Yesterday we made a visit to a paper making factory in Sanganer just south of Jaipur--had a great tour of the process from start to finish. They use fabric to make their paper--this is where Anokhi sends all its scraps. And at the end of the tour were two great big tables around which women were attaching handles to the Anokhi shopping bags which seemed very fitting for us. These are not just any old paper bag; the paper is sturdy and attractive. I'll be bringing a couple home with me.
We then went to the main post office in Jaipur to mail home some of our purchases. I decided to lighten my load considerably by sending everything I don't need from now on...first we had to line up at a wicket to get it all weighed and costed. Then we took our various bags to "customer service" which was a man standing behind a table in the lobby. It was utterly fascinating to watch him at work. He started by stacking my shopping bags to create a fairly uniform cube (I had tried to do it in advance on a corner of the table, and he stopped me, "No madam, I'll handle that", and sure enough he managed to create a uniform shape with newspaper and string. Next came the custom made bag. He was using old sheeting, and he measured and ripped a piece of cloth that he sewed with a very quick running stitch into a bag. Then my goods were slipped into this bag and he stitched it shut. I asked if I could take his photo, and he said "sure, why not?" He's probably been a source of entertainment for tourists for years. I then had to line up at yet another wicket to send it. This package weighed over 11 Kg and cost me about 3200 Rs (around $80) to send via SAL post.
We spent the rest of the day shopping! Can you imagine...
Today we move onward to Ramthambore national park and hope to see a tiger early tomorrow morning. That'll be a nice change from the shops!