Saturday, August 16, 2008

One spoon of Sugar

Living in Goa has great perks. Being able to just up and rent a scooter for one, no paper work or insurance. The beautiful fields of green leaves draping over tropical hills, warmth and plenty of time to read and dream. I found a little cafe today that is also a book store, and holds a book club as well. This month the book being read is The Diving Bell and the butterfly. I bought a cup of chai while I was there and a lady working there kept remarking on how I use the same amount of sugar as her. "one spoon, oh me too, I also take one spoon. How is your chai, was that the right amount of sugar, that is also the amount that I like, are you finished, did you like your chai, it was sweet enough, it is the way I like it too." I didn't want to tell her that it was a bit to sweet for me.
I am feeling very excited and hopeful for what is to come. My goal is to teach west african dance, I am feeling more confident about it. Chinua knows a lot of rhythms to play on his djembe and he thinks that it will be easy to put together a makeshift dun dun (the drum that holds the base of the rhythm). I feel as though I have a chance to be me more than I ever have had in a way. In other words, I like it here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another venture into town

Yesterday the monsoon calmed down a bit, like God drawing the rainy curtains aside to peer through and smile on us, I was so eager to get out and about that I was willing to venture in to Mapusa again. I needed to do somethings in town and Chinua knows were everything is so I was going to follow him. Let me just say, of all the days to go into the city, the one clear day after many rainy days is the craziest. the roads were so crowded, with little motorcycles and scooters edging through and weaving into any open place on the road, pedestrians, bicycles, big dirty work trucks, buses, men (old and young) grasping with all there might onto huge bundles of produce wile crossing the street. And then timid me. Chinua was even shocked at how busy it was. So we stopped at the coffee shop, and hung out for a while. After that it was pretty exciting, I really started to get the hang of driving around in the busy chaos of the city. Then we decided to go to Panjin, another city 20 minutes away. We went back home to get helmets because that is the law here, you must take helmets on the freeway. I found the freeway to be much more scary than Mapusa, it wasn't crowded at all but we went at a greater speed, and I found there was to much time to think, my thinking going toward falling off the scooter and how much it would hurt and praying for it to never ever happen, while the winds blowing against my side made my scooter want to swerve.
After running our last errands in Panjin we came back through the freeway with one last errend in Mapusa on the way home. Then as we were getting our scooters turned around from there parked spots at the last store a guy near by remarked "the cops are watching you guys" (cops will sometimes pull westerners over hoping for bribes) so Chinua swiftly took off (he saw the cops start to drive in our direction, I however was oblivious) going the opposite way of the cops, and I, startled, took off after him and followed through his little sneaky short cuts, till he finally slowed down and said, "I can't believe we ditched those cops." I was glad that I didn't know we were trying to ditched then when we sped off.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"it's only the dust taking out"

It has been a true monsoon last couple of days, rain rain, non stop, (well little stops here and there, but that doesn't sound as dramatic). I've even been sleeping with a little bowl on my bed where big water drops fall heavy from the ceiling with a loud splat. My favorite rain is the strong one that brings cool breezes roaming throughout the house. The other day me and Jaya (our maid) put on masks that she makes from scratch, she explained the mask as "it's only the dust taking out". It's was a funny site, the dog was prancing up and down yipping at our scary faces. Then I started taking pictures of her and myself on my computer. She really got a kick out of the pictures that distort your face.
In case you would like to make this mask at home
these are the ingredients,

garbanzo bean flour
cream or milk
rose water
I don't know the proportions
you leave it on for 10-15minutes

Saturday, August 02, 2008

new driver

I've rented a scooter, a little bit of automotive material to whip me along wherever I need to go. It took me a while to finally decide to get one. I've been so freaked out about the idea of myself being a driver on these Goan roads. Squeezing past oncoming buses on tiny potholed streets. The first day that I got it I started down the road going about 2 miles an hour, my feet hitting the road in a kind of swinging step to keep me from falling over as I was giggling and screaming. Locals were staring at me in amusement and kids giggling back as I hollered my explanation that this was my first time, I've never ridden one before. I finally braved it and took off, and I've been zipping around ever since. Yesterday I decided to be brave and go threw Mapusa (the closest city) to a little coffee shop(yes there is a coffee shop and it's quite nice). Getting there wasn't much of a problem, however I did get lost coming back. I thought that I was entering a one way, so I quickly veered left (we drive on the left side of the street here), then I veered left again completely going the wrong way and found myself on a freeway. My heart jumped into my throat and my stomach took my hearts place, while I frantically found a place to pull over. I sat there for a moment and caught my breath then asked someone for directions. That Someone was nice enough to have me follow him to show me were to go, but was trying to have a conversation the whole way, while I was concentrating on not veering into his motorcycle that was two feet from my wheels. Even as I write about it I feel like I need to take a moment to catch my breath. I am not quite the thrill seeking type and tend to burrow into safety like a tick so I think this scooter will be good for me.