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Published: December 17th 2008
Every Friday I go to Mapusa, a real little Indian city in this touristic Goa. But Mapusa is great because it really feels like the real India, with a little bit of tourist stuff mixed into it. I wrote about the Friday market before, but I just don't get tired of it. It is so colorful and full of life.
Last Friday, as I came in, I was very surprised to hear Christmas songs... It was so strange. Of course Goa is partly christian, so they do celebrate Christmas, but for me Christmas comes with cold weather, less daylight, snow... So it is very hard to feel the Christmas spirit here. But apparently it is nice and colorful also in this part of the world. We'll see!
In the market, there is all kinds of stuff. Lots of fruits and veggies, and I still totally enjoy eating fresh tropical fruits. It's fun also when you stay long enough in one place, you get to know the people who sell all that stuff and they also recognize you. There is also all kinds of jewellery, blankets, clothes, shawls, sheets, watches, belts, newspaper, fabrics, you name it. And as I was walking down the little alleys, I was asking myself why I like it so much. Because I normally don't like shopping, but I LOVE to walk in the market and see all the little stores... I think what I like about it is that each store is very very small. Except for maybe a few "supermarkets" that look like convenience stores, most shops are small and very specialized. One sells saris, the other one stainless steel items, the next one spices, or nuts, etc. I think this is what makes it so great. Each vendor really knows about his stuff and you get really good service. And this is what we lost in our society in the West. With our big (huge) stores like Walmart, Costco, etc, sure it may be a bit cheaper (and crappier quality...), but there is no good service. The stores are so big, there is no life in them, no sense of ownership. And I was a little sad that we seem to loose all our good little specialized stores in Canada and other countries because of the big stores. It is so much nicer to go to small shops, get good service, and have a chat, maybe even some chai, with the vendor at the same time. Personalized service. Makes you feel connected to the place.
This is another thing I like about INdia. Being a Westerner, I am always very surprised to see how India are genuinely interested in talking with us, doing business with us (of course, it means money, but there is more to it...), even people on the street, that I never talked to, they smile with their heart. THis is it. I read it in a book once: INdia is a country of the heart. And I am charmed everytime by these smiles that I get daily. It's almost like if I knew all these people, but I don't. They are friendly, helpful, respectful. Of course, there is some bad people here too, but I have been lucky enough to meet very few of those.
Well, I could go on and on about INdia, and I think I am repeating myself , I probably said all this before. But I think the best way to understand what it is like in INida is to come here. India has to be experienced, and even after months in this country, to me it still feels like a dream. It is a fabulous country.
So this is it for today, this was actually a great day at the beach, meeting other yoga students, floating in the ocean, and getting a bit of a sunburnt I think... It is still nice and warm during the day, no more crazy humidity though, and the nights ar cool, around 22-23 degrees, I can't believe this is a HOT day where I live normally... It feels cold to me now!
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