Among all the things I appreciate about India, is how everything can be fixed, just like that. No fuss. No it-might-be-difficult. I arrived in India with a belt bag that had become too big. I like my belt bag, bought in Goa some years ago, made of genuine leather. So what to do?
You don’t have to walk long before you spot a shoemaker on the streets in India. They sit there quietly with all their well used tools around. We explained the problem, he put aside the work he was doing and without a word spoken he fixed my belt bag in five minutes. For almost nothing.
A week later, in Mumbai, I bought a jhola (a simple bag made of cloth). Joan and I was walking up and down Colaba Market, because I wanted that particular jhola, but the seller wouldn’t give it to me for 150 rupies and we thought – let’s find the same jhola elsewhere. Because that’s what very often happens; the same things are sold by various stalls. But, there seemed to be only one jhola of this kind…. Actually, we made it on our third try because Joan really knows how to bargain. But the next day, the zip broke down….and off to the nearest tailor I went. Because tailors are also found everywhere. I chose one I was familiar with; Smart and Hollywood (!) opposite Jehangir Art Gallery.
My jhola was examined, a zip was found and we agreed that I would come back a little later. The zip cost med 50 rupies (6 kroner), the work was free.
When you buy clothes in India, the magic word is alter. My favourite clothes shop in Colaba is aseesa. A tiny, tiny shop, always packed with people. They sell colorful dresses, every one a dream. I tried one, but found it to be too tight under the arms. – We can alter it Madam, no problem. Then it will fit perfect. We examined the seam, and well, I realised I would have to buy it if they altered it. But I said yes… So she whisked it away to a young man who disappeard to the back of the shop and asked me to come back in 20 minutes. Simple as that…. Everything can be made bigger, smaller, different – for free. So that you always get what you want…………