Morning, hot and golden, had broken over the horizon about an hour earlier. Mina had risen, showered and dressed and headed out into the warren of alleys and passages of the bazaar. These spaces in between were, like the negative space in a painting, born of the room left empty between stalls.
It was shady and dark in there, though already hot, as she moved anonymously along among the men and women and children, crushing and heaving and smelling of stale spices and sand and sweat in their multicoloured throng.
She passed piles of rugs, scarves, pottery and pots, gold and silver and gemstones and mirrors. She twisted and turned, moving through tables that held bowls upon bowls of ground powders in reds and browns and golds and blacks, their sweet and sour and spicy aromas mingling and lifting into the sky to temporarily block out the stench of humanity.