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One Week and Several Thousand Rupees Later and We Still Have the Same Old Rugs

Our housing came with some rugs. They were decent enough at first, but as we got settled we decided we wanted something a little more personal. They are cheap Oriental-style rugs, not colors that we like, and they weren't cleaned well before we moved in. The best thing we could say about them was that the intricate design hid all of Muffin's spit-up well. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement.

We'd seen plenty of shops around town with basic, solid-color rolls of carpeting so we thought it would be no problem to get a couple pieces. We have two living rooms and wanted a new rug for each. To save time, I sent our driver out to get swatches and prices.

He couldn't get any color samples or swatches. No one believed him that we wanted plain, inexpensive solid colors rather than fancy Oriental rugs. So two Saturdays ago we loaded up Muffin and went to the Begam Bazaar district to look at carpeting ourselves. The first few places we looked at only had outdoor or industrial carpeting, nothing soft enough for Muffin's crawling little knees. We went to a nicer shop that our driver knew of and after we insisted that we did not want an expensive Oriental rug, the shopkeeper relented and showed us some swatches of wall-to-wall carpeting that could be cut and bounded into the 12 x 9 size that we wanted. We chose two colors, put down a payment (we didn't have enough cash on us!), and agreed to pickup the rugs and pay the balance in three days.

Three days passed and a series of cryptic text messages started coming in to Mike's phone. We eventually deciphered that the blue carpet we wanted wasn't available, only the red one, but he could give us "candy" brown (chocolate, I guessed) as a replacement. The blue wouldn't be in for weeks, maybe longer, the shopkeeper said. I said we'd take the red, take the balance of our money back for the blue, and buy the blue in a few weeks when it was back in stock. Within hours of my saying that the blue carpet was back in stock, miraculously.

On Friday our housekeeper rolled up the old rugs and swept and mopped the floors to prepare for the new rugs. Our driver picked them up and he and Mike rolled them out. We vacuumed them and noticed a problem. The red one had a hole in it. Pretty big. Right in the middle. We made arrangements with the shopkeeper to bring it back on Saturday and he could replace it by Monday. On Saturday afternoon I noticed the rugs needed vacuuming again. But the vacuum cleaner didn't pick anything up. We've had our vacuum saga, with this being the third one in six months and just recently being repaired, so I was about ready to throw the vacuum cleaner out the window with frustration. Instead, though, I started taking the pieces out to look for a clog. The entire system was clogged with red and blue carpet fuzz. Just rubbing your hands on the carpets was bringing up fuzz. Fuzz was sticking to Muffin's clothes as she played on the rug. I changed her diaper and there was carpet fuzz in there! That was the last straw. Both of these rugs had to leave our house.

Today I am gearing up for my third trip to the carpet shop. Mike has done most of the dealing; my job as wife (in this male-oriented realm of handling the money in India) has been to pick out the colors. But Mike has to go to work and we don't want to waste another weekend trying to get rugs so it's now my job to close this deal once and for all. It's doubtful we'll get our money back so I'm prepared to choose the equivalent amount in an Oriental rug. I have half a mind to try charging the rug guy for the hour's worth of maintenance Mike and I did on the vacuum cleaner to unclog it. I don't think I'll be able to get that point across effectively though.

Here's where I make a confession: I don't particularly care for Oriental rugs. I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into the really good ones and some day when we have our own house with a room that cats and kids never go into, I wouldn't mind having one if I like the colors, but so far I've never seen one that I love. Nothing else in our decor scheme is Asian-inspired so an Oriental carpet smack dab in the middle of bulky armchairs and sofas (that also came with the house, not chosen by us) just looks ridiculous. The best I'm hoping for today is something a little more geometric and less squiggly-scrolly in colors that I like.

This last week, India has really been trying my patience. By Saturday night I was ready to shut myself in and never leave the house. Between basic tasks and seeking out "India" experiences I feel like everything I try is failing. We couldn't even go for a freakin' walk in the park on Saturday because of the stupid hours all the parks keep!

But I'll put on some India-appropriate clothes today, instead of jeans, and see what I can do about these damned rugs.


Jill said…
It would be at this point (and admittedly far earlier) that I would have blown a gasket and stormed into the store waving my hands, on the verge of shouting at the men to give me a carpet or give me my money. NOW!

Good luck! And if you ever have any of what we called, "India days" where you want to vent ... you know where to find me!
Veronica Lee said…
Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog.
Have a nice day!
Heather Dray said…
You have been featured on this week's State Department Blog Round-Up! Please email me if you disagree with the content or would like to have the link removed. Thank you for your hard work! Heather @

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