Wow, I think I’ve been in a time warp. Whew. I’m back! So many things have changed, haven’t they?
The tourist season is in full swing. The weather is “winter” around here which means the locals wear hats, scarves, and sweaters at night and early morning. I still think it’s hilarious. Often times when I pass someone dressed for the arctic zone, I’m sweating bullets and it’s 93 degrees. These Goans are too funny.
BTW, sweating bullets implies I’m back on my feet and back to running, officially. For the past few weeks, I’ve been slowly slowly working my way back up to my running distance pre foot injury. I’m finally there and I feel like I’ve regained some super powers, for sure. It’s a big relief. . .for everyone around me. Heh. Even Rainbow Brite gets grumpy if someone takes her color crystals away. Geez!
In October, we partied like 23 year olds for our lovely friend, Karina’s, birthday. She turned 23, of course, and us old farts (me, Magic man, and some older people) did our best to keep up with the youthful Russian rani. It was a fantastic night with all of her favorite people. . .in a penthouse party pad.
We also had a dear friend, Manny, from Australia, visiting for a few weeks. He hitch-hiked all the way from Europe and had some vacay time in Goa. If you are ever interested in hitch-hiking around the world, budget travel, and the craziness of life, you can visit his blog here. He’s got some good stories and some great tips on life and travel.
Manny’s arrival was perfect for our painting project. . .painting the house, actually. For the past year, we’ve been living in a white house without decorations. That may sound like a normal thing to some people, but to me, it’s like color/personality prison. I might as well just pad the walls. So, we took advantage of our really tall guest (Manny is closer to 7 feet tall than not) . . .haha. . .and painted our house rainbow colors in 2 days. It was hard work but it surely paid off. Now our house feels like a box of festive candy instead of an insane asylum. Winning!
Another crazy thing that has happened during my time warp, ahem, is the whole Trump presidency thing. Wow. Uhhh. . . .yeah. I’m not going to use my cute little blog to rant about whether or not that’s a good thing. Enough people are doing that, obviously. But, in mother India. . .the same day Trump got elected the president of India decided to BAN the 500 and 1000 Rupee notes. What?!
So, that means without warning 85% of the money in India was declared not usable. Did you get that? It’s been a freakin’ nightmare. It’s some weird way to get the population to start using banks instead of stashing piles of cash and it also cracks down on the “black” or illegal money. For regular people, and travelers, it means we spend hours at the bank hoping they will open or the ATM will actually have cash.
The Indian government didn’t calculate, or didn’t care, that millions of people would need more cash in smaller bills since the other bills got banned (the only new bill issued was a 2000 Rupee denomination). Heh. It has surely been on the verge of apocalyptic at times and I’ve made friends with people at the banks. I’ve also been practicing my Indian etiquette skills. . .IE: pushing my way through the line and cutting in front of people. . .because in India if you wait like a well behaved Western person, you’ll just die waiting. No joke. It’s a thing.
The above pictures are from the local bank. I went with Manny to get some cash. There was almost a camp out, as you can see, and the people there had been waiting for quite some time. We asked what time the ATM was supposed to open.
“Uh, it’s supposed to open at 3pm,” said one dude.
“Oh, I heard 3:30pm,” said someone else. . .
I looked at Manny and asked him how long he wanted to wait for just the “possibility” of cash. He looked at me, puzzled, and then another person chimed in. . .
“I heard the ATM might open at 5pm.”
And then that was the end of our bank experience for the day. On several other days, we spent hours waiting in line just to change the old bills into new ones, and if we were lucky to use the ATM *AND* there was cash, only 2000 Rupees was allowed per person. That’s only about 30 bucks.
On the fun side, I did make friends with the cat hanging around the bank . He gave good purr therapy.
I’ve also been baking my little heart away. Having house guests motivates me to feed all my loved ones with goodies. My new fave lately is banana muffins with a piece of chocolate in the center. Shanti has also been enjoying keeping me company whilst I bake. She is my Zen guru.
A few weeks ago, I walked into the bathroom to do a wee and didn’t put the light on. When I turned around to flush the toilet, I found a silly pigeon in my window. It scared the bejeezus out of me and it really wanted to move in. Haha. That was definitely a first time experience for me. Have you ever found a dove in your bathroom? Maybe it was a sign of good luck. I don’t mind that at all!
I’ve got so much more to tell you, but I’ll get to that eventually. I hope whoever you are, wherever you are, life is Goan good. Smooches!