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A GoNOMAD Photo Gallery

Markets of the World - Page Two

Photographs by David Kestenbaum

Metkila, Myanmar

Early Morning Scene


This was taken in early morning. If you look, you can see where the woman in the middle has taken a bite.


Chili pepper seller


Metkila is a large market town near the closest railway junction for traveling to Pagan, the famous archaeological site, which has over 2,000 temples and stupas. After visiting Pagan, I had the good fortune to stay overnight in Metkila (pronounced “Mechilla”) and enjoy the market before catching the train back to Rangoon (now called Yangon).

I have a great memory of that train ride. When I was in Bangkok before going to Burma, as it was called at that time in 1979, I met an American friend whom I had first met in South America. He was telling me about his experience hiking by himself over a very high pass in Nepal.

He said when he got to the top after hours of hiking, he started laughing to himself. I replied that those were the moments I lived for when I was traveling.

On the train, I sat by the door eating the dust and watching the sunset and had one of those moments.

Garo Hills

Meghalaya State

Meghalaya, “Abode of the Clouds,” is a state in northeast India. It is comprised of three ethnic groups. The Garos are in the western part. In the main town, Tura, I met a Garo man who was a teacher in his hometown. He invited me to visit there.

Luckily, I arrived there on market day. Very few tourists or travelers visited the Garo Hills in those days, 1980. I spent 14 months on the Indian Subcontinent at the time and only met one other person who had been there. The Tourist Officer in Tura was so happy to meet a foreign tourist that he spent a week taking the man all over the area.



Khasi Hills
Meghalaya State

Some years Cherrapunji has the highest annual rainfall on earth, over 40 feet. What makes it really amazing is that it only rains for six months of the year. Because of the terrain, the Khasi Hills are known as the Scotland of the East. Not only that, but you can see from the photos that the women wear plaid blankets. This is because the first westerners in the area were Scottish missionaries. As I walked into town, many women were carrying conical baskets with produce on their backs going to the market.


Buying Shoes

Meghalaya State

Shillong, a city spread out over several hills, is the capital of Meghalaya.


Street "Pharmacist"

Sunday Fair

Yes, those are lizard skins.  I don’t know what they are supposed to cure.  When I arrived in Calcutta, I telephoned an Indian friend I had met in Buenos Aires about three years before.  He had just returned home after being away for seven years.  He took me to this Sunday Fair a couple of times.  I recall seeing child tumblers performing among the various sights.

David Kestenbaum David Kestenbaum is a world traveler and ESL teacher who lives in South Deerfield. His many photographs have been exhibited at GoNOMAD Cafe in South Deerfield, and numerous other locations in the US and Japan.

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