Fri 1st January 2010
The first day of 2010 in Jaipur awoke us to another fine sunny morning averaging about 23 degrees, the equivalent of a summer’s day back home in the UK.
Today is a shopping day, I know I did have one a week ago but I wanted to visit www.somashop.com that had good reviews and was just nearby. Rajak dropped us off outside a very smart establishment with doorman at attention outside, as is the general custom here.
As soon as I entered Soma’s showroom I felt I had found the Indian equivalent of Laura Ashley, it was most beautifully presented with such vibrant colors’ and patterns emanating from all corners.
The hand block cotton and silk prints that they design and produce in-house were sumptuous and very pleasing to the eye from their home interior range of furnishing and ladies fashions. I immediately felt at home and spent a very pleasurable hour perusing the rails and trying on with no pressure to buy, coming away with an earthy sienna full length shawl neck dress, vibrant turquoise rider jodhpur style pants which matched perfectly my dupatta and rich burgundy trousers, all for 1,250 rupees. Very unlike Laura Ashley prices!
Shopping therapy replete we dropped by LMB for a Rajasthan Thaal which we had been promising ourselves as a treat for New Year. The thaal is basically a thali (a complete meal) which comprises of a huge metal round tray containing 15 or so mini dishes of traditional vegetarian Rajasthan food including rasam soup, veggie curries, sweet dishes, bread, papad and rice all for £4 each. One of the dishes we were not so keen on being very dry and stringy and left to one side only to be told that it was the delicacy called desert beans that are hand picked by the ladies from trees in the Thar Desert and are most expensive at 200 rupees a kilo!
All was washed down with rose sherbet which tasted literally of liquid Turkish Delight, very interesting!
The climax of the day was Rajak’s ageing auto-rickshaw breaking down on the way home, the accelerator cable giving up the ghost! So we spent a very entertaining hour and a half in the back streets of Jaipur observing the removal and replacement of said cable from a guy who had set up his rickshaw repair service on the pavement, with toolbox, for 40 rupees an hour.
A great day out!