Saturday, 17 March 2012


Who knew that Goa is a state? I always thought it was a city! I missed the train stop and ended up in central Goa, when I was supposed to be at the north. Panjim was my place for a few days, and I was actually happy that I ended up there because I needed a few days to get better, and didn't want to get anybody sick. All my body hurt, my head was exploding, and I was sniffing and sneezing every minute.
Panjim is a very cute town, all with colorful houses, small streets, surprisingly clean with a very nice promenade and a view of a river. Goa was once a Portuguese colony, and you could really feel its presence. A lot of older Indians are actually dressed properly and are much better behaved than the younger generation.
Being still very annoyed by the Indian culture and the fact that I was extremely sick didn't help the locals who tried to speak to me, I was barking at them like crazy.
- Madam taxi?
- Why do you ask me for taxi, why won’t you ask him or him or her? So what that I'm a tourist? Leave me alone!!!
Looking at a guidebook, picking a place to go to
- Madam, need help?
- No
- Where do you go?
- I don't know yet
- Need help?
- No -> By this point I'm already barking, and behaving very rude, not even looking at him.
A few more attempts without any valid answers, I closed the book and started to walk. Next thing I see, he's driving on the bike near me, overtakes me, parks, walks towards me.
- Madam, can I walk with you?
- NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I know, I know ... I shouldn't behave that way. It's not them, it's me. But seriously, I couldn't handle speaking to anybody anymore. Maybe that's why meditation and yoga is so popular in India, you won't be able to survive with so much stress!!
I couldn't walk very far. Walked a little bit, sat somewhere for an hour to gather up my strength, and again and again in a loop. Panjim isn't very big, and I managed to see everything in this one broken up day.
Next day I decided to watch a Bollywood movie. I already bought a ticket when I remembered that I still sneeze every minute, and hoped that nobody would kick me out from there. I like going to movies in different countries, especially 3rd world countries. The theaters are very modern, clean, air conditioned, and for a few hours one can forget where he is. I had to go through metal detector, bag check and had to deposit my camera. Most of the movies that are sold on the streets were recorded in a movie theatre, with camera shaking, somebody getting up and blocking half on the screen, or even the camera man would be laughing.
After a few commercials, there was an Indian flag with a message, please stand up for the national anthem. I thought it was also a part of the commercial, but after everybody got up, I thought just in case I'll watch this commercial standing up :))
If anybody wants to see what India is all about, and can't get a full impression from my blogs, please do watch a Bollywood movie. You'll see India in all it's colours with garbage on streets, people yelling at each other, nonexistent women rights, packed buses, eating with hands, lying, all packed in 2 entertaining hours ... well, more like 3.5 hours, so pack up popcorn and nachos :) Weird that mostly they speak in Hindi, but for some reason, which I cannot explain, they sometimes say whole sentences in English, and would switch back to Hindi, both in movies and in real life! What's up with that?? Also miraculously, nobody kicked me out of the theater because the minute I got in I stopped sneezing and sniffing. Clean air is good for something after all :)
After the movie, one guy on the bike was waiting for me on the street.
Hey, I saw you watching a movie by yourself. I'm by myself too.
Lets go for coffee!
After a lot of no's and telling him head on that I didn't have any good experiences with Indian men so far, he tried to convince me that he's not like everybody else, that he works with tourists and knows how to deal with him. Well, just to prove him wrong and because I had nothing better to do, I agreed to spend 10 minutes with him for a coffee. While we were walking there, I got hungry and decided to go for a dinner instead. He got me laughing with his knowledge of Russian, saying phrases like: potom? potom sup s kotom. (later? later a soup with a cat) meaning ... it's not going to happen :) The conversation went fine, not anything intelligent, but the thing that pissed me off though, was that he was constantly on the phone ... as the rest of Indians are. I told him that it's very rude to be on the phone while you're having dinner with somebody, he apologized, but the frequency didn't decrease at all.
After dinner I said that I'm going back to the hotel, and he tried to convince me again that I should stay, and that he wants to see me again, and that I'll break his heart if I'll go, and that he wants to know more of me. I told him that he proved my theory right, and that if he wanted to get to know me more, he should've spent less time on his phone!
Back at the hotel I asked the owner what's wrong with Indian men, and he said that because they've watched Hollywood movies and some been to Goa and seen girls naked (i.e. sun tanning topless), that they think that we're easy and want to give it a chance.
Went to get a watermelon juice. There are a lot of freshly squeezed juices in here, but just in case I made sure that it will have no water and no sugar. The girl at the counter first cleaned all the table, then assorted dishes, then rung a bell, and yelled watermelon juice. Couldn't she yell before cleaning all the stuff??? Guess what? I forgot to mention "no salt"!! Who in their right mind puts salt in a watermelon juice??!!!
Then it took me a whole day to get a phone. I needed to get passport pictures, ask for a local reference, find the phone, fill out an application, make a photocopy of my passport and visa and wait a whole day for an activation. I took the money out and put it on the table. The girl approached, and instead of leaning 10 cms to get the money, stood there with her hand out for me to give it to her! I'm still surprised, every single time! Just to give you an idea of phone prices in here. The sim card and new activation costs $1, and a brand new Panasonic phone costs $20.
While in Toronto, I don't think I put 2 and 2 together. With the Indian employee who couldn't deliver anything, then my agency that screwed something up every single month, was from India, all the guys that I met here who say one thing and mean another, the customer service that I'm getting.... I don't understand the desire of Canadian companies to do any business with India. They might save money in the short term, but will get long term headache with missed deadlines and coding not according to specifications. I heard that there are troubles already and companies want to switch back. I hope everybody will realize it sooner than later!
Before moving to the beach, I decided to see Old Goa. It was a very interesting little town with a bunch of churches, churches and more churches. It was very strange to see Indian people, all dressed with traditional dress going to churches and crossing themselves on entry. Here in Goa they don't believe in talking elephants anymore, now they believe in talking snakes.
Came to northern Goa and stayed with a friend of a friend Oleg. Oleg broke his collarbone twice. First time on a bike accident, second time by not being careful with the arm. He decided to stay in Goa until it heals and the day that I met him, was the day that the doctor said that everything is good. He stayed by himself in a very nice villa in a gated community. After a month of guest houses I wanted to stay there forever. With marble floors, beautiful bathroom, dishwasher, laundry machine, hot water and good pressure I was in paradise. This paradise didn't last long, since he showed me to my bedroom but suggested that I can stay in his bedroom as well. No thanks! I understood that I have to be veeery careful. In the evening we met Vadim and his wife Veronica. I got to know Vadim when I was in Bermuda, and it was great to see him again. After travelling around the world, he decided to settle in Goa, as do a lot of other people. Goa is full of expacts! And after being here for 2 weeks, I understand why.
We got into some deep conversations with Oleg. He asked me if people in Canada think about the meaning of life, and why were they born to this world. I said that I don't remember having these kinds of conversations with anybody really. He asked me why I think I was born into this world. I said that I don't know, my parents had some fun, and here I am :) But what is the meaning of life? To be happy, to have choices and freedom, and to live life as I want to live it. But what about after life? I don't believe in after life, I believe in physical world, and that's why I want to live life to the fullest without having any regrets in the future. He said that he thought about it a lot, and when he found the answer, he became enlightened, without any phsycodelic(?) drugs (which supposed to open the mind), he just came with an answer which people strive to figure out for many many years. And it is: mind is separate from body. When body dies, the mind continues to exist. Ok ... interesting. What I was thinking is not about eternal existence, but why Canadians don't think about it much. My idea is that life in Russia is hard. There aren't many choices, the country is corrupt, people are killed for money, they're usually cold, rude and unhappy. When you live like that without many choices, of course you're gonna think why you were born to this world. People in Canada are relatively happy, so why clog the brain with this gar... philosophy. What are your opinions? Why were you born?
I went with Oleg to the beach, a nice supermarket with foreign products that I haven't seen in a month like mustard, mayo, sour cream :) I was super excited, we bought a bunch of stuff and did some house cooking :) Went to a few restaurants, juice shops, and every time I wanted to pay for myself, but was given no permission. As you know, nothing comes for free, and after 3 days at the villa he very aggressively showed me his intentions! He is very racist and for all 3 days I've heard nothing but allegations against Indian people that they're nothing but animals, his favourite animal of comparison was a dog. That night, no common sense worked with him, and only when I told him that he's no better than an Indian, I could get out into my bedroom. I locked the door, and left first thing in the morning. There you go, Indians might be like dogs, but at least they only bark.
Needless to say I was in a bad mood for the whole day, but I thought to myself that I'm in Goa, on the beach, why be in a bad mood, and got myself out of it quickly. At first I was disappointed in Goa and couldn't understand why everybody comes here, and that's all you hear about, Goa, Goa. The sand is brownish/black, and it's all wet, the water is brown (not because of dirt, but because of sand), but I've been here for 2 weeks now, and I find it hard to leave. Our beach plays trance music every day until 2am. Sometimes it's nice and fun, but sometimes, I just want to hear the sound of the waves. I went to the market, and I realized that I was still fuming. Of course all the things I was looking at were at ridiculous prices. You come into the shop, the price is 350, the minute you head out, it drops to 200. I didn't want to buy most things anyway, was just looking, but I got really frustrated at a few and told them that I will not buy anything from them because I don't deal with liars. Of course all the things that I did buy, I had to bargain for anyway. I was fuming at everybody. Every interaction I had with locals, I felt like killing them. I realized that I have to calm my nerves immediately, and locked myself up for 2 days in the garden of the guest house while writing the Mumbai blog. I didn't talk to anyone, just concentrated on writing, and the only time I got out was for dinner.
On the beach there are a lot of people trying to sell everything, massage, jewelry, sunglasses, magnets, fruits, ice cream. I mean A LOT !!! And they don't care if you're sleeping, reading, talking ... "Madam, you want something, look, very cheap!" .. I continue talking. They stand there for 1 more minute. "Just look, no buy" ... ignore! I feel bad ignoring people, it's not their fault really. That they try to cheat you, yes, it's their fault. I've seen a few times when tourists were throwing the products in the sand, or yelling at them to go away. But they would just come, talk to you, get no answer, then sit beside you, open their box of stuff, start laying it out on the beds, or putting bracelets on the legs (with no permission)! I learned shake my head in a "no" movement and continued doing what I was doing.
I'll try out an experiment. Tell me what you think. Pretend that you're reading my blog on the beach ...
I'm thinking that it's not that bad that they sell the stuff. Let’s say you want something to eat, and a lady would walk by with fruits every hour, you would be running after her *hello, how are you today? do you want a bracelet? Necklace?* and just waiting until she's gonna appear again, but with them coming every 2 minutes, it could get really annoying. They need to make money, and there are 1.2 billion *sunglasses, sunglasses* people in India.
Goa is full of Russians, I haven't seen that many Russians outside Russian nightclubs in Toronto anywhere else! The locals sometimes speak better Russian than English, and most restaurants have full menus in Russian language. I don't like Russians though, they're rude, aggressive and swear a lot, so I'm trying to stay away from them.
I've also heard theories that people don't come here for the beach, they come here for the drugs. It's not *magnets, beautiful!!* legal in here just like everywhere else, but it doesn't stop anybody. Anywhere you sit, there is a smell of hashish, and most of the people are stoned on it, or on some other drugs that I've never even heard of. There are clubs 24/7 going on ever *come see my shop* ywhere. It's very strange to see at 2pm people with red eyes, eyes that just look at one spot and size of half of their face, wobbling from side to side, doing some weird moves to trance music.
While I was in the guest house, there was a guy ... very very strange guy. He was full of tattoos, and you could see that he was on drugs and alcohol, and that's he's definitely from the hood. At times he was walking around cheerfully, other times he would be almost screaming and swearing after every 2nd word ... probably telling what happened to him on the way to the guest house. Or he would talk and talk, people won't be able to put a word in between. *mangoes, coconuts, pineapples* I was thinking about what he's doing here, guys like that usually have spare change only for coke. *ice cream, chocolate, vanilla, almond* After 2 days of watching him, he put something on his computer, and at the same time I got tired of staring at my screen all day long, shut it down and got up. He asked him if the noise bothers me and that's why I'm going. I'm thinking to myself ... there I go, I actually have to make a conversation to him. Well what do you know? His nick name is Sheriff, I guess it comes from very strong political views that he has, along with other theories about how to whip the world back into shape. He's very knowledgeable in current events, politics, history, geography. He has more manners and respect than anybody I met in a long time, and is very generous with money. *madam, you want something* Gives them to poor, always leaves tips, bringing presents and cooks to guest house staff and after we've met he started making omelets, teas, and buying candies for me as well :) He runs his own flower shop and landscaping business, and every year takes 4 months off in the slow season to travel around the world. India got to him so much that he can’t wait to go home, and out of 4 months, spent 2 in this guest house, cause he couldn't handle it anymore. He's very intelligent, funny, and has lots and lots of common sense and a handle of life. We ended up talking for 4 hours straight. He told me that he's very happy to meet me because I don't suck like the rest of people around here :) I told him the same thing :) One of his opinions stayed in my head. *coconuts, coconuts, I give good price* He said that he understands why Muslims strap the bombs to themselves and commit suicide. He said after being to these countries and seeing the oppression, you don't have any freedom at all, you can't have drugs, you can't drink, you can't talk to women or even see them, it's very understandable that they will kill other people to go to heaven and have their 40 virgins. Although he said "I hooked up with a virgin once, and it's was the worse s*x of my life, if I got to heaven, give me 3 whores and a bottle of rum!" :)
One evening we both craved something sweet, *drums, how much you give?* all stores were closed and we went to a restaurant for a dessert. It was way over priced, but we are both sugar addicts, and ordered it anyway. I don't really know how to describe the taste, but for sure there was more taste of a stale fridge than anything else they put in there. I went to the counter and politely said that this dessert is not very fresh and if it's possible to exchange it for something different. They started proving me that it was only made yesterday and everybody loves it. After trying to persuade them a little bit, they told me that if I don't like it then I should get the f*ck out! I came back to the table and sheriff was laughing, I said thanks for your backup. He told me, what did you expect, you're in India! This is not US. Oh, something's wrong with the dessert, no problem, have it free, would you like to have something different instead? Oh, and here are some coupons for the future! Here it's: you don't like the overpriced stale fridge tasting dessert??? Why not??!! We paid the bill, said thank you very much and that for sure we'll be back tomorrow! I even went as far as writing to the lonely planet about my experience and asking them to remove that restaurant from the list of recommended restaurants.
Next days' restaurant experience was not any better. We came in and there *necklace, very very beautiful* was a dog barking. Sheriff asked if the dog will be barking all the time. This time we were told to get the f*ck out not by the owner but by some hippies who were sitting there, and said that we should have respect for this dog, because it's owners dog! I thought cows were holy in India, not dogs :S Sheriff got a little bit upset at the fact that his hand didn't completely heal from the last time he punched someone out.
I really wanted to rent a scooter for a few days now. Every time I saw a scooter in Toronto, my heart pinched, I miss driving it :(( The problem was that on the beach a lot of people were somehow injured from driving a scooter. And I'm not talking about minor scratches. After looking at all that, *ice cream, lemon, strawberry* I was pretty scared, specially considering that I didn't drive in over 2 years. After some debating, I decided to hire it. I'll just drive very slow and only during day light. Bermudian experience has helped because the driving is the same as here, on the left side of the road. I rented it from some guy for 3 days. Just paid him in advance and left no name, no number. That's how business done in India, I pay $12 and have myself a free scooter! :)) When I got on it, after a minute it was like I never got off of it. I drove to see all the adjacent beaches. Some people got lost, I don't really understand why. You just stop at every fork and ask for directions. I never got lost. Driving is so much fun, it's like a video game! *sunglasses, lighters, miss, sunglasses?* Mostly it's 1 lane which sometimes becomes 3 lanes, there are no sidewalks, so you have to watch for people, pot holes, cows, dogs, vehicles taking over from both sides. They just love blind turns take overs! Maybe because usually they have a whole temple in their car, they think they're safe?? Sometimes there is no asphalt, and you go on some sandy very rocky road, but it manages it with no problems. On some potholes, I had no idea how to drive, if slow, then you feel every bump, if fast, then the scooter might somehow fly over it. I tried both theories, but decided to stick with slow approach. Once got stuck in the sand, but some guys helped me out. One turn was particularly tricky, it was sharp left *watermelon, coconuts!* (meaning the scooter is leaning), and very uphill (accelerating), with 2 huge potholes on the side with maybe half a meter of space between them. If I didn't go slow and with caution, it was an accident waiting to happen. It was challenging to drive, constantly looking for signs, traffic and other dangers and sightseeing at the same time. But when I was at some beaches relaxing, I couldn't wait to get back on the scooter :)) 3 days when I got back, I just completely crashed. I thought why? I wasn't doing much, just driving around ... yep, that was it! The driving took so much concentration, that I was out every day!
First day I went to see the southern beaches. There was some old fort ... very very dirty fort *madam, see my shop, looking is free*, but the view from it was amazing on all the never ending beaches. Next beach was very nice, clean, white sand, very wide and long (it's actually all one beach, just different names), but there are almost no people on it, I felt kinda bored. Next beach was full of Indian tourists. It's strange, they don't really mix with the travelers, they pick their own beaches, and usually the most ugly ones. Travelers are usually seen in couples or in small groups, whereas Indians are usually in groups of 20, all jumping in the waves and taking gazillion of pictures... usually men, women hang somewhere nearby.
Next day went to visit Vadim and Veronica in their house. The complex is very nice, resembling a Caribbean resort, and with soft music and incent burning, it feels like a 5 star one :) We went yet to another beach, and the next day I drove all the way north (well, at much north as lonely planet shows :) ). That beach was very nice. It's called Arambol, or Hermal (for some reason towns here have dual names - Arambol/Hermal, *madam, how are you? why are you not talking, you don't know English?* Panjim/Panaji, Mapsa/Mapusa, Mumbai/Bombay... no wonder mail never gets anywhere).
Arambol is long, wide, white sand, with the right amount of people, a small fresh lake, and some tree. Why is the tree in the guide book? Hiked up to that tree. It's some strange place around a tree with a bunch of stoned mainly Russian hippy people. It's very quiet in there, with occasional instrument playing and singing. Then it would get very quiet, and one person would shout "boom!!!", then someone else "boom! boom! boom!" What's boom? I planned to stay there for 5 minutes, but ended up staying for 2 hours. 2 hours later, I still didn't get into the hippy life style. Love all, share and get high attitude. Everything goes round the circle. Someone will buy fruits, cut them up and pass round the circle, cookies, a joint...
On Anjuna beach there are a few men giving massages. They want rps300 for about 15 minutes! Crazy prices! They tried to get me to do it, but I said I *Drums, what's your final price? A little more final price* wouldn't pay more than a 100, and they wouldn't give in! They would rather stand around do nothing than make 100 rupes. Another reason why I wasn't too keen on it maybe was because I didn't want them to touch me, and if I will pay 300 ruppes, I'd rather pay a 70 year old, toothless hallucinating dude! And so I did! At that tree! The massage was very good, relaxing, I could feel that he knows what he's doing, he even cracked my back and neck!
Anjuna beach is famous for its trance parties, but the first week when I was there, it was as quiet as it could get. Apparently there are elections and everybody has to abide by the rules, no alcohol, no music after 10pm, and even 3 days before elections nobody was allowed to sell any alcohol. I don't understand why, because there is no point to these elections anyway. All the parties buy the votes, give families 10,000 rupes to vote for them (it's illegal of course), or I read in the newspaper that they arrested someone with 17,000 litters of alcohol *Privet, kak dela?* - clearly meant to buy votes. So you'd rather accept the money, swallow your pride and vote. Everywhere there are ads on how to elect government. "Our party will not sell jobs!!"
After elections were over, the parties started. Sheriff and me went to my first trance party (first and last!). I don't like trance parties, I don't like trance music, I don't like trance people! Everybody dances by themselves, nobody's socializing, nobody's talking, it's stupid music with high people. I danced for a bit, looked around, and was surrounded by 8 Indian guys showing off their best moves. Sheriff didn't leave my side not for a minute.
After elections were over, trance was playing almost 24/7 ... EVERYWHERE!! *Massage? I give good massage, you look stressed, here, give me your hand* I woke up with trance banging in my head, which wasn't too bad because my room was dark, and I couldn't tell when it's morning, but with trance music starting at 10, it was my cue to get out of bed :) That place almost gave me a heart attack. It's a coconut season now, and the palm trees are everywhere. All the chairs/couches are away from the coconuts, but the METAL roof is not. And in the middle of the night, there were at least 3 occasions where it's like a bomb exploding, OMG, jumping off the bed and all covered in white powder from the ceiling, oh, it's just a coconut, can go back to sleep, just have to wait for my heart to stop racing!
Restaurants in Goa are great! Until Goa I've pretty much just eaten Indian food (which is fantastic), but here there are so many tourists with a huge variety of international restaurants.  *ice cream, ice cream* My favourite is from Tibet. My food budget went up from $2 to $4, but omg, it's soooo good!!! We started bringing our own vodka to restaurants, of course pouring it under the table, but I don't think they would've stopped us even if they saw us. At one dinner it was the 3 of us, we ordered fresh oj, glass of wine, 5 amazing main courses and 3 desserts, for a grand total of $14, we couldn't get out of the table without unbuttoning the pants, the walk back to the guest house was not easy at all :)) Oh, and I forgot to mention that Goa is mainly Christian (due to Portuguese), and beef is in the menu! Beef never tasted so good! :))
I was excited for the start of the holy festival. It's a festival of unknown dates, where people throw colors at each other. I thought it would be just as fun as black & white festival in Colombia, but all my waiting went in vein. I should've thought about it though. Holy is a Hindu festival, of course it will not be celebrated much in Goa. The extent to which it went was some locals stopped cars/scooters/people on the road, put some *madam, you want something? look, I give you good price* color on faces and demanded money for it. That was so much fun!! :S
One day I wanted to walk to Vagator beach. There is a little hill separating Anjuna and Vagator. While on Anjuna beach, I noticed way too many rocks on its northern end. I don't remember it being that way ... what's gong on? Then I reached a place where there is a wall of sand about 70cms high. The storm of a last few days washed all the beach away :(( I asked a few locals what's the best way to get over the hill, they told me it's impossible (the usual answer), and that it's dangerous because I could slip and fall. I thought the only danger on the way will be to bump into people like them. I started walking, the walk was easy, relaxing and beautiful, *Madam, where are you from? Russia? Germany? Italy?* I stopped to take many pictures and on one of the stops, I looked back and there were 2 Indian guys about 100 meters away. Oh shit! I put the camera into the bag and started walking very very fast. The problem was that I got into a very bushy area with lots of cactuses that slowed me down. There was a fork in the path, I went to the one that lead to the water, found some large rocks and decided to hide with a hope that they will choose a different path. That wasn't the case, as when I turned around, they were right there "waiting" for me. A stolen camera now became the least of my concerns. They were standing around as in looking at the views. I got up and started walking. I think I invented a new sport called not speed walking but rather speed cactus avoiding-rock jumping. They were right beside me, sometimes in front of me, sometimes behind me, sometimes one in the front another in the back. I stopped then and let the one in the back walk in front of me. After 5 minutes of that one of them asked me "Where are you from?" - "Canada" - "Will you have sex with me?" - "What????? Are you crazy???????" - "Why crazy?" - "Because I'm married!" - "Where is your husband?" - "He's sick in Anjuna" ... Screw honesty!! Lie through your teeth!!! Thank god I was walking fast and in less than a minute after our exchange I already saw people on the beach. I'm hitch-hiking back, that sounds much safer! I sat on a sun bed near 2 girls. After a while one of their friends came and they started talking. They asked him where is he staying, and he said Anjuna. I jumped off the bed "Anjuna??!!! How are you going there? Can I come with you??" and so it was. I made friends with the 2 girls and with John who after 1 hour of sunset quiet meditation gave me a lift back to Anjuna. He said that he's meditating *Madam, hello, hello, hello* every day for 2 hours. 1 hour during sunrise, and 1 hour during sunset. It's ok during holidays, but how to manage it back at home? I asked him for the reasons of meditating, and he said that you control the mind that way, and detach yourself from material possessions/foods/desires. I don't get it ... isn't it good to have desires? Aren't desires what drive the world forward? Of course crazy obsessions should be avoided (maybe), but why is it so bad to want to drive a BMW, live in a mansion and have a millioner husband? I mean, is that too much to ask for?? :))
Here are a few more episodes of Indian culture:
- Everything that they drink, they don't touch the cup/bottle with their lips, in case they'll share it with somebody, and quite often they spill it all over themselves.
- I think I got the answer to men wearing saris and asking for money. These men are considered to be holy because they know duality, they're both man and woman in one, but they're also considered to be bad luck and have a bad spell, so people give them money just to get rid of them ... they're actually scared of them.
- Everybody looks like a kid until they're 20, and then they get old very very fast. I met a few women, I thought they're 60, and they were only 40! No wonder everybody gives me maximum 24. A few people even gave me 18!
- Everybody has a friend somewhere (abroad I mean). I have a very good friend in Australia and Canada, and US ... No they don't !!! In Udaipur it was a very good example of it. There was a guy, a very good friend of Alex. He said that they go way back when, and he knows her for 3 years already. I thought to myself ... there goes my friend theory. Until I asked Alex, and she said, yeah, I've been to Udaipur 3 years ago, he's a friend of a guest house owner, and we just chatted one evening. They also love to take pictures with foreigners, and my theory is to tell their friends at home ... see, I have Canadian friend! Or worst yet, she's my girlfriend!
- For some reason they can't remember orders. I was with a girl, and she was talking to a waiter for a good minute asking for a diet coke, which they didn't have, and she tried to figure out what diet drinks they have. I didn't order any drink. They brought it, and served it to me. On another occasion, Sherrif and me went to a restaurant. He ordered steak with 2 sides, he wanted mashed potatoes and fries. They said no, we can only do fries and veggies. But it comes with any 2 sides, so I want mashed potatoes. - Impossible! (everything's impossible) ... a few minutes later they finally agreed. When the steak came, it was just with fries. Jeez !!! AND mashed potatoes !!! Where is their head at? Maybe the restaurants should give food to workers to keep the hamster alive!
- I was at skype talking to mom and watching pictures on facebook. There is a divider between each computer. The guy beside me, starts calling me, madam, madam, can you go 2 pictures back. Where was that taken? ... Why is he looking at my monitor? 2 minutes later. Madam madam, are these pictures taken professionally? - Dude !!!! Can't you see I'm on the phone???!!!!
- Most Indian never seen women in bikinis, let alone topless, and they come to Goa just to witness such a pornography! Herds of them would be walking along the beach and eyeing every inch of your body, from head to toe. This is so gross, you cannot imagine. Some of the more advanced ones pretend to take pictures of their friends with girls in bikinis in the background. Or they would walk along the beach with their phone or iPad in front of them as though talking on it. I lost my patience every time ... and that's a lot of times !! –Thanks for taking a picture of me!! – Another one, another one!!! Bastard!

I just reread the blog, it sounds very negative. It wasn't all too bad, I actually couldn't believe that when I checked out, I paid for 14 nights. The beach got quite annoying, but if I stayed on the 3rd row of beds, I could avoid most of the hassle, at least from the staring locals :)

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  1. Hello Yana:
    As usual, your blog does not disappoint!
    You write in such a way as to make one "feel" what you have experienced. It certainly is an exotic destination. Can you imagine running into an elephant, a bovine or even a goat, on any
    street in Ontario? People would probably be running blindly in order to It was lovely to see the architecture of Old Goa. You can definitely see the Portuguese influence.
    By-the-way, loved the last shot of you with Sherrif.
    Thank you for all of the time you take to do this blog. We really appreciate your efforts. We are already looking forward to your next installment.
    Stay safe and have fun...

    A friend of our's just arrived in Sydney, Australia. She was meeting her husband, who is from Santiago, Chili. We hope to convince her to blog in order to expand our "armchair"

  2. Вчера читала весь день твой блог и до сих пор под впечатлением. На самом деле он не настолько негативный, как про Мумбай, но все равно, ну вот не люблю я Индию! Не для красивых одиноких девушек эта страна... И, конечно, это ужасно надоедает, когда тебя все время "бодают" с предложениями что-то посмотреть, примерить, купить и т.д. Не зря же на Карибах ценятся резорты, куда местных не пускают.

  3. Yan privet,
    pochitala tvoy blog pro GOA, oh my god, everything seems so annoying!!!!! interesno esli Eva bi toje tam bila, ey bi ponravilos? :-)
    a pochemu tam mnogo ruskih? chem oni zanimautsya? oni tam jivut?
    a tak GOA vigladit simpatichno....

  4. pochitala blog, interesno:)

    A to chto tu pisala pro eti conversations 'smisl jizni, etc..' tak prikolno chto u menya takie ge musli kogda ya s takim vstrechaus'! Vrodebu philosofskii, umnui razgovor, a s drugoi storanu fignya kakayata, chto obsugdat'??!!!
    i kstate v ruskix filmax toge tak kak tu v induskix pisala: oni govoryat, govoryat, potom chto to na angliskom ne v temu.. naverno prosto cool schitaetsya ;)

  5. I agree with you about the negativity of the blog. I saw a link to your page on and came by to look for information.

    Instead, skimming over the site, it seems like every post is complaining about something.

    This part especially seemed like a condemnation of the bulk of Indian populace:

    "While in Toronto, I don't think I put 2 and 2 together. With the Indian employee who couldn't deliver anything, then my agency that screwed something up every single month, was from India, all the guys that I met here who say one thing and mean another, the customer service that I'm getting.... I don't understand the desire of Canadian companies to do any business with India."

    If that's the kind of mindset you travel with, I can see why you had such a horrible time.

    Next time I would suggest that you volunteer some place for a few weeks where you can actually meet people with like goals and interests. Your trip seemed to have been running from place to place and hence, you were mainly dealing with the seedy kind of tour guides that look at you as a bag-of-money to be lightened before you're on to the next town.

    1. Hey Ryan! Thanks for you comment!
      I do agree with you that when I travel and stay a very short time in a place, then yes, I only meet the people who want my money, and I was thinking of that as well. However then I thought ... it's not my first time travelling. I traveled for 1.5 years in South America and Africa, and I NEVER experienced the same thing as I do in here. Trust me that I try to give them chances, again and again and again ... but every time I'm disappointed. Also, I wish it was only my opinion ... sadly it's not. Everybody is going through what I'm going in here. It is one crazy country!!! Doesn't mean I don't like it though :) I'm in Kerela now, and it's very different from the rest of India. People are actually friendly in here!!! :))

    2. Thanks for your reply. I am glad to hear that things are going better in Kerela. I hope you meet some great people there! :)

  6. I really appreciate the honesty. Lone women travelers face certain risks and if an area has more than its share of harrassers, we need to know. We’ll take our money elsewhere! (Maybe that will get someone’s attention.) I definitely got the feeling from a lot of the women travelers that India is a hard country to deal with, but they did it anyway. Not me. I heard enough horror stories.

    Just so you know, I don’t regard the U.S. as very safe (for women) either, and I am a U.S. citizen. We talk a good talk about equality for women but we don’t mean it. Gloria Steinem once said, “For a woman to get half the praise a man gets, she has to work twice as hard. Fortunately, that’s easy.”