On the 27th, Monica's cousin visited us. He wanted to take us out to buy something (this is the done thing in India, it's not polite to refuse). We took a cab to New Market again (actually, only partway, as he had an argument with the cabbie and we got out and walked). He was looking for a bronze statue for us, we went from place to place and were being asked for inflated prices. Things usually ended in an argument and we walked out. Eventually, I tried waiting outside the shop - as soon as we tried this, the prices roughly quartered. The message is, if shopping in India, take a local! He also got a leather wallet for me - it's Indian style, brown with nice patterns on it. It's a bit large for trouser pockets, but just right when I'm wearing a jacket.
We headed back on the metro (which was packed) and then to Monica's Mum's appartment.
In the evening, Anupam arrived with a chadoor for me, as I said, it's really hard to stop people buying gifts! The chadoor is great, essentially it's the West Bengal equivalent of the poncho. It's a short long blanketlike thing which you wrap around your torso, and it keeps you very warm. It came in handy when I had some time sailing on the English Channel earlier this year!
On the way back a taxi driver tried it on saying that I'd given him the wrong money, I know I hadn't. The difference was 50p or so equivalent, so not the end of the world, but it was the principle of the thing (I'd even included a tip!)
The thing I hate about India is that it can sometimes seem that everyone sees you as an easy mark. I understand it, relatively speaking we're well off, but it's very tiresome. There was one cab driver who was up front about it, he asked for a higher price, and when I pointed out that he was overcharging he said 'yes, but I've given very good service!' We agreed with him, and he got his cash. I didn't mind that, I did mind when people were sneaky about it, trying to play us for fools.
I don't want to overplay that, though - that's a small part of this great country.