First Days in India


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Asia » India » Goa
December 12th 2016
Published: July 8th 2017
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Geo: 15.3913, 73.9485

We set out on our adventure, dreaming of exotic culture, food and warm weather. That, of course, was after we did the usual frenetic run to the finish line of house cleaning, preparations and packing. As we had cancelled our internet connection and didn't check to see if our flight was delayed and sure enough, it was...from an 11:30pm departure to 2:00am, making for a strained beginning to our travel.And so it began...a rush through Heathrow airport to catch our connection to Mumbai, another delay (1.5 hours) in Mumbai then 4 hours sitting on the runway only to arrive in Goa with no baggage. Although we have never lost our baggage before, I always prepare by choosing layers of clothes to fly in, ensuring I'm wearing my most important footwear, carrying on all medications, electronic chargers, a toothbrush and an extra pair of underwear. It has proved to be a valuable practice as I go into day 5 of no clean clothes or accoutrements. <br style="color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.8px;">Normally we would begin to buy some essentials by now like sunscreen and shorts but India has a monetary crisis going on (a decision made by government to thwart black market activity without full analysis of the consequences of their actions). Because money is not very available - as in every day we have to find a bank machine that is working, wait in line, make 4 transactions of $40 each if there is money remaining in the machine. Then we have trouble using the money because the machines dispense in denominations so large that most vendors do not have access to cash to make change. We have to pay our accommodations and food with this money so must ensure we have enough to cover that. Now we have wads of cash worth very little. A 100 rupee note is worth $2.00 and the goal is to have all your money in 100 rupee notes or less! Soon we will need our luggage to carry around money.

One of those unintended consequences of the government's decision is that tourism is down and tourists are afraid to spend their money, and sometimes cannot. It is the hardworking Indians trying to run businesses or who work in tourism who are suffering most.Jim and I glance at each other with fatigue wearing obviously on our faces and wonder, "are we getting too old for this kind of travel?" We hope not and we notice we are certainly less resilient than we were 30 years ago; honestly, even 10 years ago. Ah, but India never disappoints. Driving from the airport, where distracted driving is a prerequisite for surviving in the chaotic deluge of scooters, cars, trucks, bicycles and cows, we never feared for our lives as these guys know how to drive here while phone in hand talking, texting and even taking selfies. I think of the driving in Saigon and Phnom Penh and laugh at how seemingly orderly that was compared to here.We have enjoyed delicious curries, bursting with fresh spice flavours such as cardamom, cloves, chili and turmeric. The seafood caught daily and soft garlic cheese naan are to die for. And for those who know me, it's a miracle that I have not slopped on my one and only top in 5 days of meals - a record I am sure.Our plans for our stay in India are developing. In our tired moments, we think we will stay a month and go home. Realistically, we will wait here in Goa for a week or so, hoping to get our luggage, then head further south to Varkala and plant ourselves until the new year. Our apologies for few photos. Although we have some of our chargers (my IPad), we don't have the converter so don't feel free enough to use our electronic devices much.

UPDATE: Since first writing this, we received our luggage and are happily adjusting. At sunrise, Jim went out for his first fitness walk this morning and we did a quick FaceTime call - although frustrating with broken communication - with our son. We are good.

To see more of Jim's photos and in higher resolution, visit his Flickr site.


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12th December 2016

Thanks for the update Happy to hear you got your luggage Enkoy your travels I look forward to more posts Great photos
12th December 2016

Good to get the update. Looking forward toPics too. Have fun.
12th December 2016

The adventure begins!Have fun and travel safe
12th December 2016

Great to hear from so many of you; we really appreciate your comments! I am having a quiet day today and Jim is out exploring.
12th December 2016

Looking forward to the tales yet to come.
12th December 2016

Too bad about the inconveniences encountered on the first part of your trip. The currency issue seems to be a real problem for tourists and the local merchants. Glad you retrieved your luggage. Onward and upward from here. Peter
12th December 2016

A true adventure!! Glad you are settling in now. Have a great time!
12th December 2016

Yipppee re luggage. Pics and writing are great as I sit here on a Monday waiting for our 15 cm of snow. Oysters tonight at Gina and George's - I may even get to a bank machine where I will think of you. So hard to imagine everyday tasks bei
ng so complicated. What an adventure!!
12th December 2016

So happy to have someone to live vicariously through right now. The weather is beastly, so cold. but I have a million things to be thankful for, one of them being it's only 28 weeks until summer, and a warm house until then, so it's OK. Lov
e you guys! You are so brave and adventurous. I'm sure all things will fall into place quickly, they have already begun, in fact: you have choices in attire. And did you know, there are about 30 ways to tie a sari, so when you're sick of the same western clothes, give it a try. I'm sure you could find one cheap and beautiful. And they have similar things for men, Jim will be happy to hear. Frozen hugs and kisses from Sherwood Park!((o))
12th December 2016

How can you look this good after exhaustingly long travel, dust, heat, no clothes or money? Amazing.
12th December 2016

This is really cool. I want to be there with you enjoying the culture.
12th December 2016

Beautiful, so serene.
12th December 2016

Wonderful to hear from you, Donna. You have great spirit!Looking forward to photos and your accounts of your adventures. Today we are having a snow storm in Halifax - probably won't happen in Goa.
13th December 2016

Beautiful no matter the same clothes! I just love it when you two travel. I feel as if I am there too. Thanks so much!
13th December 2016

Yes, the culture here is fascinating...one of my most favourites!Sent from my iPad
14th December 2016

I wondered that myself, Wendy! Then it dawned on me that Jim probably touched up the photo but when I asked him he said he didn't. Must be the sunset light...:)
14th December 2016

Nice portrait - looking forward to seeing many more.
15th December 2016

Wow, I'm amazed at you two warriors. Very much enjoy reading about your adventures and seeing gorgeous pics.
15th December 2016

11 legs!
15th December 2016

or 11 hooves 12 legs!

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