Friday, November 9, 2007

Shopping for Jeans

Yesterday I finally broke down and went to the bazaar to buy a new pair of jeans. After looking at the recent pictures from Tamgaly-Tas, I decided that it was well past time to retire the jeans I had brought from home. I also needed to buy a new purse, since the zipper on my old one no longer works. So…a trip to the bazaar was definitely in order.

How to describe the experience? Well, let’s just say that a trip to the therapist or a few glasses of Old Tbilisi might be in order. I knew that finding the right jeans would likely be the most difficult part of the excursion, so I headed to the clothing section of the Zelyony (Green) Bazaar first. There are numerous narrow aisles of stalls, packed full of any type of clothing you can imagine. Most of the jeans were pretty awful—they looked like someone was set loose with a bedazzler. However, there were some that were quite nice as well as flattering. The selection was further limited by whoever was operating a particular stall. There are no changing rooms at the bazaar—the merchant usually holds up a sheet to give you some semblance of privacy, so I would much rather have the merchant be another woman. It’s a little more comfortable that way.

When I finally found a pair of jeans that I liked (strangely enough, they happened to be [real] Levis), the fun part began. I had to climb over all of the jeans lying out on the stall counter, and then sit down to try them on. Apparently, that particular merchant doesn’t offer the amenity of a sheet. The woman also felt it necessary to…um, assist. The entire time, people were walking by and looking to see what was going on—strange men, grandmothers, school children. The bright side is that I was able to garner multiple opinions before deciding to buy the jeans. Fortunately, it seemed to be a unanimous decision, and I only had to try on one pair before clambering back over the counter to the pedestrian area.

What goes better with authentic Levis than a knock-off purse? Fashion is paramount over here, although it often seems to be taken to extremes. The most important accessory—a purse, of course. I finally found one that I liked—an imitation “Miu-Miu”. I really wanted to buy the imitation Versace, but had issues with the “Mede in Italy Ciani Versace” embossment. I suppose it is fine if you don’t read English—but it was a bit too much for me. I really like the note that was tucked into the purse I bought, though.

Don’t put in the sun and don’t touch rain
Don’t touch corroden, t, acid and alkaline (the actual spelling)
Don’t touch rough things

With any luck, I won’t have to go shopping for jeans again anytime soon. But if I do…well, I’ll know what to expect! And I’ll make a stop at the wine stall at the bazaar before heading home.