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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