Thursday, June 18, 2015

Day 3

I am still undecided about how I feel about India.  After the long travel here, the delays, the conversion problems, the hellride through the desolate roads with the taxi driver and stranger, and then literally walking into my hotel room and immediately getting stung by a giant wasp, and having a hideous and continuing reaction to the venom, I was pretty sure I was not getting out of Goa alive, and if I actually did, and made it home to the USA, made a promise to myself to have my head examined quite thoroughly.  

After spending the entire day in bed yesterday nursing my ailing leg, and laying about in the spacious air conditioned room, listening to the soothing rain, watching HBO between dozing on and off, and taking a lukewarm shower that at least washed the travel away, I felt a little better.  I ordered room service, a very nice roasted lamb dish with new potatoes in a brown garlic sauce, that was very good.  And, a 7-Up with an old fashioned straw....made me think of home.

The food here is amazingly good!  For breakfast, I had a delicious omelette masala, which is a spicy omelette with hot peppers and other veggies in there, along with a light yet dense rice cake with a sublime cucumber sauce that accompanied it, and the waiter called "Cumar" insisted I try a nice little sort of porridge, delicate and milky, yet sweet, with slivered almonds and golden raisins, which was truly delicious.  You can't help but eat all of these amazing local and native dishes...it's so easy, as they are there, and so casual the way the food is given to you.  It's different from any other "foodie" state or country I've ever visited.  Say, for instance, Paris, the food is sublime, but the approach is aloof, and the Parisians offer no help there, haha....you are left on your own, overwhelmed with decisions, and for someone like me, I usually go with the safer choices...but not here in Goa.  For some reason, the atmosphere of this place is just conducive to partaking of all the native foods...or maybe it's just the bee sting that gave me brain damage!  No, I will give Goa high marks for delicious and interesting foods.

The people here are also very accommodating.  The men, who were severely demonized Stateside by well-meaning friends, have been very gentlemanly, and I appreciate that, since I was wary of them to the point of paranoia.  Now, don't think I will get too comfortable, but it's refreshing to know that for the most part, they have been very genteel and polite, and helpful to me when I have asked them to help me, directions, locations of certain stores and resources.  And, it's needed, because this place can be overwhelming...The chaos of it, extreme poverty and squalor, with pockets of civilization, on the outskirts of Goa, while Panjim City seems to be a wealthier area, with narrow streets jammed with taxis and rickshaws, and many different shops which would prove a real treat for those who love to shop, but I, either fortunately or unfortunately, am not one of those people, so just observing the place, the people, and the architecture was enough for me.  There seem to be many influences here, from the different groups of invaders that left their marks upon this place, leaving it fascinating in it's chaos and crumbling beauty.  

I came to observe and to digest this place, and I hope I am up to that task.  I finally have my mineral spirits, so I will sit on my lovely little balcony tonight, and paint the exotic flowers until the torrential rains return...

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