Thursday, September 20, 2012

Commercial Street

9/22 update - relinked the pictures. Hoping Flickr and Blogger play nice together this time.

Commercial Street two years later doesn't seem to have changed all too much. On my first Saturday here, I ventured out there with two of my fellow trainers. While we didn't have many items on our shopping list - just some kurtas - we wanted to get out of our corporate apartments and enjoy the bustling streets filled with the sounds of lively haggling, the displays of colorful wares and the ever-so-tempting smells of street food.
We stopped for lunch at a Chinese restaurant before heading out. I've found that South India has surprisingly good non-Indian food, especially of the Chinese and Italian varieties. Mexican...not so much.

A candid shot of one of many street food vendors we encountered. I think these might have been peanuts? The rolled-up paper was the vehicle for these presumably tasty snacks. I haven't worked up the courage to try any of the street food yet.

One of the main intersections of Commercial Street. Contrary to its name, Commercial Street actually encompasses many different side roads, nooks and crannies in addition to the main street.


On display: traditional women's kurtas. These come in varying lengths and sleeve types.
This fellow saw me with my camera and gestured me into his store and asked me to take his picture. Maybe one day he'll encounter this blog and see himself here.

An interesting toy - sort of like those blow toys you see at birthday parties, but on crack.

An artfully displayed pomegranate.

The temptation of chicken nuggets haunts me even in India...

Almost everything here can be found in a masala flavor. It's basically synonymous with "a shitload of tasty spices."

A bovine friend I encountered on the walk home. He was furiously licking his side and back the entire time.

Although we spent a good three or four hours there, I ended up buying only two things: a kurta and a small jar of foot cream, both from Fab India. The kurta was the simplest one I could find - short-sleeved and cropped at the waist, basically a t-shirt - and the foot cream was to pamper my piggies a little bit (they sure have taken a beating recently with all the open-toe shoe walking and the Peruvian hiking and such). I can feel how these past two years of being largely on the road have made me much more of a minimalist. Last time I remember being in awe of everything on Commercial Street - I'd gawk at/want to purchase every last sparkly bauble or girly gizmo my eyes landed on. This time around I passed by colorful bangles ("unnecessary clanging"), intricate saris ("will drag on floor"), and shops lined wall-to-wall with shoes ("already have all the ones I need") without even stopping to bat an eye. I was much more interested in capturing some photos of my experience this time around. And eating at KFC. And taking a nap back at my apartment afterwards.

In conclusion, I am slowly but surely turning into a fat grandma at the ripe old age of 23.


  1. GET ME A KURTA! And a bag of Magic Masala chips. Or must masala flavored anything :) I love your pics of food. The chinese food even looks pretty authentic!

  2. Great photos. I especially like the woman by the peanuts giving you the evil eye.

    BTW, regarding your bovine friend, "he" is really a "she".


    A True Fan