Postcards from the Edge
Today I left Jodhpur on a jet plane, bearing an extra suitcase. Since I don't know when I'll be back to this "handicrafts" capital I loaded up on shimmery shawls and ganesha statues, prayer beads and shiny silver thali plates. This morning we made an emergency rickshaw run to a guy in the market prooffering the best of Taiwanese luggage, selecting a "Classic" blue and grey nylon suitcase for 700Rs. to cart this stuff to the airport.
Below, one of 5 floors at Maharani Arts Emporium, a wholesale depot stocking paisley pashminas, embroidered wall hangings, silk bedding and other textiles stacked from floor to ceiling and spilling out from mysterious back rooms. The ultra-charming salesman, a metrosexual who wrapped himself in each scarf before offering it, purred out the story of each piece: "This one is divine--so soft"; "kashmiri wool, very warm"; "Her-mees is buying this from us"; "Moskino likes this design" and the typical celebrity-shopper photo op, circa 1994, "Billy Corgen was just here, see photo?" One generally buys based on the look not the stories, which cannot be verified but are generally known to be false.