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Published: February 2nd 2008
I love India. Did I mention that before?
Oh well, I am still in Goa, and I am starting to think about leaving soon... My itinerary changed, I will not go south after all, I decided to go to Rajasthan instead. I figure that instead of being on a dog sled in February, I should try a camel trek this year. So this week I went to Panjim, a very nice city in Goa, where I tried to book my train ticket to Rajasthan. But I am a bit late and it might be somewhat complicated to get there, but we'll see. I will leave Goa next Saturday, and maybe I will have to go back to Mumbai first, but in about 10 days, I should be close to my first camel...
Panjim was lovely. Much cleaner and quieter and relaxed than I figured. I, of course, could not resist and went to the Khadi store (fabric store) and started looking at all the different cotton and silk, etc. The seller was very nice and he could tell I would buy something... So he let me go behind the counter "this is your shop", and he went and got some chai. Then he taught me the hindi word for cissors, showed me the meter and said "when you ready...". So it was fun, and the rest of the day was spent shopping for dupatta (scarf that women wear with the salwar kameez), going to the municipal market, the restaurant (yummy Gujurati Thali... I'm getting FAT), walking around, etc. The train booking was also fun to experience, very well organized, I was impressed. India seems to be a man-only place though, everywhere, in public places, I hardly see any women. Train station, post office, restaurant, all men.
Another thing that fascinates me her is how we can find everything. Maybe because of my visit to Cuba, where there is nothing in the stores, here, I even found... maple syrup! But really, there is everything here, and everything seems to come with a smile, the locals are very friendly.
Yesterday was funny too, Iain and I went to Mapusa again, Friday is market day and I had to go see the taylor again... We ran into one of the yoga teachers in the city, then we went in a really good restaurant (amazing food, again...) and anoher yoga student came in the same resto, and finally, in the evening, we also went to a restaurant where about 10 of the yoga students and teachers were having supper! When you start running into people you know, so far away from home, it is a sign that you have been in the place for a while... Maybe time to explore a new place, but I really like Goa, and it feels homy (or is it homey? Well, it feels like home, anyway..
The last discovery is a fruit called Cheiku. It is a fruit but it tastes like some sweet pudding inside. It adds up to the list of already-favorite mangoes, figs, dates, pineapple, bananas, papayas... Oh, and I didn't mention the rice pudding, the Goan cake called bebika or something like it, oh my God!, and the other goodies... ANd Iain's chai, a daily treat.
So only about a week left here, driving down the street on the scooter, going around the sleeping dogs, the colorful people, the goats and cows. I read somewhere that the Indian women, with their colorful saris and salwar kameez catch the eyes like butterflies. I couldn't have found a better way to describe it. Another week of great yoga, I love the experience and the intensity of studying with such great teachers and be surrounded by dedicated students. The atmosphere is wonderful and I feel awesome.
I had prejudices about Goa, thinking, oh, it will be full of tourists, bla bla bla, well it is true, butthere si a reason why people come here... Life is great in Goa!
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