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Absolute bliss in Goa

Written on: Sunday February 1st, 2009

I woke from a peaceful slumber to the cawing of crows above my roof.  The overhead fan cooled my body as I reached for the latest paperback to hold my interest.  Having located the point where I dozed off last night, I picked up the story and read for an hour before sliding my feet over the edge of the bed and scampering in the general direction of the bathroom.  A brush of the teeth was all that was needed before putting on some board shorts and exiting my room to saunter toward the ocean. 

 "Good morning, Mary.  Banana pancake, black coffee and a mango shake today please."

I chose a seat at the edge of the restaurant...where the concrete deck overlooked the beach.  It was still relatively early, so the action was only beginning to pick up.  Breaky came and I leisurely ate it to the sound of waves crashing against the sand.

"Hi girls.  No, I'm not shopping today. Maybe I'll stop by tomorrow.  No, I didn't promise...just maybe."

Another hour was spent on the beach, with that time evenly split between reading my book and declining offers to buy anything from fruit and sarongs to hand made drums and narcotics.

I went back to the room to drop off the book and grab the keys to my motorbike.  Exiting the property, I was sure to properly fasten the gate so the heard of cows would feast on the neighbor's bushes, and not those owned by my landlord.  I inserted the ipod earphones and hit play: "How many roads must a man walk down..." Ah, yes, the 'other' Bob made the five minute journey to 'town' all the more enjoyable. 

"Hello Raju, do you have a computer available?  No, I'd prefer the one outside; it uploads photos more quickly.  Thanks."

Two hours and many emails later I left Raju and headed back to the room.  Changing into more approprite running attire (ie: a layer beneath my swimsuit), I stretched and walked back to the beach.  Down the steps and onto the sand...ok, let's try to beat yesterday's time.  Go!  A constant stride continued for the next fifteen minutes and three seconds, during which time I passed dozens of beach bars and restaurants and hundreds of people lazing on the beach.  The restaurants blasted various styles of music from the oversized speakers set on the sand: house, reggae, dance, Hindi, trance and rock..it was all there.  The people I passed were just as varied: young couples on holiday, locals peddling their wares, aged hippies with dread-locked gray hair wearing nothing more than a thong (both women and men), Indians on holiday, fully clothed at the edge of the sea, staring at all the white, western, female flesh.  Gotta love Goa!  I walked back to the resort and grabbed a boogie board...the tide was perfect for some excellent waves.  An hour and a half later I was spent- my arms fatigued, my chest rashed from the sand, but my soul happy as hell.  I returned the board and found an open chair on the beach. 

"Sure. I'll take one mango please.  No, I don't need any watermelon today."

Satisfactorily cooled down, I climbed the stairs and grabbed my camera and a 500ml Kingfisher Draught.  The sunset was spectacular today!  Glad that I hung around to see it. 

I went back to my room and hit the shower.  Dang, my hair is getting long!  No worries, that's why I bought all these binders...if only Liz could see me now.  Having adequately dried my cleansed body, I pondered what to adorn it with this evening.  I think I'll go with the black fisherman pants and the purple/red striped thing I bought yesterday.  Having accepted that I was presentable to the world, I went back to the restaurant and scoped the fresh seafood display. 

"What do you have for me today?  No...not in the mood for baramundi.  Have you any squid?  Nope?  OK, I'll take the prawns.  Sure, bring another draught to my table."  Another few chapters were finished about twenty minutes before the prawns were. 

"Thank you, my friend.  You've outdone yourself tonight!"

Returning the book to it's home on my patio table, I once again made it to the beach and headed south, to the sound of interesting music.  A four person band was sitting cross-legged, slightly elevated above the sand.  A sitar, a keyboard, a percussion set, and a didgeridoo made up the ensamble that produced an exotic, trance-like sound.  A few songs into the set resulted in the appearance of an equally exotic belly dancer.  She gyrated with the rythem and had the crowd at her fingertips.  Awefully impressive, I had to admit.

Ready for something different, I escaped the beach and headed into the bar. 

"Hi guys!  Yes, I'm having a good night.  You?  Cool.  Who's up for pool?"

Tonight, like most nights that I've played, I tested my skills on an oversized table with undersized pool balls...a combination that should yield positive benefits when I return to the USA.  My friends/partners/opponents tonight were a couple guys from Scotland, along with the regular crowd of sharp-shooting Indians who worked at the bar.  When it was all said and done, I was 4-3.  Not a great night on the table, but fun nonetheless.

Now that the beach traffic had slowed down, it was time to visit another group of locals that I met last week.  They taught me a new card game: flash.  It was similar to three card guts (poker), with a few variations.  I had caught on quickly last time I was here, but came home with an emptier wallet than I would have liked.  Tonight's goal was to make up for that loss.  The cards were dealt, the beers were poured and the illegal substances were enjoyed by everybody except me.  Two hours later as I exited the game, I found myself ahead 360 Rs, which covered the loss of 290 Rs that I suffered two nights prior.  Net gain was 70 Rs, or $1.50.  Yep, it's pretty much just for fun, and reminded me of playing sheephead with the family over Thanksgiving.

Avoiding the hoards of beach dogs on the way home, I quietly sneaked across the property, careful not to wake the three brothers sleeping on cots in the foyer.  I passed them without making a sound, closed the gate, and made it to my room. 

"Well, hello!  What are you still doing up?"

My French sculptor neighbor was awake and chillin' on her porch.

"Sure, come on over.  I've got some wine."

So we drank and chatted, discussing things from art to travel to geography to children.  It was a good converation and a wonderful way to end the day.  She went back to her place and I dived into bed, propping the pillows into that perfect position so as to catch the light just right to read my novel until I drifted into a deep, peaceful sleep.



From Br Joe B on Feb 3rd, 2009

Good man - stay off the "drugs". That's a hard existence you're writing about there - I feel for ya pal.... ;} The entry was a really good read - you should think about going into writing at some point. Make sure I get "props" on the dust cover.....

From Will and Maria on Feb 4th, 2009

Now thats what Im talkin bout much love Brother

From Maria on Feb 7th, 2009

Who knew you'd look so good with luscious man hair?!?! Any you're getting buff!!!

From Mom on Feb 7th, 2009

Reading about this part of your trip makes me want to be there with you so badly. It brought back wonderful memories of Bali. India has always been on my list to visit. Maybe someday I'll get there....even better if it could be with you!I miss you so much sweetie, but it sure helps reading about all of your wonderful adventures. Stay safe!