We have only been here 5 days, but it feels like so long. From previous trips I remember that the first two weeks on a trip feel like they are so long, then the rest of the trip flies by. In the beginning days feel like weeks, but by the end months turn to days. India was a real shocker at first (which I'm sure you can tell if you've been following the blog), but it's funny that it's already beginning to mesh together and feel more comfortable. As crazy as everything/everyone is here, it all seems to work. For example, yesterday we had to take four buses to move from North Goa to South Goa (it would have been $40 by taxi, or $1.50 by buses).
Seeing as there is no real bus schedule or timetable you would think we might spend a lot of time waiting; but it was quite the opposite. We caught our first bus after about a 20 minute wait, and were packed in like sardines. It's pretty crazy here, because you squish together till you think you can't get any closer, but then the guy who collects your bus tickets pushes his way to the back and pinches you and grabs you, and literally picks you up and squishes you even more! (It's quite an experience, you have no control at all! haha).
That bus was an hour ride, then we hopped off we managed to find the next bus almost immediatly. It was creeping through the bus parking lot, and wouldn't stop for us, so we just had to jump on with all our gear. But it was pretty awesome because we actually got seats! We felt VERY lucky!
At the stop where we were to grab our 3rd bus we decided to walk around and try to book some travel plans for a few days in the future. We tried to get some train tickets, but the ticket office was CRAZY. We had to pay to get a number to wait, and there was one foreigner in there who said she'd been there for 1 1/2 hours and her number was finally next. She said they were going through less than 10 numbers in an hour! When we realized that our number was 20 numbers away, plus the fact that we didn't even know if there was a train to Hampi we decided to bail on that one, and head to the beloved Paulo Travels Bus Service to book another cozy bed for 2 for a 13 hour bumpy ride!
Anyways, when we made our way back to the train station our third bus was conveniently boarding and we were able to buy a ticket and hop right on...into a seat again!!!!! At the Fourth stop we decided to get some food and walk around a bit, then miraculously showed up at the buses once again right as ours was leaving; so we dodged the cars to cross the street and loaded up.
This bus was a little comical, because first of all they were bumping Bhangra tunes! (Our fave was a little ballad that was a woman singing in Hindi, then a man would come on and sing in English with a heavy accent "I don't know what you're Saying, I don't know what you're saying, but I want to dance with you!" It's our new theme song for the trip!) Also, we got charged 2 1/2 times what the locals paid for the ride, but all in all everything worked out so smoothly it was amazing!
So, like I said things are starting to mesh together and not feel so foreign and crazy; but that's not to say that there aren't at least 20 things a day that happen to us that make us look at eachother and just laugh out loud about how ridiculous it is. Here are a few examples:
-Constant Horn Honking....they seriously will hold the horn for 10 seconds at a time...or just constantly give little beeps. Apparently they honk when they want to pass a car, so trucks have signs painted on the back that say 'Horns yes please.'
-The cows on the beach! It's one thing to get used to sunbathing with cows, but as Kate learned the other night, you aren't expecting to have to dodge cow pies at night!
-We decided to drink a beer on the beach last night and a skinny Indian man in red undies (tighty whitey stylie), decided to stand less than 5 feet in front of us when there was no one else near us. He was staring out into the water, then turning around and staring at us. So finally I looked at him and said hi. He took this as an invitation to talk to us...but he kept telling us his wife was in the water and pointing to some people in the water. We told him he should go join her, but he just wanted to keep talking, so we decided to pick up and move. Of course, as we passed his "wife" in the water...it was really just two white couples! He was icky.
-We think Kate may have been involved in some sort of drug deal on the bus! Some boys made her pass a bag with some conspicuous brown powder in it, then made her pass money to the other guy!
-The Constant hassling is too much. This new beach we are on is by far the worst so far! The women come up to and just stand over you, trying to get your attention by asking you questions. If you look up and say "no thank you," your trapped...they just keep talking to you and won't leave, it's totally ridiculous. This has been one of the hardest things for me, because the only way to get them away is to completely ignore them...and I'm not good at that. In one hour on the beach you will have 20 people come up to; each one offering the same things: jewellery, manicures/pedicures, henna, and sarongs. It's so hard to be rude, but it's all you can do. You will be reading your book and they just stand over you shooting questions at you!
So, now we are on Palolem with the constant hagglers. We have found the best garlic naan here that we've had so far! It's so delicious! We are staying in a cute little bungalow for $2 a night each! Unfortunately we are staying next to some Israelis that brought huge speakers travelling with them, and they love to bump techno and smoke hash all day long. They somehow manage to stay up talking till 4 am, which I have no idea how it's possible after the amount of hashish they smoke! But all in all the bungalow is great. We have pigs all over...about 20 piglets running around, plus chickens...tons of them. And last night we were sitting on our deck and a cow just strolled right through (they have carte blanch here). Also there seemed to be a group of rabid dogs attacking eachother all night, so I guess that dogs just seem to be nocturnal in all of India, not just Mumbai! hehe.
But everything is falling into place nicely. We are headed to a great town called Hampi tomorrow and we are really excited to post up for 3 or 4 night and relax in this ruin town.
I will be hooking up my camera in Hampi and posting some pics, so even if you've read the last blogs keep checking them for pictures!!!!
Love to you all, thanks again for listening!