Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We made a quick trip to India Wednesday afternoon....

I'm sorry I didn't get around to posting earlier on Wednesday.
Laura and I decided to head on out to India for the day.
Or at least that is what it felt like after we spent three hours shopping at Roop Sari Palace.

I had seen this store once before. I had been on my way to a business meeting and there had been no time to stop and look around.

I have been wanting to come back ever since. It is on a street called Harwin, which is about 47 miles from my home, so I just never got around to it.
I was always thinking that I would want to go there with a buddy.

Today Laura agreed to be my buddy and away we went.

Here's Laura in the parking lot in front of the enormous store.

We walked inside the store and our jaws just dropped.
Everywhere we looked there were beautiful saris twinkling with jewels and beadwork and embroidery.
We didn't even know how to begin to shop.
We didn't even know what size we wore!

Turns out we are both about a size 42. That is for the top part of the garment, the little crop top short sleeved blouse. It is made of the same fabric as the wrap part of the sari.

Eventually we grabbed a couple of saris and headed to the dressing room, with a nice Indian lady to help us learn the art of pleating and draping the garment.

We looked and tried on, looked and tried on...there was always one more fabulous garment to try. Lively Indian music played as we shopped, and the ladies in the shop looked like flowers walking as they drifted about in their colorful silk garments.

Three hours later Laura had a sari and all the accessories to go with it.
We were hungry by then. Thankfully all we had to do was walk across the parking lot to an Indian buffett restaurant.

I have never tasted such good Indian food!
While we enjoyed every bite and every sip of our mango lasse, we watch an Indian soap opera on the television overhead.

There were lots of soulful looks and silk fabric fluttering in the breeze as the young lovers went about.

I have no idea what the plot was about, but really liked seeing the costumes and the jewelry.
And all those romantic scenes.
I think I want to rent a Bollywood movie real soon!

After lunch we headed out to take in some more of the Harwin shopping. Harwin is the street in Houston where you go to get knock off items and imports for cheap.
Purses, luggage, jewelry, clothing, shoes, rugs, perfume, name it, Harwin has it.

I pointed to a shop that advertised "club wear" clothing and asked Laura to pull into the parking lot. She gave me that look and an "okay...." like she always does when she thinks I don't know what I am asking for.

These two mannequines were just inside the front door of the club wear store.
I think Laura was right; I didn't know what I was asking for.
This yellow dress isn't exactly my kind of clothes.
If the gal in yellow was in San Diego, she could enter the Miss Emerson contest.
As in "Em are some big 'ums..."
(San Diego insider joke.)

Next door was another sari shop. It was closed, darnit, but look at how gorgeous the bead work was on this one!

I got in some good shopping elsewhere: Aqua crystal dangle earring for $5.49, five pashmina wraps ($5 each, buy four get one free), and Laura got a red silk scarf hip wrap with gold coins. Perfect for belly dancing. She's taken a class and knows how to make those coins really jingle!

After that we headed home. As we drove, we talked about how fun it would be to one day go to India together.

Laura said she would fly in jeans, but before the plane landed, she would slip into the bathroom and change into an Indian:

Indian: As in dot, not feather.
The girl can ROCK a sari!

She knows all the moves.

She's got the look down from every angle.

And all the accessories too.

The forehead mindi, earrings with chain that extends into the hair and the necklace: bought as a set.
Cost: $10
Bangles: $10

Pretty, huh?

The hip ornament was pricy: $20.
So worth it; it jingles a bit while you walk.
We looked at saris that were $2,000. They were breathtaking.
Wondering how much this sari cost?
Take a guess.
The answer will be at the end.

It is surprising how much fabric is used in the wrap.
Laura wanted me to try on her sari too for Bernie to enjoy.
She helped me get the pleats and drapes right.
The pleats and the draping makes all the difference.
When you do it wrong, you look like you are just wrapped up in a bunch of sheets.
When you do it right....

It looks like this!

I love how the crop top and wrapped skirt lets the rolls of fat around the middle actually look kind of cute. You know, graceful like. Fluid and sensual. Comfortable with yourself.

The sari cost $33.00. Who could resist a bargain like that?
Come to think of it, the whole day was a bargain.
And totally priceless as well.


Jane Carlstrom said...

It looks like so much fun. Thanks for sharing your super day! You both look lovely in the sari.

Anonymous said...

How adorable! That sari looks great on both of you!

Another similarity: when we lived in Texas, my Laura took belly dancing lessons, too! I still have her costume and all the bangles, too. However, I'm not going to post a photo - she'd absolutely kill me, and so would my son-in-law!

Anonymous said...

Jill, thanks for pointing out that heart in my photo...I missed it, but spotted another one yesterday (I've added it to my post). Have fun in Natchitoches!

Lovella ♥ said...

I love the sari. They are so beautiful. I always envy their color choices. When we go into one of our mainstream stores the colours are generally the one or two that they deem in style for the season but in an indian store. . every colour is always an option.
The price of that sari is incredible. You could never even buy the fabric to make it for that money.
It looked wonderful on both of you. What an awesome buddy day.

Anonymous said...

You both look amazing in the India costume. I know your shopping trip was great fun. Keep up the good times together. HAPPY VALENTINE DAY !!!

Julie said...

Jill... When I saw Laura in her sari I was all poised to ask from which side of the family she inherited her Indian blood.. but when I got down to your sari photo I no longer needed to ask !!! smile

What a fun day !!!! Priceless!
Happy Valentines' Day !!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Oh, I wish you could have taken photos inside! What a glorious vision all those saris must have been...

What fun, I often wondered if they made sari's big enough for us tall Amazon types. I'd love to walk around all day in those long skirts and sweeping swaths of beautiful fabrics.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

PS: You are correct in guessing either oval or heart....hmmmm, I think heart-shaped would be my choice for a diamond engagement ring.

Anonymous said...

do you know of any other places that might carry belly dance costumes?...everyone says harwin is the spot, but i never go down there so I don't know where to look. Thanks for posting this! I will try roop sari palace at least I have a starting point now.