Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Problem Solving in India

Last week I bought myself a new white blouse.  A girl can never have too many white blouses, am I right?  I got it home and took it out of the bag only to realize that it was missing a button.  There was no handy extra button sewn into an interior seam.  Ugh.  I was going to have to attempt to return it.  Now, little things like returning a top might not seem like a stress-inducing task back in the States, but the thought of doing it here was a daunting... exhausting.  

Yesterday, I finally sucked it up, and headed back to the store.

After having to check in at a little window outside the store, filling out a form for an "exchange," and depositing my carry-bag so I could pick it up later, I was finally allowed into the store.  I was directed to the customer service department, by four different helpful shop assistants, where I waited to explain my problem.  A trio of young men waited in front of me with an enormous stack of clothing.  After some yelling and gesturing, they were gone.  I was up.

"I bought this shirt last week and it is missing a button.  I need to either exchange it or return it."  

"No, madam.  Our tailor will fix it."

"Fix it?"  I asked dubiously.  "I need to make sure that the buttons match.  They have to be the SAME button."  (I'm sorry, but I can just imagine an unmatched button being attached to my blouse.)

"Yes, madam.  The same button."  With accompanying head-wobble.

My top was passed over to the "head tailor" who was sitting right next to the customer service desk.  I watched as the tailor examined the blouse, and then headed out onto the store floor.  He returned a few minutes later with an identical shirt.  He sat himself down at his station, pulled out an enormous, ancient looking pair of scissors, and snipped a button off of the second blouse.  Then, quick as a flash, he sewed that button onto my top.  

Before I knew it, I was outside the store, picking up my old carry bag, and examining my pretty button.

And so today, I'm wearing my lovely new top and the store is trying to sell a button-less blouse.  Again. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Warangal Part 2

After a bit of driving about, we finally found our way to Warangal Fort.  While the structures that are still standing are spectacular, what is particularly amazing is the massive amounts of carvings that are just littering the grounds.

Here's N with a headless bird.  Notice the bits of broken sculptures all over the ground behind her.

We had to pose with Ganesh, because it was the weekend of his big holiday, Ganesh Chaturthi.

Elephants guard the entrance to the old fort.
While the fort itself is fenced off, once you pay a small entrance fee you are free to roam about the entire complex.  There is very little signage and no one telling you where you can't go.  Total freedom for our kids who seem to enjoy exploring and imagining a place outside the bounds of more organized tourist locations. 
I wish we could have lugged this home with us.  No one would have noticed it missing.
12th century rangoli.  We see these same patterns created in colorful chalk and rice powder on our neighbors driveways. 

We have an enormous number of photos of elephant carvings.  It's hard to edit.
We scrambled over rocks, hills and walls to make our way to this tiny ancient temple. 
It was getting to be a pretty hot day, so we enjoyed the cool shade provided by the temple.  It's kind of hard to see in this photo, but the floors were covered in beautiful curling script.  We wondered if uncle Ian could read it.
And just look at that blue door!

H & N like to wear hats when we go out exploring.  It detracts from the blond hair -- a little bit. 

Then, it was back into the city of Warangal, for one last temple visit.  Stay tuned for Part 3!