Lux Innerwear bought up the tops of the Shakira boats on Lake Dal. The boatmen use heart shaped paddles
and I guess they think love, romance, sexy and "Innerwear"all day long. It's terribly tacky but decreases in tack
as you move away from the city center.
We're at the Royal Houseboat with five cheerful Polish tourists sharing the quarters. It's a strange and funny experience. Three times in
four hours the houseboat host has asked us if we'd like to exchange money. A jewelry salesman boarded after dinner and put the hard sell on a Polish couple separating them from a hundred bucks rather easily. For a Kashmiri salesman, the challenge wasn't enough to break a sweat. From what's transpired so far, houseboat guests appear to be half-captive sitting ducks for the salesmen. Or maybe they're requesting the sales job...we have yet to find out how this works.
Ghulam, our host, assessing the size of our wallets as we arrive. He's worked on this boat since he was a boy. His
wife and children live in the mountains - he visits every two months.