Well, our MONTH long journey of no wheat and refined sugar has finally ended and we have good results. Amit lost 4 belt holes after only four weeks, Oshanna has reported feeling much better, and none of us now are craving things like we did before. We actually went out for a buffet lunch to celebrate our freedom (and grandpa’s birthday) and tried our first dessert together, but the only thing we all got from it was SICK. Believe it or not, I had a stomach ache for two days from our indulgent binge after a month off. I was pretty surprised about that. Motivation for things like ice cream are almost nonexistent. It’s now a question of “Do I want to make my liver work so hard today?”
Remember when I told you about how India is the diabetes capital of the world? Maybe this is one of the reasons. . .
See that candy bar in the check book? That’s what you get at restaurants instead of change. WHAT?! Um, excuse me, I would like my 5 rupees instead of a broken liver, thank you very much, boss! Namaste!
In other news, the Gremlins are doing well. . .
I’m starting to make friends with the shop owners on my morning runs. One of them, Ali, sits at a little shack on the main road and serves chai, omlet, noodles, and some other random snacks. He’s a Muslim, but he’s spent a lot of time hanging out in restaurant kitchens in New Jersery, so he knows a bit of Spanish. He’s got a big smile and friendly energy. We’ve worked out a bartering friendship. . .Ali gives me free chai, and in return, I send him pieces of my banana bread when I bake. It’s a good symbiotic relationship. We talk about life, and of course, good ol’ America.
“You know why I love America?” Ali said with a sparkle in his eye.
“Why?” I’m curious.
“Because here, you cross the road and everyone is honk, honk, honk and you might get hit. . . but there, in America, you cross the road, and the cars stop. They just stop for you. I like this,” his eyes grew big and he smiled, “I love America.”
The other morning, a regular passerby, Dheeraj, stopped me and asked if he could join me for a run. He told me he didn’t like his belly and he wanted to get in shape. So, the next morning, I got to his place along my route, and there he was. . . standing with fancy bleached jeans, a button down shirt, and beat up dress shoes. I guessed he changed his mind.
“So, we’re going?” Dheeraj said.
“Uh,” I looked up and down at his outfit, “Okay.”
Dheeraj didn’t make it very far, but he clunked his way down the streets next to me far enough to give the locals something to talk about. People love that around here. Village gossip is rudimentary.
I went to explore another beach in the area, called Arambol. The sights were pretty darn nice. . .
From the beach, we hiked up into the jungle to see an epic banyan tree. That particular spot is visited by many people who are curious to see the tree and the infamous “Baba’s” who hang out underneath it. When we got there, I sat down and the Baba stared at me, like he was staring through me.
“Where are you from?” The Baba said in a slight slur, waving a cigarette in one hand.
“Uhhh. . . ” I just smiled.
But I didn’t want to answer. Once you get out of America for awhile, and start meeting people from around the world, you quickly find out how UNCOOL it is to be American, and how you’re the only one around. A large percentage of Americans don’t travel, and America doesn’t exactly have the best reputation in the world, so it can be a bit awkward sometimes. With that in mind, I encourage you crazy Americans to get a passport and go see other places. I can’t be the only one doing PR for the good eggs.
After the Baba, we got a great sunset. . .again!
Ohh, here’s a weird ocean fact for you. Did you know that the Arabian Sea is really, really, really salty? Wait, aren’t all oceans salty? Of course they are, but in my experience, they’re all different levels of saltiness, and the one in my back yard is quite high. It’s perfect for long, meditative, floating sessions. Ahhhhhhh. . . .ommmmmmmmmm. . . . .