Buying jewellery for girlfriends and mothers and catching up with last minute sightseeing plans. The athletes and team officials who participated in the 19th Commonwealth Games got down to some serious shopping on Friday.
Athletes from countries such as Uganda, Scotland, Trinidad and Tobago and Malaysia went to Janpath and Connaught Place to stock up on souvenirs and other items.
“We have bought linen clothing and embroidered bags that we don’t get back home. There is a lot of variety here,” said Timothy Mudoola, a Rugby player from Uganda, who is leaving Delhi on Sunday.
“I bought scarves and Pashminas as we don’t get them easily in Scotland,” said Tracy Mcgallahan, an archer.
As a result of this shopping trip, Janpath didn’t have its usual flavour with the shopkeepers ignoring local shoppers and wooing the foreigners.
“Indian customers will always be there; today is the day to make up on all the business that we lost from foreigners because of restrictions,” said a shopkeeper, who did not want to be named.
Athletes form Sierra Leone, meanwhile, stacked up on electronic items.
“We get a wider range of products here. I bought a phone and am now looking for a laptop,” said Weston Crowther, a team official.
Junk jewellery and leather items from Janpath were also in great demand.
“I bought a leather bag and some bead necklaces for my girlfriend. You don’t find such stuff back home,” said Alan Henderson, a hockey player from Trinidad and Tobago.
The Chef-de-Mission of Trinidad and Tobago, Knott Annett, was also out shopping at Janpath. “This is the first and the last time we have got a chance to come out and shop as we are leaving on Friday night,” she said.
Some athletes were also accompanied by volunteers who helped them buy gifts and took them around the city.