Shop Till You Drop

Have I mentioned too often how brutally hot it was? I was there in June, and every day it was so blistering that it was an effort to go anywhere or do anything. Regardless, I was now within a few days of having to go home to the States again, so it was time to grit my teeth, get out there and see some things in old Udaipur, no matter how uncomfortable it was.

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Men are hunters, women are gatherers. So it has been from the time of cavemen, and so it remains. Women are gatherers, ergo, we love shopping. Udaipur has several sparkling new shopping malls which are convenient and good for shopping for certain things, but for photo ops and aimless strolling, I love local markets where the shops are tiny and streets are narrow. These markets are outside of the usual tourist zone, another reason they are dear to my heart.

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The dudes obliged and took me to the market area. There are many markets in the center of town: Bapu Bazaar, the spice market and the vegetable market are only a few of them. There are no tourist treasures for sale here, but I wasn’t souvenir shopping. I was in the market for gathering images.

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The clock tower is the beacon that beckons you to the old market area. It had been neglected for many years, but this year they are sprucing it up. If you Google “Udaipur clock tower images,” this is the one you’ll see.

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There’s a second clock tower within walking distance of the first one that I wasn’t aware of until Rafiq pointed it out to me. This one reminds me of a dovecote. If it hadn’t been so wretchedly hot, I would have asked if we could have gone up in it.

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Idly I wondered if it was because of the heat that the streets weren’t choked with shoppers. Still, no matter how much room you thought you might have at any given moment, you always had to pay attention that a motorscooter or a tuk tuk wasn’t about to mow you down.

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This was the same day and the same area in which I found black soap, much to my delight. There were no fabrics or electronics, mainly housewares, grain and spices. At the center was the vegetable market, where we headed next.

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