The sun streaked over the market. Women hustled and bustled all around us. Street hawkers called out to the passer-bys. We trudged down the road on foot, having parked the car a few miles away. My friend had asked me to help her out with the purchase of sheets and pillows, and I had gladly agreed.

Bed sheets and entire bed sets are never cheap. Even the ugliest ones are expensive. I, however, knew of a shop that had announced a sale on certain of its items, and bed sheets were among them. Shops were jumbled up on the roadside, sharing walls, while the shopkeepers busied themselves with customers or moved things around to make their shops more welcoming for the customers.

We walked around a corner and a huge shop with glass doors came into view. The marbled floor inside contrasted sharply with the dilapidated street outside. As we stepped inside, the smell of polish hit our nostrils, and I wrinkled my nose. The smell always made me nauseous. We climbed a staircase and came to the section of bed sets. The shelves were set back against the wall and cluttered up to the roof. They were stacked with glistening plastic covers from which the bed sheets could be seen. At the other end, pillows in same coverings were placed neatly. A board nearby read: “Soft feather pillows.”

white bed sheets with purple flower imageThe young salesman on duty began showing us various sheets in different designs. My friend had painted her room purple and white. Naturally, I thought, the bed sheet should be of the same color tones to accentuate the effect of the paint on the walls. I pointed this out to my friend and she agreed. We shuffled through the floor and racks, trying to find one which would suit us. There were three bed sets of the desired color. One was white with purple flowers. The other was purple with white flowers. The third had purple and white lines alternating with each other. My friend had told me that she would like to buy only two sets for now. So we selected the white with purple flowers and the one with the lines. My friend and I then turned to the pillows. She chose two fluffy ones, and I bought one for myself. On the way down to the counter, I also picked a bag.

When we arrived at the counter, we found that the sale had expired. Dismayed but not willing to give up any of the items, we bought them all and left the shop quickly before we could get tempted by something else. Our purses much lighter than they were when we entered the shop, we carried the shopping bags to our car. The only downside of this trip was that we did not have enough money left to sneak a bite from one of our favorite restaurants that was bustling, just one street away from where we were. So we decided to drive away in the opposite direction toward home, so not to be tempted by our favorite restaurant.

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