Exploring Culture through Fashion
Yes! I’m truly excited and yet ambivalent about writing this post. I’m excited because I had an unforgettable experience on my latest trip traveling across India; and I’m sharing it with the world in hopes my experience can be useful for anyone reading. I’m ambivalent because although this post is my story to tell, it’s also someone else’s story who’s voice may never be heard. This is the story about my shopping experience in Goa, India.
In order to put my experience into context for anyone reading, I’ve broken this post into three parts. In the first part I break down my travel experience and how this trip came about. The second part dives deeper into my shopping experience in Goa and the third part showcases the South Asian fashion designs I purchased. I highly recommend reading all parts to get a full understanding! Also, if you haven’t done so, check out my About me page to learn more about this blog!
My Travel Itch
So let me begin. Anyone and everyone who knows me, knows I love traveling and I love spending time with my friends. I jump at the opportunity to do both at the same time. Three years ago I did a 3,700 mile road trip across the southern half of the United States from Miami, Florida to Portland, Oregon visiting friends in various cities along the way. So when my friend mentioned she was getting married in Goa, it was a no brainer. Of course I’d be there! I’m also so thankful for my boyfriend, Anthony, who shares the love of traveling with me. I’ve done plenty of trips on my own but it was nice experiencing this trip with someone special.
And if you’re reading this and thinking, “what does this have to do with fashion?!” No worries, you’re more than welcome to scroll down to the meat and potatoes of this post.
What’s Goa like?
Goa is a beautiful sunny state with palm trees and an island like feel. It’s located on the southwestern coast of India. You can read more about Goa here. Anthony and I spent months planning our 2 1/2 week trip. We planned a few days in Goa, a few days in Mumbai, New Delhi and then Agra to see the Taj Mahal. We combed through blogs on what to wear in each city, what clothes to pack and asked our friends what they recommended we wear to the wedding. Since the blogs recommended we pack light and do our shopping there, we added in a few extra days to shop and relax before the festivities began. There was only one thing that could mess up our plan now…a missed flight connection. Low and behold that’s exactly what happened. One of our 3 flights got delayed and we arrived in Goa 1 day before the wedding.
The Meat and Potatoes of this post: Shopping in MAPUSA Market
We literally got off the plane at 2 am, drove an hour to our hotel, slept for 5 hours figured out how to rent a scooter then went on the hunt for a place to buy clothes. Our hotel receptionist suggested we start with MAPUSA market. MAPUSA market is busy and fast paced. There are plenty of market stalls selling fruits, vegetables, spices, clothes and basically everything you need to survive in one place. As soon as we parked our scooter and walked to the entrance, in a crowd of busy South Asian locals, Anthony and I got spotted as tourists and are asked to get in photos with an excited group of shoppers.😒 Good job to us, in thinking we’d blend in. We stood out like two lonely fish in an empty ocean for three reasons.
The first reason being how I was dressed. In the market it is common for local women to wear vibrant colorful sarees. I wore a knee high length colorful skirt and a white t-shirt on a hot sunny day, which wasn’t common for local women to wear. Anthony wore shorts and a t-shirt. He would have totally fit right in with the local men dressed in jeans and t-shirts if it weren’t for the next reason. Not only are we both wearing western style clothes, but the second reason we stood out as tourists was because Anthony and I are an interracial couple walking through a market filled with South Asian locals. That’s also not very common. The look of bewilderment and wonder on my face was the last thing that gave us away as tourists.
Because of these three reasons, we could have easily been taken advantage of monetarily. We didn’t speak Hindi nor the local Goan language, Konkani. We also didn’t know where we were going in the market. All we knew was the type of clothing we were looking to buy.
And then we met…Angela.
…to be continued. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week.
Hey Love! Thanks for landing on this site. Hope you enjoyed this post! In keeping with the spirit of HMB’s motto: Learn, Share & Do here’s the first of many downloadable games you can play at home with friends. It’s the fashion game you never knew you needed. Click below to try it out! 💖👠