"Look my shop!" the Goan woman shouts as I pass her makeshift 'shop' at the weekly Anjuna market. On Wednesday's, the tourists head to Anjuna for a flee-market that would leave my own mother in a state of awe. My head turns as I smell corn cooking on the barbeque. I hand the man 10 rupees (.25 cents), and continue on my way. I pass another smell of something distinctly Indian, which is about the best you can describe it. To my right, a UK couple is bargaining with a shop-owner-- "100 Rupees, no 80, 90 Ruppees, OK OK." Straight ahead and walking towards me approaches a bunch of Israeli hippies, which there seem to be a lot of. I quickly turn to the side and try to squeeze by a group of Indian tourists from Bombay and a pile of not-so-biodegradable trash thrown onto the floor.
Saturday's - Anjuna fleemarket. Wednesday's - Apora night market. Friday's, 9bar then Paradiso.
As each day passes, I find myself more and more drawn to this unique city of Goa. Today, while passing a restaurant I noticed several people playing backgammon. Excited, I approached and was soon wagering 100 Ruppee ($2.50) per game against a 15-year backgammoner and tournament player. After 8 games, we were tied and called it even.
Not far from my guest house lies the shack formally known as "Hangloose." The Goan owner, a 28 year old with a wife and two children, recently changed the name to "Joyston" as a combination of his two children's names. It's here that I've been spending most of my time, hanging out with a group of Goan's my age who practically live in the shack. They tell me they have the life. Why would they ever want to move somewhere else? Each day they meet new foreign girls.. Each day watch the sunset.. Each day eat fresh fish and prawn caught from the previous night. "Life is meant to enjoy, not be stressed" one of them comments.
Watching the Goan sunset each night brings a tranquility to everyone who witnesses it. The sun turns a bright red as it slowly sinks over the horizon. The waves crash onto the shore, trumping all other sounds with its thunderous power. Is this a commercial for a beer? Can this be real?
The broadband enabled cyber-cafe is within walking distance--life is good.
Tonight I passed a sign with small imprinted letters: English Book Store. Traveling is a great time to read good books (of course, some would say anytime is a good time to read good books). I picked up "The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams.. it sounded appropriate.
Tomorrow I will go see the "16th Exposition of the sacred relics of St Francis Xavier" (http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=59380
I think I will stay here for a little longer.