A market day scene

A man carries over 60lbs of fresh produce in a giant basket upon his head, weaving through an interminable mess of a crowd pulsing through the market. The load is over an hour’s worth of shopping for fruits, vegetables, grains, starches, a week’s worth of sustenance for a house of 7. Maame Afua and I scurry after him, trying not to get left behind in the swirling mass of men, women, goats and harvests. Beware of the odd bowl of onions or fabric, sticking out into the pathway, a trip and fall could be the end, the crushing stream of people waits for no one. A cart of cassava creates a hellish bottleneck along a main pathway, yelling, pushing and tension ensues and as we pass through it we feel the collective hug of the market crowd, pushing and breathing into us with an elbow or two thrown in for effect, a subtle reminder to be aware of the load of plantain or yam or fish in their head-top basket that could come cascading down upon you with the slightest wrong step or bob of the head. And then, as quickly as it engulfed us, it spits us out abruptly and there’s air. Space. We can slow down and breath, we’re free, limbs and foodstuffs intact. We’ve made it through another market day in Mankessim.

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