12 Apr 2012
Goa - Last on my List
To begin with Goa, Goa, Goa, hmmmm.
I've always said out of all the destinations in India Goa would be right down there on the bottom of my list of places to go, and I still hold this to be true. But for this trip it was fine. Actually it's very beautiful and easy going, but not the India I love.
My first week there saw me a little disgruntled, it was dusty, expensive, super westernised, rubbish scattered everywhere, very very touristy and in need of a good downpour of rain. It is the trance party capital of the world, and also a popular family beach holiday destination, neither of which hold much appeal for me. So I had to let go of my India expectations and accept Goa as Goa and remember that I came for the yoga, to heal and rejuvenate.
It was also much more expensive than I had imagined. The quality and thus cost of living is a little higher than in other parts of India and so I went way over my budget. Usually I stay in the cheapest most basic room, but I wasn't in the mood for austerity this trip and plumped for a room with kitchen, bathroom and an antique four poster bed, set in a beautiful garden with a friendly family and smiley dog in their traditional Portuguese style house, it felt safe, the garden air green and pleasant and most importantly, quiet and relaxing.
Often it felt like I had come into collision with an old version of myself. Being around all the party people made me remember how I was 16 years ago, and so I also saw how much I had changed, some good some bad. One big change was that I felt Japanese and yearned for Japanese company, but at first, due to my un-Japanese looks and my Japanese shyness I found it difficult to enter the circle. I felt like I had been ejected from the nest, a most peculiar sensation. Finally when I spoke Japanese to them and they realised I lived there and was one of them they opened up, it felt so comforting to be among Japanese in India. The other side of me naturally gravitated towards some of the party people, was nice to hang out with non-ashtangi, who have a very interesting often yogic perspective on life. I had no inclination to party, that went a LONG time ago, but the people felt familiar. It's often the people you meet in India that make the trip, and this was especially true in Goa, it's where like minded folk congregate. I found myself with a lot of Israeli, such warm, open and friendly folk
The food was an experience, fell in love with the Goan thali, so wholesome and simple. But, Goa being the tourist destination that it is had the restaurants to go with it so I had very good Italian, Greek, Israeli, Thai and French food, quite a treat, more variety than I can get here in Northern japan, the supermarket was very international too.
All in all just what I needed, may even return there.