Monday, December 12, 2011

The Detour from Hell....that Led to Shopping and A Little Revenge in Chandigarh!

Back when we visited the Ganga in October I posted and told you guys how Uncle ji went on some out of the way detour for a langur that added 5 hours and an overnight stay in Chandigarh to our trip. You can refresh your memory here if you have forgotten how angry I was lol. I can't believe I forgot to write about shopping as part of that post...just goes to show how pissed off I was! But thanks to a reader my memory was sparked about something good that happened on that's how it went. >:D

So after driving from the crack of dawn in the morning until almost 8 PM we stopped at Chachi's Chachi's house in Chandigarh. Immediately I noticed a huge difference between there and Amritsar. Chandigarh is much cleaner and the city is better laid out. While driving through there I also noticed how much more organized the traffic was. The parts we drove through were even better organized than Delhi!

The parts we drove through I didn't see any of the sadness that is associated with a developing country. We didn't pass any shanti's, blue tarps or tiny run down supposed to be houses. I always feel so sad seeing those because I can only imagine how hard their lives must be living like that. It was a sigh of relief not to have to see them for a change. Chachi's Chachi's house was really nice and tall. Her rooms were kind of small (as is fairly common here) and stuffed with furniture but the layout was perfect for an older widowed woman. She had 3 stories to her house and she rented out the top 2, one of which was currently vacant and was where we were all to stay.

Now, with Uncle ji being so rotten all that day the kids had been begging for food for hours. The only meal any of us had eaten all day was in the morning when he stopped at the langur. He refused to stop for food anywhere else because he was trying to make up the time so we could get home. I get that, but it's unrealistic with two kids in the car. They never seem to care how long the kids beg for food either because it quite often goes on for hours like that and they always make them wait until they get home. However....I am not without my own manipulations - courtesy of moving to India lol.

So as we arrived and I realized he was trying to send everyone to bed without food I decided to take matters into my own hands. Now, I have this trick I pull from time to time to be a full fledged participating member of the family. I break out the Punjabi on them. I started this at Agra to pick on hubby's aunt, Didi we call her. I always say someone else is hungry or something simple like that to get a good laugh out of the family. So I timed this attack well. I waited for everyone to be in the room and Uncle ji to sit down and I looked over at him and said "Uncle ji, Chachi shopping chauhida janna hai" (means Chachi wants to go shopping) to which they all started laughing and Chachi corrected me with some words I don't know and then Uncle ji reluctantly told everyone to get in the car. **translation - Bhabi wins!**

As it turns out Chachi's cousin was already at a large and popular mall and so we went there. This mall was in sector 17 though I have no idea of the name and no one in the house remembers it now. It's probably the only one though because truly, I've never seen a mall so massive - not even in NY! There were large movie ads with John Abraham topless (yummy!) and food and international brands and so much more. Way too many stores to get to in one night. There were enough stores that I couldn't for the life of me figure out what I wanted to buy or where to start. It's not too often a mall overwhelms me like that so I knew it had to be good. Knowing everyone was hungry I did insist on food but was told we should shop a little first. I was okay with that.

I wound up looking in many stores. I found an awesome pair of sunglasses with a jeweled "K" on each side that I wanted - until I saw the price tag and left the store lol. I'm flashy, not a millionaire unfortunately. I finally wound up with a pair of black and gold RayBans that weren't exactly what I was looking for but satisfied the purchase required before we could go to dinner. Then Uncle ji asked Chachi's cousin where we should eat. LMFAO!! This is where it gets good.

After asking everyone what kind of food they liked and such the cousin decided on a nice restaurant towards the back of the center. We walked over there and I thought for sure that Uncle ji would faint. The name of the restaurant is Gazal and you could just imagine the fat bill it would generate for 7 people to eat - Uncle ji's treat because he can't be shamed in front of Chachi's family. >:D

We sat down and in his true form he started looking for the cheapest things on the menu to eat and ordering for the kids. I am not so easy and neither is hubby. I ordered a 250 INR bowl of soup - twice. I really wish I could have gotten a picture of the look on his face when I ordered that but even I am not that rude. Yep, I spent 500 INR on just my soup and then I ordered an appetizer for me and niece to split and coke. He was not happy, but stuck with the bill anyway. Hubby ordered his own food too and in the end I got to see Uncle ji sweating over paying a food bill....all because he wouldn't stop for a 60 INR dhaba bill during the day so the kids wouldn't be starving.'s good to play the part of the unknowing American some days.

**250 INR is only about $5 in the US, however in India that is excessively high for soup. In the store a 4 serving package of the exact same soup cost 48 INR for the imported brand and the servings in this restaurant were only about half of a normal sized serving - hence I needed 2 hahaha**


  1. Revenge is sweet :) I would have done the same in your case considering Ucleji's rotten personality, and ordered a nice dessert as well even if not hungry to  really want one :)

  2. so r u saying that u ate only soup, appetizer and coke ... and you call that revenge .. lol .. you may not even had your fill

    250 for a soup is really pricey ... i dont know what f*** that gazal was ... it better be extremely posh ... almost like a 5-star

  3. you should've gotten something 'to go'... that would be really mean..:)

    also.. i read your previous post about the sweet potato casserole.... you should start shopping yourself... try doing it during the day... all women get stared a little... they get used to it, after a while you might start staring yourself a little like all aunties that stare... or you might deal with the people in your own way.... like Sharell Cook from .... she yells at any man who just follows her around and yells until they run away... it's funny if you picture it...

  4. Yeah, I thought about dessert but couldn't find anything good on the menu. Niece ordered dessert though. >:D

  5. Lol, after 2 bowls of soup and the appetizer and 2 cokes I couldn't eat any more. I would have if I could have. Unfortunately, despite living here 11 months, I have yet to adopt the Punjabi capacity for eating.

    And yeah that soup was crazy expensive. I wouldn't call the restaurant 5 star but they did have the lights really dim like nice places normally do. This time though I expect the lights were low to cover up the really bad carpet they had on the floor. The bathrooms were nowhere near 3 star, much less 5.

  6. I do stare some now. I practice my evil eye on a regular basis. My theory is that the people staring don't really matter anyway. They don't live with me and I don't have to please them to survive and be happy so why should I care if they waste their life looking at me? Seems like their loss because I'm sure there is something better they could be doing with their time than watching a very uninteresting scene where a woman walks down the road.

    You're right. I need to get out and do my own shopping. I'm working on that. Sharell lives in Mumbai, a much more westernized city than Amritsar. I don't see too many women running the streets here so it's a challenge to get approval on this issue.

  7. I've been to the same restuarant, my grans cousin lives in Mohali, so I've been a cpl of times on the way there. As for the staring, tell them YES, you are famous and would they like a picture to remember you by!

  8. Lol, I think Rohit would die if I let people take pictures! One of these days I'm going to finally convince him that people we don't know shouldn't be allowed to dictate how we live our lives and whether or not we have the right to walk in public lol. He's so concerned about everything - more than any other Indian I know. The boy gets embarrassed way too easily and I rarely get embarrassed over anything. That makes for quite a challenge.

  9. GirlsguidetosurvivalDecember 13, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Been to Ghazal few times. It was most expensive at that time and was the only good one, is it still so? Forgot the name of the one on the otherside that had the 1st elevator in a two story building?

    But Indian Coffee House was altime favorite. Good old times...

    Loved it,
    ... "Uncle ji, Chachi shopping chauhida janna hai" ...

    You are almost there. Reminded DG of her kindergarten days when she was asked to make sentences with GRASS, COW, GREEN, EATS.
    DG narrated this post to her dad and together they had a big laugh.

    Keep it up, Bhabhi you win.
    Desi Girl

  10. Oh yeah, it's still expensive lol.

    I purchased a few elementary level Punjabi school books to help me out recently. Chachi did try to correct my Punjabi when I said that but between her laughing at my statement and me not understanding words I've never heard before I have no idea what she said was the correct way of saying that. It still worked. Sometimes cute kid stuff really works I just gotta work on my cute kid face to go with it lmao!