Gathering Momentum – Arambol, India

I was having such a hard time booking flights and thinking about onward travel. I mean, I know I have to do it, but talk about a mental block. I finally made a decision and booked my flight from Kathmandu to Istanbul. I know I want to go to Nepal and have promised to return to Turkey so it was obvious. What I couldn’t work out were the dates. I still don’t have it figured out how I will get to Nepal or home from Turkey, but it’s going to magically turn out. I know it.

Today I was going to head to Mapusa, the closest big town, to buy a smartphone. But it’s not looking like it’s going to happen. I have just sprouted my last mung beans and have run out of coconut milk so that will be the extent of my shopping trip today. I have searched high and low for coconut incense that Jen has but have come back empty handed. It appears that not all incense is created equal.

Tonight is the Saturday night market but a large part of me doesn’t want to go. The crowd and noise of it all still repels me and it feels more attractive to stay on my safe little stretch of beach. I am loving the quietude I have found here, inside and out.

A couple things I wanted to address about India: It’s dirty. I mean really dirty. There is aged garbage everywhere and nothing seems to be in place. It makes my hoarding (I mean that affectionately) Dad’s garage and backyard full of twenty year old half-finished projects look like the Palace of Versailles. I think to look at it is not the worst. It’s definitely the smell. Some areas are pretty unbearable but I have learned how to hold my breath for a. very. long. time. You would think with the number of cows roaming around there would be more turd piles but surprisingly there isn’t. I still don’t feel good about running around barefoot all around town like my housemates do.

Another thing: the value of life is here is much different than what I am used to. The other day there was a bus accident just a few miles away from here. Seven (mostly children) drown after the bus plummeted into a river. It was sad and the whole area mourned, even canceling the Carnivale events which were supposed to last for three days. But it was most shocking to me that families of the deceased were offered the equivilant of only two thousand dollars. Life is cheap here. Real cheap. But then so is death.

Grateful for perspective.

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