Anjuna is the site of Goa’s Wednesday market, where a nonstop trance soundtrack sets the scene and a thousand stalls sell everything from futuristic rave gear to hammocks that you can string up between two palm trees on the nearby beach. It’s a wonderful place to meet people from all over the World as well as Rajasthanis, Gujratis, Tibetans and even drought improvised Karnataka farmers with “fortune telling” cows. It’s a bit like London’s Camden market, but everyone’s tanned and the weather’s almost always wonderful.
Come on a weekend, Goa’s global residents head for either of the two Saturday Night Bazaars – Ingo’s or Mackie’s , where most of the spending seems to involve liquor and food. Ingo’s is on a larger scale, but both dole out essentially the same ingredients of live music, scrummy cuisine and shops galore selling semi-precious stones, paintings, books, clothes, music, and handicrafts churned out by long term international visitors.
‘Mapusa Friday Market’
Perhaps the most interesting market of the lot is a local affair. Once a week, folk from villages all across Goa breeze into Mapusa for the Friday Market, where they set up large tables of extraordinary large size vegetables, strings of homemade pork sausages, basketfuls of kokum, pickles like chepnim and miscut made out of tender mangoes, prawn balchao and Bombay duck pickles, a freshly baked assortment of Goan breads, all kinds of confectionary goodies like bebinca and dodol, guava cheese, and wines. If you have space to take home a souvenir, look for the red rooster water jug, you’ll find one in every Goan home, apparantley to chase away spirits! When your pooped from shopping, drop into Café Xaviers ( opposite the banana section), which sells refreshingly cold coffee shakes and delicious Goan sausage with poee (flat Goan bread). Another reason to come is the interesting Other India bookstore (next to New Mapusa clinic ( Tel: 0832 / 2263306, www.otherindiabookstore.com) , which stocks up on academic books related to issues like the environment, agriculture and spirituality.