Saturday, April 9, 2011

Retail Therapy

Spring break is coming to a close. For the first half of the vacation, we headed up north to Dharamsala and ate as many momos as we could get our hands on. Having lived in Delhi for most of three years now, we find that leaving Delhi is almost a requirement every couple of months. Going up to Dharamsala was a very hassle-free trip and it afforded us some great sites as well as some semi-fresh air.

The second half of our break was spent here in Delhi. We recuperated our lab, Jyoti from the kennel (a.k.a. puppy camp) and have had some quality time with her. Then, today we hit up our two favorite malls, The Promenade/Ambience Mall at Vasant Kunj and Select City Walk/The Metropolitan at Saket. I guess, technically we hit up FOUR malls today, but Indians love to put malls so close together--actually, right smack dab next to each other--that I don't think they count as separate malls, even though you have to go outside to get from one to the other.

I am not usually a mall rat. Neither is Chad. But, this was retail therapy with a point. We wanted to start scouting out what baby things are going to be available to us in Delhi, and what do we want to cram in our suitcases and bring on the plane when we come back to Delhi after summer vacation. We found our new favorite store; or, as Chad says, "We found our winner, winner chicken dinner." Mothercare will be the motherload for all our baby needs in Delhi. And, the runner up in the contest is Chicco. Interestingly enough, there was a Mothercare store (I can't say that I feel very affirmed by the name of the store) both at Saket and at Vasant Kunj. The one at Saket was a bit bigger, but not as nicely organized. The one at Vasant Kunj had better organization but not quite as much merchandise. Similarly, there were Chiccos at Saket and at Vasant Kunj, and both were of similar size/layout.

Mothercare had almost everything I can imagine that we will need: clothes for newborns, even some clothes for premies, blankets, hats, sweaters, bedding, bassinets, cribs, mattresses, reusable diapers, changing tables, baby toiletries, strollers, car-seats, bibs, nipples, bottles, sterilizers, steamers and baby food makers, safety items (household baby-proofing items), carry-cots, bathtubs and car seats. I am sure that I am forgetting many things that they had in the store.

If you are an IP and are afraid that you are going to forget something in your home country, and are afraid to shop in Delhi, this will be the place for you. Furthermore, the prices at these stores didn't seem exorbitant. I haven't been to a baby store in the US, so I'll keep you posted on what we find when we get back to Indiana, but, the prices at the mall in Delhi for baby things seemed reasonable. The rule of thumb for shopping in India is this: local goods are CHEAP, and imported goods are REALLY EXPENSIVE. So, for example, when buying electronic items in India, one can expect to pay 1.5 to 2 times the cost of the same item in the US (Macbook Air that I'm coveting in the US is $1000, and in India is $1500). But, I can have the tailor come to my house, measure me, and copy my linen pants for a quarter of what they cost me at Banana Republic in the US.

Needless to say, I am so glad we found these baby stores because it will save us having to cart so many items from the US. Only two disappointing things about Mothercare (beside the name): first, I felt like all of the strollers were a bit rickety. We are a family that loves to walk. I can't imagine that this will change after we have children. While we live in a very nice part of Delhi with wide streets and some usable sidewalks, I don't think that any of these strollers would make it as an out-of-doors stroller in Delhi. Second, while they did have some clothing for teeny, tiny babies (preemies up to 5 lbs), there wasn't a huge selection. If it turns out that we are having twins, I imagine that we will need some itsy-bitsy clothes, and I think that we'll have to bring some clothes with us next time we fly from the US to Delhi. Fortunately, though, the store had quite a few outfits for babies up to 7.5 lbs (these clothes were labeled "tiny babies").

Chicco also had a decent selection of baby clothes, strollers, car seats, baby monitors, nipples and bottles and a few other odds and ends. The selection was much more limited than Mothercare, and they didn't have any clothes for preemies or tiny babies like Mothercare did.

We are so early in our pregnancy that we resisted the temptation to buy anything. But, it was a lot of fun getting out there and seeing what's available in Delhi. Our plan is to make a list of the things we'll need and then go fake-shopping at the end of the school year in about 6 weeks, which will also be near the end of our first trimester. We won't buy anything then, but we'll know what we need to buy in the US. Then, we head back to Indiana for June and July. We'll get all of the things that we can't get in India. Then, when we come back to Delhi at the very end of July (nearing the end of our second trimester), we'll move to a different (hopefully bigger) apartment and start to set up a nursery.

What a fun way to end Spring Break!!


  1. I can't imagine. I'm so sure that by the time we find out if we are positive or not Jeff will have hidden all of the charge cards.

  2. Well I have been fortunate and been given a hugh load of really premmie/ extra small outfits that triplets here have outgrown(for 31 weeks ).... and am sure that by the time we leave Delhi we might have outgrown some as well.... so if you don't mind hand-me-downs we will leave some for those people following us. They are sooo cute!

  3. Kevin, I'd say the same thing about Chad, but at this point it's hard to tell who's going to go more out of control spending on baby things!

    Paula, we'd love the hand-me-downs. We'll be going to the US during summer vacation (June/July), so we'll be able to buy some premmie clothes, but anything that we don't have to transport on a plane is going to be great.

  4. Looks like we might be there early May... maybe if you want to catch up we can email... .... they think twins willbe delivered early!