Published: February 15th 2006February 15th 2006
The much anticipated experience of the very promoted market happened today. The Flea Market at Anjuna happens only on Wednesday..... every tourist of every description in every unspeakable form of dress and behavior was at the market.
And every hawker times 10 was pushing the wares: bags, scarves, hannocks, bed covers, sarongs, jewellery, carved "marble?', mirrored skirts, side vented wrap around pants, fancy embroidered sort of quilted looking covers, pillow cases, shoes, sandles, incense, chess sets, round cloth lanterns for the patio, endless bangles, plastic posing as coral, alloy posing as silver, t-shirts, cotton shirts, skirts of every hue abd length ... and that is just the stuff I remember or walked past.
I did not pass every stall! I did not loook at all the goods! The biggest challenge was getting from one end of the market to the other.
The bus from Panjim stopped at Mapusa...silent U... then the bus went to Anjuna...Rs13 later the trek to the market began....3km... it would have been much shorter if a cross country shortcut over fallow fields had been taken but since I had already seen a few no trespassing signs I figured rampaging tourists were a problem and was not about to include myself in that group!!
So 3km later, the onslaught of market goods begins. By the time the end of the market was reached the tiny restaurant at the end was a huge relief. It had a sand floor and a guarded toilet, waiters in
hawaiin (sic) shirts and the ever present TOURISTS. They , the tourists, were everywhere!!
The owner has a goldmine in this place because you literally fall into it at the end of an excrusiating encounter with stalls and vendors and heat and walking hawkers.
One must go once to say one has been there but if I never see this market again it will be too soon. The things on offer were very interesting if you needed gifts to bring home...and the prices were good but the hard sell was so pressing....women took my hand to show me to their "shop' ...the prices quoted were huge and you could get what you wanted for your price! sometimes....
After a small snack and a cold drink it was off to the beach and a ride by boat to Baga Beach .... all in an effort not to have to go through the market again to get back to the bus stop!!
The stay at the beach lasted till 15:00 and involved;
seeing the tourists walk back and forth,
fry themselves in the heat of the day,
swim in water that was clear in some places but sticky with oil in others,
boats with passengers going back and forth around the point...to Baga,
hawkers trying one last time to make a few rupees,
and people just sitting around drinking cold drinks, finding a toilet on a hill, and just lazing the afternoon away.
The boat ride cost Rs100, had lifejackets?????(which I put on...it is the Arabian Sea after all!), and lasted less than 15 min.
Baga Beach was solid with people...here there was greater mixture of
tourists from abroad and from India....and it stretches as far as the eye can see.
Having had enough sun and sand for one day the search was now on for a taxi. The walk through Baga produced some nice photos, more dust inhalation, and more offers to BUYBUYBUY.
After a very short comfortable taxi ride for Rs250 and a walk from the Panaji bus station a shower was had and all was well again. Now comes the search for food and then a quiet evening..... to nurse this clearing of Kolkata pollution from my lungs.
Goa was a great Idea!!!!!! glad I came!!!!!