Friday, February 15, 2008

India - Third Post

Still in Arambol, and am soaking the heat into my bones to take with me back to Canada. I will not complain about the fact that I am constantly sweating, that my hair is frizzy-curly-out-of-control, or that I am radiating heat from my body. No, I will just drink more water, cool myself in the Arabian Sea and savour it. I'm feeling India take over now leavng me nice and mellow (or "shanti, shanti" ~ "peace, peace" as they say here).

I'm enjoying the yoga. We have daily 3 hour classes, but the instruction and detail is quite clear and reinforces so much about my Nia practice. The more I heard from our teacher, the more deep respect I felt for Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas, the founders of Nia, as they have managed to integrate so much wisdom in the practice. If I didn't think I needed to use the heel lead before this week, I'm truly convinced of it now!

This is me in wheel pose!

I've met some pretty cool people who are taking yoga for the first time. One guy, Kenneth, let me take a picture of his tattoo which was most inspiring, given his story (he also has bipolar disorder)!

We (Trixie, Tserring and Giovanna - my travel companions - and I) were at the Arjuna market on Wednesday. It's a big western/Indian market about 40 minutes from Arambol. Jose (a spanish version of Robin Williams who is also taking the yoga course we're in) joined us and kept us laughing throughout the day.

This time, I really reigned myself in on the shopping. I decided it makes no sense to spend $ on things I will only wear here, and things that will have a short life-span due to the cheap quality of the goods.

From Arjuna we went across the beach to Baja where we went para-sailing. Floating high above the sea was special, but the ride was quite short. Nonetheless, it was fun, and a British tourist told me I looked like Sigourney Weaver on the way back - maybe she was a little drunk, or was enjoying the chillum (hash) a little too much!!

Yesterday we went to the capital of Goa(Panjim) as well as Old Goa. It's about 1 hour away from Arambol. There was nothing much really interesting for me there - just some churches (christianity is big here) and an archeological museum. I went in the museum, but sat outside for the church. The organized religion thing is still not something I enjoy - I feel like a hypocrite patronizing such holy places, actually. I feel the respect, don't get me wrong. It's just that I feel I'm giving up a bit of my own divinity and truthfulness to myself even just by being there.

The moment I sat down on the bench outside the church to read my Lonely Planet, packs of young Indian men migrated towards me to have their picture taken with this foreigner. All they would have gotten was the top of my head as I was reading. One after one they sat down, just far enough away that I potentially might not see them, but close enough to get us both in the shot. There were even 2 men standing about 5 feet in front of me with a space between them - so I was in the shot, in the middle, but in the background. I find this highly amusing, and am reflecting on this as I type with a huge goofy on-the-verge-of-giggling grin. Even more bizarre to me is that they wouldn't ask me to pose - instead they chose to have their picture taken with the top of my head!

We saw a rather scary car crash while we were eating our lunch yesterday though. A bus ploughed into the driver's side (right side) of a small 4 door Tata car. The car was mangled but luckily no one was (visibly) hurt. It was the bus driver's fault, but of course he jumped off the bus and started yelling at the driver driver of the car. A big crowd of "witnesses" and many nosy people gathered, and the police eventually came (within about 20 minutes or so - pretty good by Indian standards). I was surprised that they seemed to be taking the whole thing quite seriously - they cleared away the Tata and then were measuring the intersection where it happened and were taking notes/filling out a report. What will happen to that report is another might just collect dust on someone's desk or be "lost" if insurance is involved. It was a scary sight.

We went on a sunset cruise from Panjim, forgetting it was Valentine's day. We were all driven a little squirrly by the Goan Trace beats pumping loudly through the speakers, but made light of it, enjoying the "local flavour" of our adventure. The DJ invited couples up to dance (Trixie refused to be part of a "couple" with me!), and then the men, followed by the women. What a sight. The men were bumping and grinding (mucho pelvis action!), and were generally a pretty tight and large crowd. The women were few and far between. Quite the opposite in Canada, unless, of course you're in a gay bar. Difference is, men in gay bars can actually dance, men here in Goa were attempting very awkward Bollywood dance moves. I enjoyed watching their creativity, though, and got a snap....

When we left Panjim, it was dark and our driver was narrowly missing everything he passed. After a few gasps, Trixie said "hey, we're in no rush here" and he slowed down. I have been sitting in the front seat for our excursions, so it is even more frightening to see the close encounters within such close proximity.

I'll sign off now...there's already been one power outage while I have been here. Apparently there's a problem with a submerged cable somewhere which is responsible for the frequent power interruptions?!

1 comment:

  1. Your descriptions of India are so fascinating and humourous at the same time that I wish I was there, but feel almost like I am! Thanks for sharing the highlights!