SInce our arrival in India, I have been limited to, and quite happy with, a single vice: custom-tailored clothes. Raymond of India is the largest distributor of fabric in the country, moving unbelievable quantities of wool, cotton, linen, silk, and other ready-to-use textiles through their innumerable retail storefronts (sometimes multiple stores on a single street – you think Starbuck’s is ubiquitous back home? Meh !). We popped in one day just to check it out, and left having ordered 4 or 5 shirts, after having measurements taken and drinking hot chai with a half dozen store attendants. Each shirt, custom stitched with the fabric of our choice, was about 20 dollars in U.S. money. So this new vice is not as profligate is it may sound :)
Vice is no fun alone, and so I found a perfect co-conspirator in dear Mr. Andrew Cox. We have been endlessly darting in and out of Raymond for months now, having shirts of all kinds put together, and just recently, we commissioned a pair of three-piece suits. This was a fantastic adventure, throughout which the Raymond tailors were endlessly patient with us as we changed our minds, made adjustments, and generally made a confusing mess of things any time we entered the store. This adventure finally came to an end: last night was Andrew and Nina’s final hurrah in Bangalore, as they are moving to Italy; his suit had just been completed, and the tailor from Raymond made the delivery at 10:30 pm during our farewell party for our once-and-future Bangalore doppelgangers.