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We like to think of Peterman’s Eye as an old fashioned interactive community newspaper (if there is such a thing) focused on travel and curiosities. Talk with us about today’s post. Tell us about the places you’ve been. Or take a trip using J. Peterman’s exclusive travel services (coming soon). Read more...

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Our taxi turns off the MG Road and we’re instantly stopped, swallowed by the mass of human traffic. Our driver gamely noses the car forward but not before an old Hindu woman accosts my guide who is sitting up front. It happens in a flash. Through the crack in the window, she pokes him hard in the shoulder before vanishing into the crowd.

“What was that?” I ask.

 “She wanted money, abused me, then left,” Ramesh explains calmly.

We continue on our way, and Ramesh tells me a far more interesting story about the eunuchs who “operate” in his neighborhood. Recently, his mother had to bribe them so they would not disrupt his sister’s wedding. The mother gave them each a gold ring as insurance. I wonder what were they prepared to do. Ramesh claims they would have disrobed during the ceremony, causing his family untold embarrassment.

We reach our destination, the Chor Bazaar. Literally, the name means “thieves market,” but the merchants insist that it’s a perversion of the Urdu word “shor” which means “noisy.” Either way, the streets are filled with hawkers and handcarts piled high with Raj-era bric-a-brac, brass doorknobs and silver hookahs.

We forge ahead in the stifling heat—“Mad Dogs and Englishmen,” indeed. Emerging from the hustle and bustle and many darting children, we reach the relative calm of Mutton Street. Although the antique shops here are now filled with ingenious reproductions, I still hold out hope for that rare colonial artifact. Perhaps I’ll find it at the Mughal Bazaar, site of past successes.

Can you discern a real from a fake?


J. Peterman


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2 Members’ Opinions
March 10, 2009 1:10 AM
First-com luludemajorque said...

I am no expert when it comes to discerning a real from a fake, but I would like to share a story with you a propos of the Hindu woman. This particular story though involves a Moroccan beggar woman and my sister who had been living, at the time, in Marrakech one of her three years there. The family had moved from a hotel to a moderately upscale aprtment complex. My sister drove her sons to school every morning at he same time, and every morning she encountered the same beggar woman with her five small children in tow humbly asking for money. Beth would hand her a dirham or two - knowing that it was relatively extravagant but she could not help herself seeing this woman in such dire straights. After months of this schedule, Beht noticed that the woman failed to appear for about a week. She wondered about her until one fine day the woman reappeared without her children. That morning she forced herself into my sister's car and sat in the back seat along with my school-bound nephews. "You must get me a television" she demanded of my sister "it is the only way I can manage at home with five small children. If you give me a televison my children will be entertained and I will be able to go about making the beds, preparing the meals and cleaning, I may even be able to dissapear into the market place at times to buy it is right now I can barely cope at home. I have given this much thought and have realized that you must give me a T.V!!!" she shouted. My sister understood every word of he woman's broken French and even some of her moroccan, and she was outraged...She ushered her unceremoniously out of her car - which took much effort, yellying and bullying I understand. Beth was never quite as generous to a beggar in Morocco again!!

March 10, 2009 2:52 PM
790 10photoviews10videoviewsCom-100Com-300Com-500First-comFirst-photoFirst-videoHr-1Hr-5 MissIve said...

 Disrobing eunuchs? Now THAT I have to see. But perhaps not at my wedding, granted.


I loved your story. Especially this part: "I have given this much thought"

Do you imagine she took the week off to think? And then went to great lengths to find a sitter to execute her TV-strongarming heist?! Unfathomable.

I had a similar education my first year in undergrad, moving from the country/burbs to the big city. It began with me handing over the whole eight dollars I'd made on a lunch shift waiting tables to a woman in the grocery store parking lot and ended with her asking if  "that was all I'd made" and me taking the money back out of her hands, as you said, unceremoniously. 


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