Monthly Archives: January 2012

Recovering in the most Un-Indian part of India – Arambol Beach, India

I am sitting in one of the many cafes that provide free wi-fi but it does no good because the power is out again. No matter. Reminds us all to slow down. Not sure I could slow down much more than I have now though. It took me 2 hours to get out of bed this morning. I finally got it together to come try a new breakfast spot. This one brags of good coffee and scrumptious cookies neither of which I am trying. Instead I will go with the breakfast of eggs, salad, toast, homemade jam and ginger lemon tea for 80 rupees. Not only is the price right but the vibe here at Dylan’s Coffee House suits my mood.

I am feeling much better and my cough has subsided save for a few episodes this morning. I didn’t sleep well due to my new hair style. I spent the last three days at Om Hair Art while Vicky and his mom tag teamed braiding my mane into one hundred tiny braids. Last time I got this done in Africa I had extensions added but this time I am hoping to keep it natural and maybe my locks will dread naturally over time. It was a real pleasure getting to know Vicky’s family and how they run the hair/bikini shop. By the end of it, I knew most of the prices on things and had even sold a few people on braids or dreads. They like me and think I am good for business.

I negotiated a better price on the flat I am staying which tempts me to stay even longer. I have been here a week now and don’t feel any draw to move. After a couple nights of moving around I feel settled and am beginning to find my favorite places. Internet is cheap at only 40 rupees an hour and I can work on editing my book. I am learning that this process takes a lot longer than I had thought as I keep remembering more stories that I hadn’t written in the blog. I have been adding but not really taking away which is making the book fatter and fatter. Reliving my early travels has been amusing to say the least and even dare I say, charming, in parts. Can someone charm themselves?

My food has come and it is delicious. About a dozen French people have come as well and the place is now buzzing with words I only half recognize. I guess one of the bonuses of growing up in Canada is that even if you didn’t study it, the French language has somehow made its way into your subconscious.  Every two minutes I hear someone call out for a cheese croissant. There are a couple of guys in front of me doing some serious pretzel stretching between puffs of a fat cigarette of wacky tabacky. There is a place here in town called Cookie Walla (Cookie Master) and apparently they sell hopped up cookies. After visiting the smoky dopey tent I believe it. I liked the idea of a cookie walla but don’t want to partake of the “special” ingredients. So I guess no cookie for me.

There are a lot of circus type people here with a unique tribal style. One of my favorite parts of being here is the gathering which happens at sunset point on the beach.  Along with the drum/dance circle there are dozen or so artisans selling their wares. From twisted jewelry to stylish clothes to tarot card readings to essential oils, you will find it here. I was so impressed by the brave young woman selling the Diva/Moon cup on her little blanket spread out on the sand. I gave her a big hug to show my appreciation of her promoting this valuable product.  There are a few people who bring momos and other stuffed dumplings as well as a roasted corn cart which usually shows up. If none of that grabs you, you can watch performers of every caliber practicing with the backdrop of the fiery orange sun sinking into the sea. Yes it goes without saying there are a lot of beautiful people here. And most of them know it.

Grateful for getting a break.

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Bathing Beauties – Arambol Beach, India

I am just having breakfast for lunch in the restaurant near my house. It’s 120 rupees (just over two dollars) for eggs, porridge, fresh fruit, yogurt, and tea. It’s no competition for the fruit salad at Happy Banana but I already had that one this morning. I am trying to load up on fruits, vegetables and soups until I am completely recovered. But today I felt a little bit of protein would do me a bit of good. Last night I felt somewhat out of sorts perhaps due to my light eating. I don’t do too much in a day but it seems to be a lot of walking much of it in the sand.

The other morning we woke up early (ish) and made the hike to sweet lake.  Raminta and Isabella led the way around the cliffside as I had never been there before.  We passed lots of little shops much like the ones in town but more peaceful and chilled out. The prices seemed around the same but then again, I am not a big shopper. We padded down the dirt pathway as I gazed out at the white surf crashing on the rocky shoreline. The huts and rooms on this side are most certainly a lot more quiet but along with isolation comes more risk. I considered moving over here for about a minute then let the thought move on. Seclusion is not necessary at this point.

We climbed through the jungle finally coming to our intended destination. Mud baths! There was a small freshwater stream which we borrowed water from to make a paste of the light yellow soft clay we had scraped from the rockface. We smeared it all over our faces and made a lovely exfoliating scrub for our bods. We giggled while we made sure each other were muddy head to toe definitely engaging our inner children. Isa made sure my back was covered while Minta made some more of the smooth gooey paste.

While we were waiting for our mud to dry thus detoxifying us, we were visited by some curious eyes. A young man with a long beard and his bright eyed baby were taking a stroll along the pathway for their morning wash in the lake. The little boy stopped amused and interested probably wondering what these crazy yellow mud women were laughing about. We supposed that they were some of the hippies who live here in the bush, completely unaffected by society. Their energy was extraordinarily calm and the bond between the father son was tangible as they mimicked forests sounds at each other.

We washed off in the cool water occasionally feeling the heat of a sunbeam which had found its way through the palm leaves. Afterwards we only partially dressed for the five minute jaunt to the lake where we could lounge around in the “sweet” water. It was idyllic to hear the crashing of the ocean waves just hundred feet away from where I was floating in the still lake. We noshed on some banana and pineapple prepared for us by the fruit lady who happened to be walking past. After a quick tea at the nearby beach shack we parted ways to get on with our day promising to meet up at the sunset drum circle.

Grateful for loving nature.

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Healing – Arambol, India

Well India is certainly not for the faint of heart. I am pretty tough most of the time but come on!

So where was I…I was in Baga for a while and had a couple interesting experiences with a couchsurfing that I wouldn’t want to repeat again. I met some travelers who I would like to meet again. And I trusted some of the wrong people with way too much. My judgment is way off right now and I have made some ridiculously poor decisions. But instant my karma, I am paying as we speak.

Went to Sunburn which had some pretty fantastic DJs and the mostly Indian crowd was quite welcoming and friendly. They used a stunning décor team who did up 7 stages and the sponsors had all sorts off cool stuff going on. Google was there providing free wi-fi, as was YouTube where you could send off live stream of yourself from the event. There was a fun photo booth from MTV and then there was the Absolut Vodka tent…this is where the trouble started. I discovered Vanilla Vodka n Cranberry drinks and that was pretty much the end of me. I ended up losing my friends most of the time but made new ones right away. I didn’t like that I spent so much time not being present…that is a big no no for festivals which I learned years ago. Anyway in the end, it was awesome and I would go again, unless they move it from the beach which to me was one of the main bonuses.

New Years I spend with a small group at a popular Baga club called Titos. It was ok but what made it awesome was that I was with a tight group who all meshed well together. When one of the girls got sick, the boys even left the party to walk us all home. I thought that was really nice. I had some champagne,  a couple good New Years kisses and called it a night.

Next I moved into my own place which reminded me just how important having my own space is. I was there a week and spent the time zooming around on my scooter, laying at the beach shack getting my toes painted and eating calamari. I went to a juggling conference where I practiced my double short staff and poi with some masters. That ended up in a cool fire show that evening which was put to a abrupt end when the DJ quit at ten sharp shutting up his laptop and walking away while the fire spinners were still going. It was strange to see them continue with no music. Went to a Silent Noise party in Palolum but it was a dud as there was only one of the three DJs and they didn’t have enough headphones for everyone. I ended up most of the night trying to borrow, beg or steal from others finally giving up and heading to the beach to do some night yoga alone. There were a few more nights at the bar and also the Saturday Night Market fiasco. I ended up going against my better judgment and partying my troubles away which led to more bad decisions. In the end, my confusion and self doubt began to serious erode my well being. Without my iPhone I am seriously disabled as it was my link to connection and sanity. My ability to write, Skype, photograph, and decompress with music is limited to none. Slowly (and sometimes really quickly) I was losing it.

It all ended badly on my birthday when it all came to a nasty climax. Palolum is a beautiful place and began it all in high spirits. But the illusion was shattered. By the end of it, I had been hit in the face by one of my so called friends while the other one (these are two real gentlemen, I tell you) just looked the other way, developed pneumonia, and began a dangerous downward spiral into a dark depressive place. I spent the next few days scared, confused, and angry…mostly at myself. I take full responsibility for it all. I indulged in a false sense of security. I should have set my standards higher. I was being stupid. I was clearly punishing myself for *something*. It has been a rough few months and here was the perfect storm. Never again. So began my journey back to a higher vibrational reality, state of consciousness, and self respect. WAKE UP CALL!

I was recovering too slowly and realized I needed to move and fast. The stale energy was eating me alive. So even though I was still quite ill, with every last ounce of strength I had, I got on the bus to Arambol. I had heard this place was full of healers, hippies, and cheap beach houses. Plus staying there was a small group of women travelers I had met previously that kept urging me to come. Was a very good decision. Just sitting on the crowded bus from Mapusa, even though I was the only white person and the greasy teenager in front of me was crude in every way, I felt hopeful for the first time in weeks.

An hour later, I paid my twenty rupees and hopped off into a small bustling village of long term tourists, happy hippies, and one of the best fashion shows in India. Sure there is a bit of ego here but not mean and exploitative like the crowd I just came from. I found my girls and am now living next door where I have made my room my own. I finally feel a sense of peace that has been evading me for the last few months. I am still not quite well enough to see further than tomorrow but at least for today, I can breathe.

Grateful for remembering why.

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Confronting Anger

So I met with a friend for coffee this morning and he said after hearing my mood, “Carmella, you are just to damn nice for India”. Another friend mentioned it may be good for me to get angry and stand tall…that spoke to me as well. I have always been afraid of expressing anger. But there is no honor in sticking my head in the sand or suppressing emotions for fear of others judging me or labeling me as negative or bitchy. You may not like it but at least you’ll respect me for my honesty. You know what they say: Better out than In. So here goes:

I am disgusted at disgraceful obscene men! Shame on the pricks who tried to grope my privates as I pushed through the busy crowded streets. Damn you man at the beach who wouldn’t stop staring at me sickly as I made my way into the water. Your lack of respect and dignity oozes from you in a repulsive stench. The same goes for you sneering dirty boys who mutter crass insults when I politely refuse to let them take a photo with me.

I am pissed at the packs of wild dogs that chase and bully people on the beach or in side streets. I have always been a cat person and now I know why. I haven’t seen any germ infested cat gangs preying on people or attacking small children. Animal control, where are you? Is this where the slimy perverts learn and justify the energy of their game?

Shame on those two old cold and calculating Russians who stole my purse from the market. I saw you there eyeing me up and mistook your fake smiles for friendliness. In fact, you are greedy pigs who have no morals or values. I should have known better…Russians don’t smile.

I pity that bitter old bag who hates herself so much she has to use and demean others. You spend all your time gossiping about others shortcomings and stupidly don’t see how this just feeds your own demons. You are pathetic and pitiful to isolate and pick on someone who only tried to be your friend. Way to scorn the sisterhood. Your selfishness makes you ugly from the inside out. What a sad little life you have.

Screw all you bus men, petrol station dudes, taxi drivers, and store keepers who took advantage by overcharging and down right lying to make a buck. Your crooked ways will only earn you contempt and hatred. You are a fool to trade your dignity for a few pennies.

I am mad at the silly old man who implies that the degree that a women invites rape depending the clothing she wears or the way in which she walks. Wake up and join the 21st century, male chauvinist a$$hole. There is no excuse for disrespecting one another. No being deserves to be violated and your preciously held archaic beliefs just showcase your primitive character.

I am annoyed at all these damn mosquitos which keep feeding off my blood while I am sleeping. I look like I have the chicken pox now and spend half my day scratching itches. I am developing a new respect for scary but helpful spiders who are intent on whacking you sucky vampires.

I’m angry I’ve lost all my photos and writing which I stored on my iPhone. I am pissed at myself for indulging in a false sense of security at the market just because the salesgirl was also Canadian. I am vexed at the relentless touts who refuse to listen and continuously invade my personal space forcing me into a space of rudeness.

I am saddened by my poor choice of “friends” who are too weak or cowardly to stand up for what is right. Don’t you know you are contributing to the energy of negativity when you participate (even passively) in hurtful verbal or physical assaults? You wear this lack of integrity like a layer of dirt which inevitably rubs off on all those you touch. Shame on me for trusting blindly and gifting you the benefit of the doubt. No connection is worth this kind of soul betrayal.

I am enraged at all those who abuse, intimidate, oppress, objectify, torment, bulldoze, harass, persecute, use, and torture others. You are the vermin, the scum of the earth.  This next piece is dedicated to you:

Exposing Evil

Brutal intentions caressing clean hands
Sentiments rescuing from the wastelands
Lips of deceit swear eternal bliss
Seed of destruction your poison kiss
Master of malice take hold of her heart
Convince her you love thee by playing the part
Stealth Savage devil pursuing your prey
Entice to your hovel then force her to stay
You are unnatural, standing for hate
Exploit this sweet angel for taking the bait
Savor her agony, slice up her hope
You are the addict and she is your dope
Create the illusion that you are the One
A sinister laugh as you snuff out her sun
Smashing her stars you bury her moon
Empty her ocean and bring her to ruin
Crushing her wings you now light the abyss
Smother her song murdering kindness
Tears are your heroin, trust is your pill
Cover her eyes and move in for the kill
Introduce your world of vicious pain
Sip virgin blood to further your gain
Muffle her screams, ignore her cries
Who shall pay when she dies?

Forgot about karma now sealing your fate
Forsaken the lamb holding keys to the gate
Activate keeper of all laws divine
Declaration of Death will not even this fine
She touches you gently awakening hope
Provoking your spirit which grasps at the rope
A taste of true ecstasy, essence of good
But erased by your evils: the meaning of could
Bringing injustice and vexing the gods
Sentence damnation the jury applauds

Cripple your thoughts crumble numb all you feel
Whispering lips remind Thou Shall Not Steal
Pain grows to pity and panic to calm
Screams turn to silence. She opens her palm
Caressing your paralyzed heart with her gaze
Ascension to light bathed in heavenly haze
She holds up your spirit to trade with the Tower
Empty your force soul salvation for power
Misuse of your space in freedoms dimension
Thieves will not prosper Begin the Redemption

Grateful for no longer letting them fuck with me.


 

 

 

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Down and almost out – Baga, India

Man I am taking a beating. I feel like I am being tested in some way. I am starting to question and doubt everything and thought I have. I am so tired. And I am so unbelievably lonely.

I am sitting at an internet cafe now because my iphone has been stolen. The only thing I really worried about happening did. There was a lot on there that cannot be replaced. Sucks. More than that was the fact that I was targeted. I was at the Saturday Night Market here in Goa and while I was in a shop trying on a skirt, the bag was taken from the bench. I know its my own stupidity. But I am pretty sure I know who it was. You know when you get that weird feeling. And when I reported it, the manager of the market said they had a problem last year with a Russian theft ring.

Anyway I am also really sick right now. I have had big ups and downs with the people I have been meeting. Some are really kind and others are downright nasty. It seems there is no in between. I need a hug. I want familiarity. I need to be able to trust someone. I am getting so depressed. I am trying really hard not to feel sorry for myself. I am thinking about going home…but something tells me that this feeling will follow me. I am not really thinking all that straight.

After Pune, I came to Goa and spent Xmas with a bunch of strangers. It was nice and true to form, I ate too much. I have been having some questionable interactions with people and am having a hard time not feeling crazy. I am really not used to experiencing such negativity much less drowning in it.

New Years Eve was a great time and I got to know some people who I spent alot of time with over the next few days. A heavy partying bunch they were wonderful when my stuff got stolen…they whisked me away to a beach down south where they wouldn’t let me think about my worries. But now I am home in my rented flat again…alone…and stressed. I can’t replace my BMO bank card without a ton of problems. They sure don’t cater to troubled travelers. I am lucky I have my CIBC card still.

I am afraid of asking for help from anyone right now…I am feeling so fragile. I hate being this way.

Today I am not feeling very grateful. I guess I am alive. That’s something, I guess.

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