27 Feb 2013

Keeping It Real

The first prince of street cred: Ali G

The bigger the city, the bigger the scam- that's Sociology 101. I can live with that. What I didn't expect when I moved to Bombay however, was to be accosted by peddlers of counterfeit goods on every second street. Seriously, this city -or at least, my little hole in Bandra- is crazy: every second shop sells 'original' Gucci and Versace and the Queen's name-me-nots at a fraction of their prices.

I'm not particularly brand-conscious but I do stick to certain tried and tested labels when it comes to things like shoes or deodorant  Not for any reason other than comfort. Oh okay, and maybe a little brand snobbery. The point is I pay top dollar for those peek-a-boo skinny jeans that get Girlfriend in a tizzy, and it pisses me off when I see everybody from the teaboy to the Prime Minister rock them bad boys.

Let's not forget I gave up a fairly well-paying job to become a full time 'writer'- which as the Mothership will tell you is just an euphemism for "checking Twitter and Facebook all day and living off his (quickly dwindling) savings". Brand loyalty however, like religion or heroin, is not easily thwarted by economic realities. I'll probably end up having to suck cock to pay for aftershave at the rate things are going, so imagine my angst when this conversation happened:

"Hey nice shoes, man. Are they real Pumas?"
"Uhh, no, you're imagining them."
"Of course they're real Pumas. What is this, 'City of God'?"        .   
"Calm down, man, I just meant.."
"I know what you meant. I don't ask you if your tits are real, do I?"
"They're all me, baby. But thank you."
"What are you, home-schooled? Have you never had to interact with people before?"
"Those are not real Pumas, are they?"
"I don't know, I found them on the train."
"A real train, or like a second hand goods shop?"
"I miss being able to buy stuff. Yesterday, I had a cigarette and a dollop of disappointment for dinner."
"You should really consider getting a grown-up job."
"I know. Just don't tell anybody about my Pumas ok? If you look real close, they actually say 'Fuma'."
"You've got yourself a deal. Now go work on a CV."
"I can't. My Mac's on the brink."
"Dude, come on."
"Okay, okay, my 'Nac' is on the brink. Are you happy now?"
"Yup. And get that rash on your neck checked out. It's probably all that Bucci cologne."

Icy Highs's Music Recco: 'Shopping' - The Jam 



Workingdan said...

Sometimes there is nothing wrong with generic, knock-off brands. They are much like a moped or a fat girl... they are fun to ride until a friend sees you!

Talitha said...

And there ain't anything wrong with that...a little name-changing doesn't do anybody harm!
Maybe it does.Still.

Azra said...

Wishing you success in your writing endeavours.

Susan Kane said...

We live near Mexico, and know those brands well. My husband once bought a $40 Kolex, which broke in the 2 hours it took to get home.

Sarge said...

What the old Seergeant tell you to do with your ability to write!

Young man, I am impressed...
Carry on!



goatman said...

I have a Van Husant shirt but the buttons don't line up with the holes!

I laughed at the home-school joke; but truly, in my experience, kids from that background tend to be more in tune and more clever than those spit out by the state-schools with indoctrination on their minds.

Revacious said...

"peek-a-boo skinny jeans"? That get the GF in a tizzy? I can only imagine a wtf-is-that kinda tizzy..

icyHighs said...

WD: I haven't heard the moped joke in a while; just as funny as every time!

Talitha- Just don't call your boy somebody else's name. :)

Cheers, Azra.

Susan- Still, Kolex eh? Best two hours his wrist ever had, I'm sure. Wait, that sounds all wrong. :)

Thanks Sarge, it's been a while. Will visit soon!

Goatman- True. I've only met one homeschooled person and she was this crazy Australian girl who had never left her farm till Uni. Great fun, happy days. And don't get me started on State schools.

Revacious- LOL. It's all in the way you carry it, Revster. Or so I tell myself. :)

The Blue Grumpster said...

Can't say I've ever tried a pair of Fumas before. Good luck with those... imaginary or real. I also hope you don't have to suck a snake ;) Doesn't sound to appealing to me, but what do I know, right? :D

icyHighs said...

Haha I think I'll take your word on this one, Grumpster. Thanks for dropping in!

DWei said...

Sounds like Asia in general. Can't go anywhere without seeing counterfeit stuff.

icyHighs said...

Aah counterfeit goods I can deal with; its fake people I cant stand. And they're everywhere.

red dirt girl said...

Ooooooo that last comment was soooo ICY !! I couldn't agree more.

I used to travel to the 'asian' side of town simply for the great deals I could get on designer handbags and watches and silk plants - LOLOL

FYI - my 12 year old thinks it is soooo cool that I know a writer who lives in India. Especially since Scholastic Books hosts a book fair at his school twice a year !!

I think you can rest on your laurels now, Icy. You're hip to the junior high school set ;-)


Sanjana said...

Your NAC's on the blink! lol!

It's the opposite in Dxb btw. Here a Ferragamo would cost you more than it would in Italy (not that I have one from either place :P).

icyHighs said...

Haha Red, yeah all that's left to do is slap on a Justin Bieber haircut and I can die happy. :)

Hey Sanjana, that probably makes sense, no? Though I remember friends from Dxb used to bring back stuff for me all the time coz it was still way cheaper than in India.

austere said...

Ahem. I must admit... I'd rather buy a Crawford Mkt purse than spend spend spend on genuine leather.

icyHighs said...

Living up to your name there, Austere! :) I agree with you though; I don't spend, spend, spend- I was just having a rant coz I miss being ABLE to afford a little luxury.

Sanjana said...

Yeah, more expensive in India due to VAT and all that other nonsense.

And yes, makes sense that imported stuff is more expensive... but I just bought a bag in Italy that was 30 euros and came home to find it at Harvey Nichols with a shiny label on it for five THOUSAND AED (1061 euros)! molto ridiculo, no?!