325

Anywhere you go in India, even in the most remote areas, you’ll find women wearing amazing, intricate, bold gold jewelry. While I can’t afford to buy the real stuff, they have a lot of options for costume jewelry that get just as many compliments :).

I found a narrow store called “Dubbai Gold” (you know it’s legit because it has two b’s) in the Lajpat market not wider than four feet, but that stretched back filled to the brim with beautiful gold costume jewelry. All the pieces we bought were silver plated with 24 karat gold, and after some lengthy bargaining was pretty damn affordable. It’s also a good way to see what I really love before I splurge for the real thing.

DSC_0323

DSC_0420 V2

DSC_0458

DSC_0327

DSC_0430

DSC_0326

Rack it: Bangle Holder

DSC_0321

My girlfriend Lakshmi first introduced me to the concept of a bangle holder. I remember admiring her extensive bangle collection that necessitated such a smart, compact holder just for bangles. I finally found a nice hand carved one in Shimla a couple of weeks ago, and was amazed by easily it broke down for convenient packing down the line.

DSC_0257

{Easily transportable from Shimla to Delhi and beyond}

Bangle Collage

{Peiced together easily}

DSC_0311

{Final Product}

Sugar and Spice

DSC_0461

Last week I went to Jodhpur for work, and got a chance to check out the local clocktower market before heading home to Delhi. The place was bustling with everyday shoppers, cows, and plenty of tourists, and it was incredibly fun to peruse on a sunny evening after work.  Since I moved to Delhi, I still can’t bring myself to buy and use all these spices since I am still so overloaded with spices in everyday food outside of the home.  Even the cookies I’m given at meetings have curry in them.  I am pretty sure that my blood masala content is at least 10% on an average day in India.  But before I move away, I do plan to stock up on these spices because I know I’ll miss it like crazy wherever I go next.  South Asians must find the rest of the world so bland…

DSC_0462

Jodhpur collage

DSC_0458

DSC_0480

Bringing Adventures Home

DSC_0473

When traveling for work I often forget to buy souvenirs, either because I don’t have time or I’m overwhelmed by quick and fleeting opportunities to buy things.  I’ve definitely gotten better with it the past couple of years, and now am the proud owner of an impressive ensemble of trinkets. They are the only thing that really gives my home personality, and also makes me feel surrounded by my years of adventures.  Last week I went to the desert in Jaisalmer and felt like I had gone to a whole other world.  I made sure to grab a momento of the camels, sand dunes, and sand stone that covered the landscape.  Don’t forget to bring your vacation home with you.

IMG_3403

{Camels in the Jaiselmer sand dunes}

DSC_0475

{The larger clay display in the clock tower market}

 DSC_0560

{Two camels and a horse that now live on our living room bookcase}

Rounds of Ribbons

DSC_0451

South Asia is full of color, and the clothes are no exception. I don’t think people consider an outfit complete until you have incorporated at least 10 colors – and I am a total convert.  There are literally streets in India filled with just decorative ribbons for clothes, which my Aunt Cathy brilliantly advised me to buy for gift giving and festive decorating.  So for a few ruppees you can get yards and yards of bright ribbon, with variety that would pretty much overwhelm anyone.

DSC_0449

{Intense bargaining in the making}

Adaptation

PicMonkey Collage

{Top row plug configurations, left to right: England, Timor-Leste, Nepal; 

Bottom Row: Full adapter set + 2 to 3 prong converter centered} 

Best. Adapter. Ever.

Having the correct plug adapter when traveling used to be stressful for me, paricularly for extremely long journeys across multiple countries. Then my father, an extensive and experienced work traveler himself, gave me this adapter when I graduated from grad school. It is cheap, small, light-weight and I have yet to find a place where it doesn’t work.  I loved it so much I wanted to buy them by the dozen, but took forever to find them again.

Extra Tips:

  1. Keep the instructions. Each new outlet requires a reconfiguration of the two small pieces. Or you can just throw them away for a rubix cube worthy challenge.
  2. Also bring a 2 to 3 prong converter (the gray piece in the bottom center of the picture above), as the adapter only works for 2 prong plugs.