I bought a ticket to go onto the ‘trading floor’ for ten Rupees. Ten rupees is about $0.21USD. I went upstairs of the modest building and heard the open outcry commotion. Imagine a dismal office room built in the style of Sardis Elemtary School — low, acoustic tile-panel ceilings, faitgued flourescent lights, and 1’x1′ asbestos tiles. It wasn’t exactly the NYMEX or the IPE. It looked more like a Glengarry Glen Ross set, except no desks, just an empty floor and some hemi-semi-demi cubicles along the walls that served as the floor brokers’ phone booths. The brokers were the same easygoing, simple folks that fill Kerala — dressed casually in their muhtis (I think this is the term for the half-sarong-skirts they wear) and other Keralan styles.
Cool. I wonder what other products have obscure exchanges.
Hmm…more searching led me to this article, which suggests that the exchange may have already gone online. Another real-world outmoded by the Internets.