I have no overriding theme for today's post, so I'll just wing it. (The humid and tropical beach air has a tendency to make living and associated thoughts quite simple.) I haven't changed much since I last wrote, although my hair needs a wash, I have a layer of Indian sun burn and I'm grateful to Shiva for sparing me after that restaurant's "fireworks" on New Year's Eve.
We took a boat out on Old Year's day to a small beach around the "corner", called Butterfly Beach. Despite being picked up by a Mumbaian "businessman", who kept on asking if I'd "swim deep" with him, it was a very pleasant day. We were forced to find dolphins, which seemed to excite the boat guys more than us and then our boat cut out (personally I believe the engine was flooded). It took 20 panicked minutes to get it started again. Personally, I found it quite amusing and relaxing. I have decided that I am probably cursed with The Boat-start Blues. I did not convey this to the Captain and his skipper though- with quite elaborate religious expression, there comes an equal amount of superstition- in this part of the world referred to as Kharma.
Palolem beach on New Year is like Hermanus was to some of us in the 90's. It's packed and everyone from everywhere makes their way to it for the night. Let's be honest, it was a slightly odd evening. We met up with Karen, Gisela and Doug for dinner and then had drinks at a few places until we believed we'd found "a vibe." Well, it was certainly a vibe, but a different one at that. The highlights were the masses of drunk middle-class Brits and the uncontrolled fireworks our restaurant was responsible for. Without warning, a series of chaotic and random explosions would begin in front of us on the beach. When something shot past my ear, I decided that fireworks are likely best left to the Chinese.
The Old in us sent us off to our respective homes not too long after 12. However, Carolyn and I noticed a slightly interesting party happening at our guesthouse, Camp San Francisco. We decided to have one more chilled drink on the beach, but were instead aggressively hounded by wasted and extremely high and sweaty Indians to dance with them. I resisted and when I was about to be accused of racism, culturism or something similar, I simply (and honestly, let me tell you) said, "Why on earth would I travel to INDIA to spend the evening dancing to Western music?" This comment hit a heart string and the music was promptly and willingly changed to Indian pop. I had to dance. A kind Indian girl taught me the "Say-No/ Rejection Dance" when a sweaty man started pestering me. It's pretty much a series of Spanish/Bollywood hand movments that obviously tell the pursuer to go away. He went away immediately and another Indian guy burst out laughing, telling me I did the Go-Away dance. I proudly learnt something new and ridiculously cool!
My photos here are scarce, so instead I have the Roti-maker, who was far more interesting than the sweaty revellers.
New Year's day was kind- the wine here gives zero hangover (or staisfaction for that matter). We headed off with the two American guys, Pete and Matt to the Spice Farm and Dudhsagar Falls. The actual sights were pleasant, but fleeting, and most of the day was spent crammed into Niki's taxi that tackled the bad and windy roads, while we bounced around in the back willing breakfast and then lunch to remain seated.
Because I was stuck in the middle, Niki was a fervent driver and the roads were so bumpy, I sadly did not have an opportunity to take pictures of the quaint and chilled towns, rivers and rice paddys. I'd have asked Niki to stop, but he is a cell phone addict also and he was having a fight on the phone with his wife. They always fight, he said, but only on the phone. An hour and a half later these words were uttered in between the dramatic Hindi phrases, "I still like you very much. I love you. Yes, I still like you very much."
Pete and Matt at the sight of Feni ( a locally distilled drink) and our lunch at the Spice Farm:
1) Jesus is popular in the South. I'll try and get a picture of one of the elaborate Nativity displays that everyone seems to have outside their home. 2) Collem
The 4 of us at Dudhsagar Falls and C and I
The walk to the falls:
Breakfast and a cow:
And with that, I must leave. Carolyn will finish another book and I'll feel guilty again for not having finished the ONE she hasn't yet read.