On our way back from Menchukha, we decided to stay an extra day at Aalong because the shopping bug bit us a bit. I had low expectations after our experience at the Govt. run emporium at Menchukha and sadly, I was not disappointed.
Aalong has many small markets that are closed on different days of the week. The Old Aalong Market is closed on Mondays and the New Aalong Market is closed on Sundays. The market around Nehru Chowk is also closed on Sundays.
The Govt. run Crafts Emporium was much larger than the one in Menchukha and had more products too but there were hundreds of silver fish running around in the shelves and layer of dust. One of the employees remarked that stuff sold out pretty much instantly as it came in. I still managed to pick up one Gaaluk, which is the traditional jacket that men wear and one more Gaaley ( which is the lower wraparound that women wear ).
We then walked around in the market around Nehru Chowk and after much asking around and walking in to every second shop, we found three shops that also retailed traditional clothing. One was a “beauty parlour”! Luckily she had one Gaaley that is worn by women around the Mopin Festival, which I promptly purchased. Another store was a transport stall, which sells out taxi service around Arunachal. This gentleman had a small but very expensive collection of Gaaleys. Embroidered, beaded etc. Pretty but I’d already purchased three by now.
Extremely sad state of affairs – couldn’t find interesting clothing – I guess I’d probably have to spend a week in Aalong and dig out who specializes in this. Most women make their own Gaaleys at home and I stopped quite a few of them in the market to ask them where they’d bought theirs. Also no luck on the jewellery.
In the evening, we were invited for a Bollywood film screening at a fauji theater and I went along reluctantly only because of nostalgia. They were playing “Ki & Ka” and I still haven’t been able to barf. Decent attempt to portray the concept but my goodness does it do a bang up job. Yikes. Can’t believe I sat through it all.
Next day was off to Likabali and we were anticipating a shit drive because of the worst road patch. So early to bed it was!
This was the twelfth day of the trip, see more on #EyesForArunachal