Getting to the Wednesday flea market at Anjuna can be half the fun; you can take a bus or a motorcycle taxi, or a fisherman's boat from Baga, which takes 15 minutes or so. (Going by road takes half an hour.) There are still some old-school foreigners around manning the stands, but it really isn't their market anymore. Now the markets are dominated by Lamani, Kashmiris, and Tibetans, who sell all kinds of trinkets while dressed in striking clothing and jewelry, as well as craftspeople from elsewhere in India.
The market is a splash of red and orange in a flat area above the rocky beach. Bead and white-metal bangles, necklaces and earrings, silver toe rings, embroidered shoulder bags, silk and cotton sarongs, and ethnic footwear are among the more common products on sale. If you look carefully, there are all sorts of other things here as well, from used motorbikes of uncertain age to do-it-yourself mehendi henna-tattoo kits.
Buy a crochet bikini, tops and skirts embroidered with tiny mirrors, or a tie-dye bandanna, or just sit back at the market bar and down a ridiculously cheap beer while someone braids your hair deftly or offers to tattoo, pierce, or otherwise mutilate various parts of your anatomy. Be careful not to bargain unfairly, because you run the risk of a sarcastic "take it for free?" from one of the tribal women.
When your day's bargains have been struck (and getting things for a third or less of the quoted price is not uncommon), join the rest of Anjuna down at the shore. The market only appears during the tourist season; during the monsoon there's a smaller market in Anjuna just above the main town beach.
July 30, 2015
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