(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.

Parking at Mapusa Bazaar

Genuine Fake backpacks?

Herbs at Mapusa Bazaar

Flower Garlands at Mapusa Bazaar

Fresh Herbs at Mapusa Bazaar

Fresh Fruit at Mapusa Bazaar

Hardware (including the flatbread pan, middle left) at Mapusa Bazaar

Ropes at Mapusa Bazaar

Pots at Mapusa Bazaar

Flowers at Mapusa Bazaar

Flowers at Mapusa Bazaar

Bangles at Mapusa Bazaar

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.

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