Sunday, January 06, 2008

Goa Part 2

Goa is beautiful and ugly at the same time. I think I have a love hate relationship ... The natural beauty of the place is amazing. The Arabian Sea all along the coast, amazing lush greenery mixed with beaches, hills, valleys, it is gorgeous. However, it is like the Mexico of the British. Although the beaches are amazing, they are filled with old, overweight, leathery british people in speedos and inappropriate bikinis. Everything is way more expensive here because they are catering to tourists. You cannot get good Indian food, but you also can't get good western food.

My favorite part of Goa was getting an ayervedic massage from a lady in her house near the beach, swimming in the waves, and relaxing on a lounge chair in the sun. Once you left the beach it was the worst experience of India. THe worst hotel, and a sightseeing tour that consisted of a bus with no shocks dropping us off at 2 temples, explaining what they were in Hindi (no english) and then driving for 4 hours. Oh and capped off with a "boat cruise" which was a 1 hour dance party on a boat which my mom swears blew her eardrums. I really think in their rush to capatilize on tourism they have ruined the area ... it's too bad.

On another note, indians need to learn about economic diversity. In every city, you can buy the specific things that you can't get anywhere else. THere are always about 500 people selling the same things so no one really makes any money. However, if you go 2 km away, you can't find that thing anywhere. Really, if they just mixed around a bit, it would make a lot more sense ...

Anyways. We are back in Chembur. Now that I amover culture shock I really like it here. It is relaxed, vibrant, and so cheap!! We are doing some last minute shopping and hanging out wiht the family. We are leaving at 2:00 in the morning (tonight) to head home. I have about 40 hours of travel ahead of me. I am not looking forward to that. I am however looking forward to seeing T and to sleeping in my own bed!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Goa

We had to fly from Kochi to Goa since all the trains were booked. It is peak season on the west coast. It was a pretty good flight, only about 1 hour. Indians can be efficient, we were called to board, boarding, taxied to the runway, and took off in 10 minutes. And we were off the plane with our luggage in 5. Pretty different from Mumbai!!

We are staying in a beach "resort" in Goa. If by resort you mean a bed and a tv. It's pretty bad, worse than the little dinky cheap hotels we were staying at before. Oh well, at least its 500m from the beach. I think I will spend my time there. ;)

Today after arriving we went to Ajuna beach for the Wednesday market. It was insane. Like an entire city of outdoor markets ... only thing is, they are all selling the same thing. And they all think they can charge ridiculous prices because its all tourists who don't know how much to charge. Since we've been here for 2 weeks, we are starting to know what things are worth. It's much easier now to walk away from things if they are not a good price!

Tomorrow we have a sightseeing tour booked, then we'll head to the beach. Maybe we'll get some ayervedic massages too ... We'll relax here for a few days before heading back to the madness that is Mumbai!! I'm kind of looking forward to that ... some real good Indian food, good tea, and saris everywhere!!!

Kochi

Kochi is like going on vacation from India. It is all white tourists, the only Indian people here are the ones giving the services. However, it is still a really nice place.

It was nice after seeing all the big, chatoic, crazy indian cities to relax, Kochi is a slow paced city. You walk along the beach and see the chinese fishing nets, eat some ice cream, and shop in the markets, see a traditional dance performance, have dinner at the beach and not do much else!

But I did kind of find myself missing India ... oddly ... the food is not indian, the people are not indian, and all the stuff you can buy is the kind of stuff that is made in india and exported. People in india do not actually wear fisherman pants and sequined tank tops.

New Years eve was fun here though. So many people, music, parades, fireworks ... it was a nice time!