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Bargaining for goats

Up for a 5:30 breakfast before shoving off for a final market, then continuing the five-hour drive to Vishakhpatnam airport and my flight to Delhi. After a layover of eight hours during which I’ll have a room at a Marriott, I continue on my non-stop flight to Chicago. Fro, the time I depart for the market to the time I land at O’Hare will be thirty-six hours. Fun, huh?

I love driving through my home village. Somebody is working on a mandala outside her front door to welcome the goddess. Mandalas will be done each day for a month during the holy month of kartikha, named for kartik, eldest son of shiva, that is being celebrated now.

The market is at kunduli, and is only on Fridays. Peroga and Mali and Jaria and Perenga tribes come to this market. While the market has the typical fruit and vegetable sellers, like the other market we visited, they also have a large goat, sheep and cow sale area. We spend our time in the goat and sheep area, and it is very interesting and fun to watch the negotiations as they take place. It’s a far more active and lively market than the more staid fruit and vegetable markets. Both the seller and the buyer hold their money out in their hands to make offers, and bicker back and forth, sometimes heatedly. In many cases, there is a middleman present who speaks the local dialect of the seller as well as the general language. He attempts to get the parties to reach agreement. Many men wear colorful lungi that look like pajama bottoms. Though the goat prices seem quite reasonable to me, I resist the temptation. So, I guess you could say that I let somebody else get my goat.

We pass into the state of Andrapradesh, which used to include Telegana, which was split off some five years ago. Hyderabad is the capital of both states. We are headed for Vishakhpatnam, which has a population of more than three million people. Stop for lunch near airport, then proceed to check in. Took an hour to get my Delhi-Chicago boarding pass and was beginning to think Air India had scored me up again. Fortunately, it apparently was only good old-fashioned incompetence.

My flight to Delhi arrived early and I was met and driven to the J.W. Marriott, five minutes away, actually twenty-five in the heavy traffic. I have a comfortable room for five hours and then will be picked up and driven to the airport for the long flight home.

I’m going to post this now, and try to write some reflections on the trip, en route home.

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