A Visit to Little India

This post is also available in: Spanish

Recently, Isabel took her granddaughter, Andrea, and me on a little shopping adventure to Berkeley, California’s own Little India. It isn’t officially called this, but Little India really is an appropriate name for the area, which is full of Indian shops selling spices, beautiful saris and other goods, all imported from India.

But here’s the thing: The stunning little shops filled with the most beautiful materials and Bollywood-worthy fashions all seem to be owned by just a few people! I could be wrong about this, but it isn’t because I am a stupid American and think all Indian people look the same. That’s not it—I promise. The simple truth is that whenever we asked for a particular tunic in a different color or size, the shop owner would simply walk down the street to the next shop and come back with an armful of alternatives. Other times we would walk down to the next shop and see the VERY SAME people working there that we’d just seen in the previous store. “Weren’t you just at the last place?” we would inquire, a question that was always met with shy giggles or furrowed brows. That said, it was a fun afternoon and we all came away with some really pretty Indian treasures.

Here are a few discreet shots of Isabel shopping for fabric. For some reason, cameras were strictly forbidden in the stores. I got in trouble at every place…It was such fun!


6 Responses to A Visit to Little India

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  2. D. Adams August 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    Re this blog post: ” . . . it isn’t because I am a stupid American and think all Indian people look the same. That’s not it—I promise . . . ” and the rest of the comment. WHO wrote that? How pathetically unworldly. Have you never travelled? That’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone say all Indian people “look the same.” While growing up in San Francisco too many people said all black people look the same and all Hispanics look the same. That is short-sighted and it’s a comment that comes from narrow-minded people; I haven’t heard such idiotic statements in years, thank God, and there it is on your blog. Are you serious? Also, in San Francisco’s Mission District, for many years neighbors shared goods rather than lose a sale. That is also true in most of the Caribbean, Thailand, parts of French Polynesia . . .

  3. Jeannie Cotter August 2, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    Isabel, I just gave you a birthday shoutout at http://www.twitter.com/jeanniecotter


  4. Roberto E. Icaza July 31, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Hi Sarah! I was reading your post and remembering the local markets of my country in Central America. In local markets happens the same, if you need something that a store owner can’t provide, someone run rapidly to look another store and “borrow” some item from the other store owner. If the sale is produced the owners make arrangements between them, if not merchandise is returned.
    Maybe this is ordinary in little stores or something like that or markets. It’s my guess!

    I am suscribed to this blog almost a year ago. Your writing is very cheerful and vivid and you provide recent news about Isabel. For fans it’s a little treasure.

    I have all Isabel’s books and one of my sisters and my mother have read them ALL!!! I don’t know if Isabel read this blog but I have spent a good time reading all her work. I have learned about many things and her characters are simply fascinating.

    My favourite book is Portrait in Sepia (Retrato en Sepia) and Paulina del Valle the main character is amazing. I have read that book five times. For some reason the vigorous personality of Paulina character makes me laugh a lot and her ideas for her time, the most.

    At the same time another of my favourites list are Paula (read 3 times), The Infinite Plan (read 2 times), The Sum of Days (read 3 times), but every book has an ingredient that makes it special.
    In these days I am reading again The House of the Spirits and I was amazed about parts of the history that makes it new again, in spite of the images of the movie.

    I was shocked about the history of Maya in the last book, but in the end drug addiction is a terrible desease of modern times.
    Sorry for my English and just wanted to say thank you to Isabel and her work that has given us (the readers) a new and fresh literature, easy to read and comprehend.

    Thank you Sarah! Your blog entries are great and from a fan my best for you, Isabel and her family!

  5. Jeannie Cotter July 30, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    Isabel, you look absolutely stunning in that attire..From a distance, people would have mistaken you for a Malaysian/Indonesian tourist enjoying a day out shopping around Berkeley..

  6. Florencia July 30, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Jajajajaj!! querida Sarah!! tienes toda la razon… son todos iguales… jajajajaj!!….y de seguro son todos familiares asi que todos para uno y uno para todos…. cada tienda es de la familia…. aca tenemos el barrio Patronato.. que Isabel te cuente.. ace muchos años atras era solo barrio de los Arabes….. con el tiempo hubo un Boomm de Chinos ,Coreanos.. y abarcaron todo el barrio. desplasando a los Arabes!!… y de verdad entro aun negocio… y los de al lado .. parece que fueran los mismooo!! jajajajajajaj!!
    Se nota que lo pasaron muy bien!!!!…. ami se me pasan las depresiones , vitrineando y comprando alguna cosita .. jajaj!!
    Las cosas Indus son muy lindas, coloridas,, tienen como magia. al igual que las Arabes!!! te conte que cuando sea a buela mis nietos me llamaran Nini???
    A proposito como van los preparativos para el GRAN dia ( 2 de agosto)… a la distancia..YOOO estare presente….
    Mi linda Sarah!! mi cariño viajando por el mundo.. para llegar junto austedes.. y porfavor.. dale un abrazo muy fuerte a mi querida Isabel!!! te quiero linda!! bendiciones!!

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