What I don’t get is why music shop owners always lie to us in India. Whenever we find a shop that sells records or CDs we ask if there are any others in town and we are always told, “No, this is the only shop.” We learned long ago that the owners will ask what we are looking for while we are digging and then send a boy to nearby shops to bring back what we mentioned, all the while denying that there are any other stores. To get around this I don’t ask until we have wiped out the store and have finished our purchase. Even then we will still be lied to. I don’t get the motivation. We’ve clearly spent as much money as we are going to at their store. They often know we are leaving town. They’ve made all they are going to make off us on this trip; why not refer us to another dealer? Are they afraid years down the road we might come back and go to another shop first? In Portland record dealers will always suggest another shop to look at, even if you don’t spend a dollar at their store. In India we will buy extraordinary amounts of music at a store and they will still deny the existence of any other dealers. If I know names I will ask what about this store or this store, and they might shrug like, well, yeah, I guess, all the while being noncommittal. We were told by an uncle shop owner that there were no used record dealers in Chandigarh and then we bought a bunch of records from another uncle’s shop a few dozen feet away. It makes it really hard to dig when the few stores you do find will try to make sure you don’t find out about any others. It also makes you not want to support the liars in the future. Sure bootlegging and illegal downloading have killed nearly all the music stores in India, but their every-shop-for-themselves attitude and refusal to band together just makes it worse.
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