It’s Sunday, and we are holed up in the middle of the market at our place; sandwiched in by the masses who block our street. Good job we don’t own a car, as we could not get out anyway.
Today I got a glimpse of what life is like for a kid whose mother works in the market.
Out my office window I was gazing over the local market below me this morning. At around 7:00 am, a lady arrived, the same one who has been there every Sunday for months, with a huge bundle on her head, and both arms full of bundles too.
She had her two kids in tow, as usual. I watched as she spread out a piece of black plastic on the side of the street, and put out a few piles of used kids clothes to sell. Nothing new, but about an hour after the lady set up for the market day, I went to the window and simply watched her kids for about fifteen minutes straight. I had never really paid attention to them before, but for some reason today they seemed to take my attention. Dozens of time through the day I stood up for a peek at the kids, for an update on their situation.
Here’s the story, they have been out here in the direct sun for 8.5 hours so far. It’s 35 c in the shade today, so it would be well over 45 in the direct afternoon sun. They will be there until 5:30- 6:00 pm. Another 3.5 -4 hours left to go. Sometimes they were just sitting there, other times standing, or walking circles, other times passed out on the piles of clothes, or under some clothes to shade their eyes while they slept. As a red head, my entire sunburned face would be one huge blister if I sat in the sun all day like like they did, with no head covering.
You think your childhood sucked? But a person has to do what a person must do to survive, and the lady is doing the best she can with what she has. She is only below my office window on Sundays, the big market day, so I really do not have any idea if she does this every day in another location. Nevertheless, the market is full of hundreds if not thousands of these kids every day. Kids with nothing at all to do, while their family tries to make a living making sales at the crowded market.
It’s got to be tough.