Sheila & Monica – Mia Jacobsen from… India

Mia Jacobsen was the first -ever-contributor to Aroundbarcelona while she lived in this city. She´s back, sharing experiences from around the world.

Name: Sheila & Monica
Age: 29 and 33
Occupation: Jewelry sellers at Palolem Beach in Goa
Relation: Sisters

A hangover morning… I’m half dead, suntanning on the beach. It’s 11 oclock and Palolem Beach is starting to recover from yesterday’s party. «Mam, henna, nice jewelery? Very good price for you, my friend! Where are you from? You are so pale mam…» I close my eyes under my big shades and pretend to be asleep. One after one passes and blurps out the same phrases every minute. All I need is HALF an hour to sleep off yesterday’s fun.

After a good hours power nap, I’m finally starting to get back to myself. With an icecold dietcoke I’m chilling at my sunbed as two girls pass by. «Good morning mam, tired from yesterday’s party? You want to look at some jewelery to feel better?» At once I understand that these are my type of girls… so I smile and shake my head politely. Still not interested but they are worth my attention.

«Where are you from miss, you are so pale. I love your skin. My name is Monica, this is my sister Sheila, what’s your name mam?» I look around, its still a boring morning. Not much happening, got time to kill. «I’m Mia, from Norway… nice to meet you, Monica and Sheila»

The talk goes on and I’m forced to look at their bag full of jewelry. As the hours pass rapidly, I start to understand that these two ladies are very sweet, not just desperate sellers strolling down the beach of Palolem. With «Very good price for you my friend» pounding in my head, I kindly ask them to come back the next day. Yesterday’s vodka & wine killed my shopping mood.

The next morning, Sheila limps over to my sun-bed. She looks tired, so I ask her to sit down as I order a bottle of icecold water for her. She shows me a big bondage around her leg. It’s aching and gives her a horrible pain up her leg. She was in a car accident five weeks ago and got her leg smashed. Today is her second day back at work. It’s obvious that she should be in bed recovering. I ask her why she is back at work so soon. I already know the answer, but the curiosity to understand more of her life drives me to ask the question.»I’m a mum of two boys. They are nine and eleven. It’s been hard being home for a month, no money mam, no money when I’m home. You see, my husband left me four years ago. I have to support my family now on my own.» I take a deep breath… How can I ask more without being rude?! «If you don’t mind my asking, did your husband pass away?» She leans back in the sunbed and her posture cleary weakens. I think this lady is carrying much more pain than what I can ever understand. «You see my friend, he died four years ago. And from then, my family turned my back to me. I have my sons and my sisters now. It’s not good for a woman to be without a man. After that day I haven’t spoken to my parents». I can feel the tears forcing through but I try to be cool. As the first tear drops on my chin, Guro comes over. I turn quickly to her and ask her to talk to Sheila while I run to the sea. As Guro doesn´t know anything of our conversation, she sits down confused as I walk down to the water. I splash water in my face while I focus to stop the tears. It’s just too unfair.

How can a woman loose her husband and her family at the same day? How can she walk up and down the beach with a badly bruised leg when she should be in bed recovering? How does she find the strenght to send her children to school when bringing them to the beach is a much better option? The tears turn into crocodiletears and I feel embarrased to be crying like a baby in the water. I gather myself and walk up to our spot again. Sheila looks at me with a big smile «Are you okay my friend? Do you want to look at some jewelery now, maybe?»

-Mia @ India

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