Introduction To Goa

Apr 9, 2014 by

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People will often comment on how happy I look in photos or just how happy I seem in general. I always find this to be more amusing than anything because of my inner Wednesday Addams. Ah, and how I have fooled them! Truth be told, I have a dark side, one that came out as bossiness when I was a child, one that was stubbornness as a teenager, and one that loved writing morbid short stories and poetry for the angsty and depressed. I can remember going on family vacations as a child, to places like Florida, and I would look down at my white legs and think, “You do not belong here.” Without a doubt there would always be a beautiful blonde family also waiting for their rental car, and there would inevitably be a girl about my age: shiny yellow hair, perfect tan, long legs and cute short shorts.Β 

Before I left for Goa, I asked my boyfriend if painting my nails black for my trip to the beach was too goth. He said, “Go for it.” So I did. After all, Wednesday Addams. And then I met Rachel: pretty, shiny golden hair, a tan to die for, legs for miles, and yes, all the cute outfits too. Her nails were painted pink, mine black. Her hair was blonde, mine, well… almost black. She can tan and enjoys the sun. Meanwhile, I chase shadows. On the outside, our differences were apparent, and while steak-loving Rachel would recommend restaurants to me by starting her sentences out with, “I know you love lettuce…” I do dare say that I think I made a friend.

Before I came to India, Rachel’s blog was the single most useful blog I found, the one that provided me with the best information of what to expect while I’m here. Her advice on safety for women and riding the trainΒ were invaluable. When she invited me to stay with her in Goa, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

While I am not a person who enjoys the beach (because of my frightfully white skin and the pain it endures!) I love places like Goa, places with palm trees and fresh fruit juices, places with charm and character and cows with twisted horns walking down the street. Having heard a lot of buzz about Goa through travel blogs, I knew it was a place I wanted to visit.

 

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Rachel and I ate, ohhh, we ate. The first night we spent at Thalassa, where I ate a few things, most notably FETA. I apologize to anyone who gets a postcard from me written while I was in Goa. The feta thing just kept cropping up.

 

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The following day, I was mostly hungover and useless, thanks to beer and fenny. Still, Rachel and I managed to take her pup Huck for a walk and eat some more food.

 

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Who doesn’t love a good market..? That evening we went to the Saturday night market. We ate, we shopped, we shopped, we ate. Successful night if you ask me.

 

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The rest of the weekend was spent in this way. I ate and drank my way around Goa and explored Anjuna, Chapora, Ashwem, Assagao, Panaji, Old Goa and did enough market hopping to make packing at the beginning of May a big old question mark. After a month of volunteering in Mumbai and not entertaining the part of myself that enjoys shopping and pretty things (yes, even Wednesday Addams has a sense for the aesthetically pleasing), one of my favourite moments all weekend was sitting with Rachel and ogling the endless rings in cases at the night market. Simple pleasures.

For the moment, I will let the stories and experiences from the weekend simmer to ensure they are ready to be served. Until then, I will say this: Goa is a place that most definitely warrants a second visit.

 

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I am back in Mumbai now, back to the familiar smells of Khar, of the fish at the market and the garbage pile and the potent smell of chickens. I am back with my kids, and we’ve started their exams, a process that is so far interesting to say the least. I am back to my cold showers and lack of AC and enough rice to build a rice house, or something else sizeable constructed solely out of rice. I eat a lot of rice, okay? I am back to all this, and the oddest part is the feeling that this is home, that after a trip to a beautiful place like Goa,Β thisΒ is my home. It’s funny what we get used to, funny how the meaning of home changes when we travel.

My time here will very shortly begin to feel like it is dwindling, like sand in an hourglass, but I won’t think of that yet. Even though the world awaits, and I am still on a one way ticket to India, for now this is home. For I have things to do here still…

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25 Comments

  1. I LOVE Indian food (though I’ve never eaten any in India). We’ve been eating a LOT of it lately since… you know… no kitchen, and that picture with the spices actually made me salivate. There’s just something about the combination of spices they use…

    • Colleen

      I’ve heard people say how different the food is here compared to home (home being Winnipeg or Canada in general) but I actually think it’s quite similar. Or maybe I’m just really lucky to have a great Indian restaurant in my city. Seriously I will take you there and you will die a little.
      And I have always been intimidated by the spices Indians use, but I actually feel like this is a culinary skill I could tackle now… and want to!

      • Okay. When are you going to be back in Winnipeg? Because I’m going to be in Chicago in July (I think), which is like halfway there already. I could maybe then go visit my dad in Minneapolis and head up to Canada!

        • Colleen

          I will likely be back at the beginning of June. Sooo if you have the time and means, then you have to come! I will put together a killer feasting itinerary for you/us… Oh man!

  2. Zhu

    So much colours and so much life!

    I think it’s okay to have a darker side. Most people do. It’s all about balance…

    • Colleen

      It’s true… Goa was great for the colours and life… Hard to take a bad photo. I would love to see it during monsoon when all the tourists are gone and it’s green green green!

  3. So glad you guys met and had a great time. I love reading both your blogs πŸ™‚ Goa looks amazing, I’d love to visit sometime.

    • Colleen

      Thank you Joella… Rachel does have a great blog, and she was a wonderful host too. I’m so lucky!

  4. hhaha girl I am NOT that tan! I was literally thinking this morning, I need to lay out. People in America are probably more tanned. I loved this post. You are far too kind! sooo I know you love lettuce but I might order some momo’s from sakana tonight. minus the rude girl at the beginning that was like “pick a seat.”

    • Colleen

      The trick, Rachel, is to just keep me around and then you will always look like you have an amazing tan. Seriously, you wouldn’t be the first person to do that or think of doing it.
      Oh and the momo’s!!! Ugh, enjoy!! And haha I just laughed out loud… that seat girl was so weird.

  5. Ah that’s so cool you went down and visited Rachel. I bet she would be a fun tour guide! You deserved a beach getaway after all the craziness in Mumbai!

    So true about how we get used to things. Sometimes I think about the weird things I went through day to day in Korea and at the time it didn’t seem to phase me. It was all just normal. Now I can look back and see how maybe in an underlying sense it really was affecting me, sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad.

    Enjoy the present while you can! But the smell of chicken? I’m not sure I’d enjoy that one..

    • Colleen

      It’s funny how you mention that about Korea; I can totally relate. I think this is why I never get culture shock but ALWAYS get reverse culture shock. Home is just so so weird after being somewhere so different like Korea or India. I adapt quickly but then when I’m surrounded by Canadians I pretty much trip out.
      Thank you for the nice comment Jessica. Let’s get on that epic girls meet up!

  6. Okay, can we just all meet in Goa? And eat all the things and drink all the fenny? Please? I’m so jealous you guys got to hang out (and glad you got a break from Mumbai!)

  7. I love it when I read about travel bloggers meeting up! And at the back of my mind I’m also thinking ‘When will it be my turn?’ πŸ˜‰ Looks like you did a lot of eating, and it’s funny hearing you talk about feta, because I’ve never associated it with India!

    Much love,

    Uncle Fester.

    • Colleen

      Okay are we soulmates? Uncle Fester is such a treat.
      Have you had a travel blogger meet up yet? It’s the most fun. We really should try! Where are you in the next couple of months?

      • I’ve never experienced the delight of a travel blogger meet up! I’m usually always based around London, and apart from Sweden and Finland over the next couple of months I don’t have anything else planned! I’ve been meaning to go to India for soooo long but other things keep coming up… but maybe you’ll still be there when I manage to go!

  8. As we all know that Goa has always been charming places to visit and we must admit that Goa is no less than heaven. I still remember to my last vacation trip when I visited with my entire family & enjoyed a lot, I can’t explain here about specially on Goa beaches, It was unfortunate that you did not take enjoy on beaches of Goa because you had some problem. But I hope, when you visit next time then should be try to go there.

    • Colleen

      Your trip to Goa sounds lovely!
      I should clarify, I definitely did go to the beach in Goa, but the way I enjoy a beach is not the way most people do. I have to be in the shade with a cool drink in hand. That, or I’m in the water either snorkeling or diving. πŸ™‚

  9. Goa looks lovely, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was the making of a new friend (even a steak-loving one… not that I blame her!) that really sealed the deal. Most of our best travel memories from our own trip have come from meeting up with fellow travel bloggers, especially ones who are based in whatever city we happen to be visiting (so we can get the inside track to awesomeville!). Looks like you guys had so much fun, and I’m sure it was a welcome respite from Mumbai. But it’s always nice to be home, even when “home” just happens to be a place that you’ve been for a month or two and only has cold water showers. πŸ™‚ Would love it if we could meet up at some point… maybe when Tony & I are back in Canada this summer!

    • Colleen

      Yes, you are right. Rachel and her dog Huck will be the predominant memory of my trip for sure. I would LOVE LOVE to meet up this summer – where and when? Please, please come to Winnipeg!!! I will take very good care of you guys! When are you back? I will be back in June sometime.

  10. Great to read you had a good time in Goa. I LOVE Goa and keep on going back whenever we’re in India, even if just for a few days. And so cool you got to meet Rachel: I like her blog a lot too! πŸ™‚

    • Colleen

      Goa was awesome. And yes, I was super lucky for the experience I had with Rachel… such a great girl!!

  11. HOW COOL THAT YOU STAYED WITH RACHEL! The two of you most have had a fantastic time. The blogging world is just the coolest and Goa sounds amazing. I think I would not have stopped eating either.

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