Monday, December 6, 2010

Roadside Flowers

For months I've ridden past the small stalls and shops that line most of the streets in Gurgaon from the relative comfort of the backseat of my Honda City. In our part of town, barbers, fruit stalls, key makers, and florists seem to make up the bulk of commerce. Intrigued by the idea of a roadside haircut yet fearful of the impact of getting knicked by a stray blade, having found other means to acquire fresh fruit, and having a full supply of the necessary keys, my most logical entrance into the roadside economy was the florist.
Traditional view of roadside florist from the backseat of speeding car
On the way home from, interestingly enough, a haircut over the weekend, I asked my trusty driver Kailash, "Kailash, where would we go to buy flowers for ma'am?" He thought for a second, went straight past the apartment, took a U-turn at the golf course, and stopped the car at the closest possible shop. Unfortunately, the flowers were there but the florist was nowhere to be seen. Strike one. Kailash thought again and headed toward Super Mart-I to the stall set up on the main road just outside the shopping center. He parked on the road and we both approached to check out what was being offered (I wanted to participate to some extent but figured the pricing structure might be a little different if Kailash negotiated; though I'm sure his ability was somewhat limited when flanked by a tall, goofy white dude).

Kailash quickly learned the stems I liked were offered at INR 12 per (around $0.25). Seemed fair enough so we told the guy to start a bundle. A few minutes later he had prepared a bouquet, complete with ribbon tied around the stems. The full price? INR 150.
$3 bouquet next to our Christmas decoration
The lesson learned? For a little over three bucks, I can get a legitimately nice bouquet of flowers to take home for the wife. I have no idea why it's taken me this long to realize this fact.


  1. that arrangement is lovely! and for just $3 - wow! i think that will be a weekly treat to myself when i'm in india - fresh flowers :)

  2. Hey ... fair warning ... for some reason the flowers here tend to get a fairly RANK smell after about 4 days. I was given the advice to put sugar in the water (in the vase) and swap it out EVERY day ...

    We LOVE getting flowers in Delhi! So much cheaper!!

    If you're ever near the Mehrauli Flower Market (near Qutb Minar) in the mornings, you can get triple that bouquet for the same price!

    (Love the Christmas decorations at your place!

  3. Very Right. The Mehrauli Flower Mkt is a wholesale mkt for flowers n you can get loadsa flowers for a small amt
    Oh, but be sure to reach early, especially on festivals, cz Many ppl already Know bout this mkt ;)

  4. Oops..Missd an imp part, in the excitement to write bout Delhi..
    Very Cute Santa, here in this pic :D
    n the 'Desi' stuff look nice too :)

  5. Thanks for the tip on the Mehrauli Flower Market; I've seen before but hadn't thought about that (we drove past on Diwali and it was causing quite the traffice jam).

    The Santa is actually carved from an old lobster buoy from Maine....much easier to transport than a tree.

  6. road side florists do offer great deals :)

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