THE UNDI DAY
The northerners were getting restless to start plundering the city. I took them to the famous Shangyang gift market. It is a multi-million dollar sister concern of big names - Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Armani, Gucci, Rolex, Cartier, Microsoft, Adobe, Mathworks, Northface, Columbia and many more. Spanning an area that would require about a third of a day to traverse, it features "unpurchasable luxury" products at highly affordable prices. A Hugo Boss shirt costing 1800CNY also costs the same in the market, the difference is it could be bargained down to 80CNY. The number of Windows Vista CDs produced in this market is easily hundred fold more than what Microsoft ships for the entire USA, costing less than hundredth of the latter. Gucci would be awestruck to see that they are lagging behind Shanghyang market in terms of design and sales. Viki was excited about the market and he wanted Undis, the CalvinKlien ones. I've seen people buying stuff in bulk, which would mean 3-4 pieces to me. But this barbarian was so overwhelmingly impressed by the price of CK that he got around a dozen of them. He wanted to give few to his fellow northerners. Black, gray, V-cuts, striped ones, designer ones all of them bearing a prominent CalvinKlien on the strap, were bargained for about a twelve bucks each.
Next day was Viki's birthday and he threatened me to take to a genuine market to buy dresses (yeah northerners are not nomads covering their groins with leaves, they are slightly undercivilized compared to us, southerners). Bababan is a gigantic shopping mall, we hit the Giordano showroom straight, and we were bewildered to see Viki buying another half dozen Undis along with other trousers and shirts. I did some shopping too; not plundering like them and each of us got a travel bag as a gift for shopping at Giordano.
Post dinner (at Nizang, Nepali restaurant) we came to Xintiandi. It was dark and the nightly instincts of the two men were working. We (me and Bips) took them to Paulener, a German beer-guzzling place. Had an hour-long session of beer, jokes and paparazzing the neighbouring couple (couldn’t get any decent shot though), we headed towards The House of Jazz and Blues.
The best pub I've been till now and northerners were also tamed a bit by the sensational mood of Jazz. The front man Thaddeus, was an astounding trumpeter. Jazz is particularly my favorite genre music and it made me drink whiskey on the rocks, a shot of tequila and a tall mug of Erdinger. I also happened to talk to and got photographed with Thaddeus and Mr. Paul, the guest guitarist, who knew a great deal about Indian classical music. Magu and Bips were missing after sometime, we set out to search them and they were playing pool at a nearby bar.
Grabbed a taxi and uttered my magical protocol and gaily the driver got us home.