(Kshmr, Markink) – Mapusa Friday Bazaar
I was visiting Goa out of season, early September. Most of the shops were yet to reopen, the beach bars had yet to receive their licences and the tourist markets – I was told – weren’t happening.
So, I asked a taxi driver (AJ) outside my hotel (Santiago ‘Beach’ Resort) to take me to the Friday market in Mapusa – pronounced ‘Mapsa’.
It was a twenty minute or so drive, and when we arrived, around ten thirty, he was unable to park so we agreed to meet up in an hour.
I figured an hour would do it.
Where to start about the Mapusa Bazaar?
Firstly it’s pretty darned large, verging on the huge, but well laid out in a grid.
I first encountered dozens of stall holders selling clothes, then fruit and veg, then spices, herbs, plants, bangles, then hardware – knives, pots, ropes and the occasional tech stall offering SIM cards.
There are a number of permanent shops that help define the grid layout.
Secondly – you’d forgotten I was in list mode, so had I – I was the only Caucasian face I saw all morning, but at no time did I feel intimidated or threatened. I even haggled and bought a chapati pan to make my own flatbreads – down from 190 Rupees to 150 – a little under two quid.
Thirdly, it’s an assault on all the senses, sights, sounds, smells, flavours – I was offered some fresh cinnamon that tasted like Dentyne chewing gum, I’d quite forgotten.
Finally, unless you’re married (as I once was) to the Captain of the Olympic Shopping Team, then an hour or so is enough to experience everything.
A great Friday morning out – highly recommended.