Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Foreigners" selling goods in Thimphu market

The Peculiarity of Shopkeepers along Norzin Lam is their ‘NO DAMN’ attitude to all their customers/ prospective buyers who otherwise dare to enter to do some shopping regardless of high price tags on the goods displayed inside.

The shopkeepers here won’t welcome you with smiles and warm greetings unlike Indian shopkeepers across the border. They (Indian shopkeepers) will speak with you (the prospective buyer) in the language that you are comfortable with-be it Sharchop, Khang, Bumthap, Dzongkha, Hindi, Nepali you name it. They will greet you, welcome you, shake your hands and will even call your name (if you happen to visit again after your first stop). They will show you everything related to your choice of item. And interestingly, you often make your choice of purchase at the price you are happy to pay.

 That’s some 200 kms away from here. The change in land altitude is also drastic. Thimphu valley lies 2320 m above sea level and so is the attitude of shopkeepers here. I don’t know-but I guess for us (Bhutanese shopkeepers) to behave like those Indian shopkeepers across the border is ‘acting cheap’. We Bhutanese just don’t want to look cheap. Its too expensive for us to be cheap. That’s out of question. So “Make a purchase else the door is open” is the only philosophy of selling goods here. (For your kind information, never utter the word ‘discount’ here else they will think that you are cheap and they will have a good laugh at you).

Anyways the shops must run to keep the shopkeeper’s life rolling but they seem pretty reluctant to practice those so called ‘CHEAP’ acts to woo many costumers. What have they done? To change their attitude seemed quite unaffordable so they have invested quite an amount in purchasing the dummies to do the welcoming and the greetings….The following photographs are taken along the Norzin Lam.

HAVE FUN dudes.

A small American family helping tirelessly to run a Bhutanese Shop

A British Lad turned Buddhist Monk greeting the costumers

A lanky French Macho posing to lure buyers

A young German Couple in Bhutanese national dress to attract more costumers

An Italian Couple showing the way in.....

A stylish New Yorker serving a Bhutanese Shopkeeper

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