Thursday, April 23, 2009

dry days...

well i have officially entered my last week in goa, i can't believe it has been 6 months already! today is the last day of elections here in india they started on the 21st, apparently here drinking and voting don't go together. for the last 3 weeks all the liquor shops have been closed, you could get a drink at a restaurant or bar, (if they drink in that area), but not anywhere else. but on the 21st until 5pm today it is "dry days". no booze served anywhere, if you happen to have some at home that's ok but you ain't gonna find any around as the fines are pretty heavy if you get caught selling some. they couldn't even have any in the shack so, as i live about a minute away robert the shack owner stashed it all at my place. so it's been pretty mellow the past couple days, last night he closed the shack and 4 of us went out to dinner. when i came back to goa last week i found out one of his cooks left so i have been helping out when needed, as they only have 4 guys to finish the season, where there's usually 6-8 working. it's been pretty interesting, the other cook doesn't speak english so if it's just me and him in the kitchen it can get pretty funny. we both seem to think if we just speak slower in our own language the other will understand, that doesn't really work that well though.......the beach is pretty dead, some of the shacks have closed down and a lot of the beach sellers have gone home, it's definitely the end of the season. it's very peaceful right now though i'm still loving it.

delhi was ok, i was only there for 2 days, i met 3 canadians about 5 minutes after getting off the train, they were arriving from agra. so i went with them to find a room, then hung out for my 2 days. one of the guys and i shared a cucumber from a street vendor the first afternoon and by that night i had a fever and diarrhea. we both said when we were eating it that we probably shouldn't be it was only a couple bites so we went for it. and we both paid for it as he was sick for 4 days after. so the next day i was pretty tired but wanted to see something so the other guy and i went to the red fort, then i had to go back to my room. i pretty much stayed there till the next morning when i popped 2 imodium's and got on a plane to goa. i've pretty much had a funny tummy since but nothing like before, hopefully things even out when i get home.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

chillen by the ganges

i am sitting in an internet cafe, listing to a snake charmer outside play his flute. it is the same tune over and over again, you think the snake would get sick of the music and stay in the basket, not come out.
so from dharamsala i took a 5 hour bus ride ( it was supposed to be 4 but we go a flat tire) to a small town called chakki bank, where the nearest train station is. it was another crazy ride, the only non indians on the bus where 2 british guys going to amritsar my self and a lady from california who happened to be going to chakki bank as well. so we sat together as neither one of us really knew when to get off the bus. we just made sure everyone around us knew where we had to go and the ticket guy as well. the woman, named indu is almost 60 and lives in oakland. she was visiting a friend in dharamsala that she hadn't seen since she was in her 20's. after talking more she told me she used to be an editor and still writes a bit but for the past 10 years has been cooking, so we had lots to talk about. we were both thankful that we were going to the same place as we were dropped off on the side of the road at about 8pm near the town, and it's always easier to figure things out when there's someone else with you. so after climbing on the roof of the bus to get my bag, ( usually there's guys around at stations to do this for you for 10 rupees, $0.25 but not on the side of the road) we found a rickshaw to take us to the train station. i only had to wait a half an hour for my train but she was going to varanasi and had to wait 3 more hours. after 13 hours i arrived in rishikesh the next morning.....

rishikesh is full of temples and ahsrams, it proclaims itself to be the yoga capital of the world, everywhere you go there are signs for yoga and meditation retreats. and there are many sadhus, spiritual men walking around looking permanently stoned. i don't think they really are, it's probably all the yoga and meditation, they're just very at one with themselves. i have spent most of my time exploring the area, sitting by the ganga reading or trying to avoid the shopping stalls. the days here are quite pleasant, sunny but not excruciatingly hot, and for all 3 nights i've been here there have been the craziest storms i've seen. lightning, thunder, rain and wind for most of the evening which also means on and off power, usually off. so i hang out on my balcony and watch the show. luckly there's a good restaurant in my hotel so i don't have to go far for dinner.
tomorrow morning at 5am i have to take a taxi to haridwar, about and hour away as not many trains actually come to rishikesh. i will take a 6:22am train to delhi and arrive around noon, then spend tomorrow and saturday there and fly out sunday morning for easter in goa.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

free tibet

well i never met the dalia lama, apparently he's to busy for me. actually he wasn't even here when arrived, he was in delhi for 5 days touring around as they're celebrating 50 years in exile this year. but i did learn lots about tibetan refugees and how china has treated them, (not very nice). so dharamsala has been a great learning experience, and i would love to come back here and volunteer one day. i spent some time at the tibetan museum where they show the history of how china took over tibet, and the pain and torture and they inflicted. i never really knew how bad it was and i'm shocked that it's still going on. i can't believe they let china have the olympics when this is all happening.

i also did a couple yoga classes and of course the tibetan cooking classes. i did 3 days of classes, one was tibetan bread, another was momo's which are like potstickers or gyozas, and the third was soup, which happened to be on a very cool stormy day. also lots of shopping, there is so much to buy here and a lot of it supports the refugees so i felt like it was my duty to help them. i guess it's rice and dal from now on.

i have also met a lot of cool travellers here, as there area so many. it's definitely a good place to meet people, everyone seems to be staying here for a while though so i am heading alone to rishikesh tonight, which is fine as i do like my alone time. i will be there for a few days then delhi for a few then on april 12th i am flying back to goa for my last 2 weeks before heading home. i have to go south to bombay anyways so i thought i'd head to the beach one last time, as i already miss everyone there and i've only been up north 2 weeks!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

up to the hills

so i managed to find the golden temple, i could actually see it from my guesthouse. it was absolutely beautiful. i spent 3 days in amritsar and went to the temple every day to see it at different times. the first day was overcast so i didn't see the sun set over the temple, but the next day was fine. there were thousands of people there, i would have to say that in all the time i spent there i only saw about 10 other "westerners" as we're called, not very many white people at all. the whole complex where the temple is is huge, after you check your shoes and cover your head you walk through some water to wash your feet. then down to the amrit sarovar, the pool of sacred water. this is also where the city got its name, amritsar. the temple stands in the middle of the pool, with a long walkway leading into the temple where thousands of Pilgrims were waiting to go in and make an offering. i didn't go through, i just watched from outside. there are 4 priest inside keeping up a constant chant that is heard over loudspeakers, i could hear it from my room as well. there is also a huge dining hall where they feed you rice, dahl and chapatis, apparently they feed around 40,000 people a day all for a donation, they don't ask for any money, it was pretty amazing.

the other major sight i saw was the jallianwala bagh memorial. jallianwala bagh is a large outdoor park area where on april 13th, 1919 about 20,000 indians were holding a peaceful protest against the "rowlatt act", an act that gave the british authorities emergency powers to imprison without trial indians suspected of sedition, (rebelling against the british government). without notice 150 troops stormed the park and opened fire on the protesters, within 6 minutes more then 400 were dead and 1500 injured. there is a huge well in the park, now called the "martyrs well" were 120 bodies were pulled out of as people jumped in to flee the bullets. well that's my history lesson for today, other then these two places i just wandered around the old city. through the alleys and tried to get lost, but you can always seem to see or hear the golden temple so i could always find my way back.

after 3 days i needed to get out of the city so i hopped on a cycle rickshaw, paid the guy 40 ru ($1) to take me and my bag to the bus station. im sure 40 rupees was to much but i couldn't feel good paying him less to cycle and my big bag, with his skinny little legs, i don't know how they do it. i caught a local bus to dharamsala, which is north of amritsar up in the mountains, it was a crazy 7 hour ride. we arrived around 8pm and i found a place to stay had some tibetan soup and went to bed.

so far i really like it here, it's pretty cold here compared to what i've been in, at night it's around 10c and low 20's during the day. i've had to buy some pants and warm tops. technically where i am is called mcleod ganj, it's about 4km above dharamsala, and is where people come when they say they are going to dharamsala. it is the headquarters of the tibetan government in exile and the residence of the dali lama and many tibetan refugees. it's a beautiful village, but very touristy and full of white people, but i guess i'm one of them so oh well.....many people come here for long term stays, to take month long yoga courses or massage classes. or just meditate and hang out. im taking some tibetan cooking classes, my first one's tonight, 3 in total, the tibetan food is so good here, i'm loving the momo's. well i'm going to go see if the dali lama wants to have lunch.....

Friday, March 27, 2009

heading on up!

well after spending some quality time with my new friends at taha travels in baga, i settled on a train ticket to amritsar instead of flying. the cost was the main reason, almost $250 to fly and only $45 for train, although flying would have been approximately 38 hours faster then the train......even after i had my ticket no one in baga believed i was leaving, as i kept changing my mind and tickets to stay longer. but i surprised them all by actually getting on the train at 2am on the 26th. it was very hard to leave baga, and since i have to get to bombay to fly home i may do a quick stop back there before i leave, there's just something about the place that keeps pulling me back.

well except for the very loud children that were in my area of the train, the 41 hour ride was pretty ok. i did lots of reading, lots of looking out the window and lots of sleeping, or trying to sleep. the scenery was very different from the south, not so may trees and not as green. instead of looking at water and palm trees from the window, i was seeing brown patches of land, slums and falling down buildings. we arrived in amritsar last night around 8pm and i hopped in a rickshaw and went to the guesthouse, for the first few minutes i wondered why the hell i left goa. what was i doing in this crazy, busy noisy city when i could be enjoying a quiet evening on the beach with friends. but now i'm ok and am actually enjoying a little time on my own, experiencing a new place, not knowing where i'm going. on that note i'm off to find the golden temple......

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

stuck in goa

well i was supposed to leave here on the 16th, on a train to jaipur but unfortunately i had to cancel my ticket as i was not up to travelling. last week i went to south goa with peter and anita, a lovely austrian couple and robert who is from goa and runs the shack we sit in. we hopped in a little green car and headed to palolem, which is a beautiful beach about 2 hours away, ( goa is not that big). peter and anita come to goa for 4-5 months every year and usually spend 3 weeks at christmas in palolem, and the rest in baga. so they know their way around there. it was a beautiful drive down, and that night was full moon as well as holi. which is a hindu holiday where they throw coloured powder or liquid on everyone. as well they stay up all night marching around playing the drums, it's quite the celebration. on our way back the next day we stopped a lot along the way and checked out some beautiful little villages and beaches. even though it's so close south goa is much quieter then where i am. it is also a lot greener, more rice fields and farms. where as north goa seems to focus on development and tourism.

after returning from our little road trip i started to have some stomach cramps and then the diarrhea came, and with the cramps lasted almost 4 days till i went to the doctor and got fixed up. that was the 14th, so by my birthday i was feeling a bit better, but pretty exhausted, but still determined to celebrate! we spent the whole day at the beach, lots of fun had by all. the next day however i was not ready to get on a train for 26 hours, so now i am looking into flights to amritsar as it's going to be to hot in jaipur by now. so that's my plan as of now.

Friday, March 6, 2009

hot! hot! hot!

well i am starting my last week in goa and as much as i'm excited to head up north it's going to be very sad to leave. it has been a great couple of weeks hanging out here, relaxing and spending time with new friends. not all my time has been spent at the beach, but as the temperature is hanging out at around 38c with 98% humidity, i'm definitely there at some point during the day. especially if there's a power cut then it's unbearable at home, you need the breeze of the beach. i went into panjim (the capital of goa) the other day with a french canadian lady who i met through susi. her brother lives in vancouver and owns the stock market in granville island. we went to see slumdog millionaire, she was a little disappointed but i liked it, i'm glad i got to experience india before seeing it. there is an austrian couple here, peter and anita as well as their friend remy a french cook, they come every year as well. i've been hanging out with them, lot's of fun..... going to the markets and restaurants.

i've also in the last few weeks been offered 3 different cooking jobs for next year here in goa, and i'm seriously considering one of them, i'm actually torn between two so i guess it would depend on the $$$. neither one would be cooking indian food, one is a very busy greek restaurant, who wanted me to start right now. the other i'm considering is a restaurant owned by the guy who runs the beach shack we sit at, he has become a good friend and has a family restaurant in calengute (5 minutes away). and it needs a makeover, something different, like a good chef (that's me!) i would rather work with him but don't know if he can afford me, i would be happy with a 1000 rupees a day (about $26cad) but that's a lot for here, most guys get 1000-3000 rupees a month! so we'll see. the other offer was from a couple guys who have a travel agency here and want to open a restaurant and want me to be the western chef, but they don't even have a place yet so i'm not betting on that one.

well on the 16th i will be heading to jaipur for a couple days depending on how hot it is there, then my loose plan is to hit the taj mahal for a day, then up to delhi to catch a train to amritsar to see the golden temple, then to dharamsala and rishikesh and maybe leh as well. all subject to change at a moments notice.......

Thursday, February 19, 2009

back to goa.....again

well i am now back in baga, goa. i spent a couple extra days in cochi with another girl i met after kim left. she has been living in south goa since november and was spending a week in cochi. i still didn't really know where i was going to go when i was with her, but then i talked to susi and another friend from goa and realized i wanted to come back here for another visit. so i headed to the train station with no ticket and hoped for the best! i got the the station around 1pm and told the guy i needed to get to goa as soon as possible, there was an express train that night at 10:30pm and i got on the waiting list and wouldn't find out till 5pm if i had a seat, but he was 100% sure i would get on as well as the other 3 people i talked to. well they were right i did get a seat and made it to goa by 10am the next morning, it was the fastest train i've ever been on!
so i have been here since then visiting, hanging out with friends and working on my tan. a little holiday within my holiday, i would never complain but it can get tiring moving around so much, sometimes it's nice to just stay in one place for a couple weeks, especially if it's near a beach.
well in one week i will be moving again, heading up north to rajastan, jaipur to be exact. i am planning on spending my last 2 months (ahhhhh, only 2 months left!) in northern india. it should be warming up there by now, as i don't have any cold weather clothes i didnt' want to go to early. from what i've heard it's very different from the south, so we'll see.......xoxo

Sunday, February 8, 2009

beautiful cochi

after spending a week in kumily we headed down the mountains back to the heat and humidity of the coast. we have been in cochi for 5 days now and leaving tomorrow, my friend kim who i have been with the past month in kerela is heading home tomorrow and i am heading up the coast to explore northern kerala. we have been staying in fort cochi, which is a small village like area, you can take a ferry over to ernakulam which is more city like. the beach here is just used for fishing, they use chinese fishing nets which are huge nets that are lowered into the water along the beach and then lifted up after 5 minutes or so. they don't seem to catch much from them anymore, just enough to sell to the tourists. you can buy the fish then go across the street and another guy cooks it up for you, very yummy!

one night we went to a kathakali show which is like a play with no words, they just express themselves through their eyes and movements. the makeup they put on first though is amazing and takes an hour and a half each night. another night we went to a north indian classical music concert, there are lots of cultural things going on here in kerala. today we went to jewtown, cochi used to have a large jewish community and they have a beautiful synagog here, unfortunately no photos allowed. kim has also been doing allot of shopping as she is leaving so i've been accompanying her and trying not to spend any money, which is hard.

we have been staying at a homestay here, it's a bit more expensive but breakfast and dinner are included, and it's the best food i've had yet in india. i wish everyone could experience keralean food at one time, it's nothing like indian food as we know it in north america. it's much more fresh tasting, not so saucy. for dinner we have chapattis and rice with at least 5-6 different "masalas" most served at room temp or warm. masala can mean anything here, usually a mixture of some sort. allot of grated coconut mixed with grated beets or carrots, green beans or okra, and a bit of curd, red onion, fresh curry leaves and mustard seeds and just lightly sauteed. we have fish almost every night as well and papaya and pineapple for dessert. he let me watch him cook the other day and make the chapattis so hopefully i can do it again at home, if i can find the ingredients!

Friday, January 30, 2009

off to the hills

well it was hard to leave kovalam and its beautiful beach but it was time to move on so we headed to kanyakumari which was a 3 hour bus ride. it's in tamil nadu which is the next state, but still very close to kerala. it's the southern most point of india, the indian ocean, arabian sea and bay of bengal all meet there. it's a popular spot of pilgrimages and when we were there i notice many more indian tourists then westerners. it was beautiful, very windy which was nice to stay cool. we stayed only for 3 nights just to see the sights and walk around a bit. from there we took a train to varkala which is back in kerala, it is another beach village on the coast. after missing out train cuz someone told us it was the wrong one as we were getting on, we arrived only a few hours behind our original schedule. we were both disappointed in varkala, it's beach and surrounding cliffs are beautiful. if you can overlook the garbage that they throw over the cliffs. but it's just a strip of shops, restaurants and guesthouses above the cliffs, there is no sense of indian culture anywhere. so we only stayed 2 days then moved on to alleppey, it was only a few hours on the train to alleppey so not to bad. once in alleppey i started to feel a little sick, with a head cold, so we just walked around a bit and we were approached by a houseboat guy, we went to see his boat and after talking a bit we agreed to go with his boat. it's the most expensive thing i've done yet it was 5000 rupees which is about $130cad. with two of us it was still expensive for india, but it is something that you have to do when your there and it really was beautiful. unfortunately all of the boats are now motorized so it's not so great for the environment, as the locals bathe in the water that we are going through as well as wash their clothes in it and after boiling it use it for cooking. and while strolling along it kinda feels like you are invading their privacy a bit, especially when their standing at the edge of the water brushing their teeth. the houseboat started at 11:30am and went to 9am the next day, their was kim and i and 3 crew guys. they cooked lunch the first day which was fish rice and many pickles and masalas, dinner was chicken curry with rice and roti, a chickpea puree, beet masala, coconut masalas with okra or green beans, it was all very good. then breakfast of eggs, iddlys, masalas, fruit and toast with chai.
after returning we hoped on a bus for a 6 hour ride to kumily, where we are now. it's up in the western ghats on the boarder with tamil nadu. it was a slow ride up windy bumpy roads but a beautiful view. we are surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary and tea and spice plantations. the temperature is much cooler as well and it rained our first night here, when the sun is out it's not to bad but at night you definitely need a blanket. we met a rickshaw driver who took us on a tea plantation tour, we couldn't go into the factory as it's closed for a month from tourists, but we walked all through the tea bushes, it's a pretty cool area. after we went to a little tea stand and had probably the best masala tea (chai) i've had yet. then he took us to a spice garden where the owner gave us a tour. it is one of the most amazing gardens i've seen, not just the spices but the flowers as well. it was full of cardamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, turmeric, coffee, papaya trees, jackfruit, cocoa tree, peppercorns and more that i can't remember right now. it was also pretty cool.
yesterday we had an ayurvedic massage, it was 600 ru ($15cad) for 90 minutes, it's not like any massage i've had before. you get naked then sit on a stool while the lady rubs lots of oil in your hair and gives you a head massage then your face as well. you then lye on a bed with no sheet, first i was on my stomach and she pours oil all over you and does long fast strokes all over your body. she works individual areas as well but it's definitely not relaxing, after you turn over and she does the front side with more oil. you are literally soaked in oil, every part of your body, then you get up and go sit in a little chamber with your head sticking out and you get a body steam for 10 minutes. i did enjoy it and after a shower my skin felt very soft, all the oils they make from ayurvedic herbs so it's supposed to be really good for you. i am now trying to get rid of my cold so i can do some hiking in the sanctuary before we leave.

Monday, January 19, 2009

beautiful kovalam

i have just spent 4 days in kovalam with my friend kim, i met her about a month ago in mamalapuram. after separating for a few weeks as she went north she arrived in trivandrum on the 15th and the next day we took a rickshaw to kovalam. it's only15km away but very different, it's a little beach village. very developed for the size, lot's of package tours come here but fortunately for us this is a bad season for tourism here so it's quite lovely. the beach is relatively quite and much less people then goa, and allot smaller. the sun is allot stronger though and after
2 1/2 months here i had my first sunburn yesterday. i bought a hat today though so i'm all set, and i'm going through the sunscreen like crazy. for the first 3 days we stayed in a hut, then had to move today as someone had reserved it already. we are right next door though in another lodge so it wasn't to bad. we are behind the beach so it's much more quiet, and cheaper, we are surrounded by coconut trees and birds, and wake up to some chanting every morning. unfortunately kim only has about 3 more weeks so we are leaving tomorrow and heading to kanyakumari, it's about a 80 km away, a 3 hour bus ride. it's actually in tamil nadu, the next state over just on the border with kerala. it is the most southern point in india where the bay of bengal meets the indian ocean and the arabian sea. it has many temples and has great spiritual significance for hindus, they come on pilgrams to bath in the surrounding waters.
we will then come back to kerala as so far it's both of our favourite place, the food is the best i've had yet, lots of coconut is used and tons of seafood. for breakfast yesterday i had appam with vegetable curry, appam is rice flour crepes but a little thicker that you dip in the curry. fish moile is another favourite, it's a mild yellow coconut curry with butter fish. lots of fresh curry leaves as well as the spices here and fresh coconut make it something i know i wont be able to duplicate at home, but i will try.
as well as the tourists on the beach, it is full of fishermen, they are at it all day, going out and setting the nets then pulling them in, well yelling and chanting, it's pretty cool to see. although i wonder what they think of us getting in their way trying to suntan and swim where they work.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

off to kerala

well i left baga,goa on the 11th at around 10pm and arrived 21 hours later in trivandrum, southern kerala. it was a long but beautiful (during the day) train ride, the scenery was amazing, so green lots of coconut trees and water. trivandrum is a larger town, it's very hot and noisy and after 3 days i'm ready to move on. i was waiting for my friend who i met last month to arrive from the north, she arrived late last night flew to cochi from delhi then took a bus which was supposed to be 5 hours but turned into 8 as it had an accident with a rickshaw. so we are leaving today for kovalam which is just 15km south and on the coast, so it should be a bit cooler and hopefully we can do some swimming. i've just been wondering around here, i went to the zooalogical gardens yesterday, it's a huge park with a zoo some gardens and a natural history museum and an art museum. the zoo was a nice to walk through, very green and cool, but i was very sad for the animals. i haven't been to a zoo since stanley park had animals and this one was not so clean, there were 13 crocodiles in one little area with dirty water to chill in. the 2 elephants were both chained up and the loin and leopards were in small cages. as well there were tons of birds, big vultures, pheasants, storks all in small cages. i guess they don't really have animal rights activists here. or maybe they should charge more, then they could use the money to spruce up the place a bit, the entrance fee was 10 rupees, 0.25 cents. the gardens were really nice to just relax and read my book in and the museums were great as well. not much else to report from here, just that its hot! hot! hot!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

a little about the food

well it's been awhile since i've posted anything, i'm came back to goa for christmas and have a few more days to go before heading out. i didn't think anyone would want to read about how i've been relaxing on the beach and working on my tan. so i thought i'd write a little about the food here in india so far.

here in goa, you can get by without eating indian food at all. all the restaurants cater to the the english/european tourists that still want their beans on toast for breakfast. here i usually eat breakfast with at susi's, we have yogurt with fruit and musli (granola), and a cup of earl grey. other places i've visited all have this on the menu as well but with yogurt curds, it's a bit more sour and runnier then yogurt. the only place i've been that western food was not available was mysore. there i would just by fruit from a stand to have for breakfast, a whole papaya or pineapple and bananas. i've eaten more papaya here then ever in my life, it's soooooo good and costs around 0.50$ for a big one. i don't always eat lunch and dinner, sometimes just snacks on the beach, like fruit, coconuts or cashews (goa is famous for them, lots of cashew trees around) or one or the other. i usually have a lassi (yogurt shake) or a fruit juice or two during the day as well as lots of masala tea (chai). i try to eat indian for the other meal as it's usually the best food, sometimes i really want a break form it though and i'll order something like spaghetti or pizza. except for a couple times i'm usually disappointed by the non indian food though. one thing they do quiet well here is chinese food and it's also on every menu, fried rice, noodles, sweet and sour vegetables or chicken etc. it's always really good and cheap if i need a break from curry. in goa there is so much fish as well, mackeral, pomfret, kingfish, snapper and lots of prawns, small ones and huge ones. all very nice grilled or cooked in the tandoor oven. when i feel like i need a veg boost i usually have palak paneer, spinach and indian cheese with nann or roti. the best one i've ever had has been here in goa at a little beach shack, it was so flavourful, not to runny and the spicach was still green, not brown and overcooked.

in mysore and hampi i ate alot of thalis, they are always vegetarian and very tasty. south indian thalis were usually lighter, with poris, small fried pita pocket type things that you dip in sauces, some vegetables and pickles. where as the north indian thalis had 3 curries yogurt curd, a paneer dish rice and roti, it was a much more filling thali, all for around $1.50. i don't know if it's just cuz im in india but everything tastes better, the flavour of the dals, masalas, pickles everything is amazing.

for the first month except for a day where i happened to have beef, chicken and mutten all in one day i didn't eat any meat, just lots of fish. but in the past few weeks i have started eating some chicken, not allot but some. also there is a cafe here in goa run by a german lady that has a very good reputation and i had a cheese burger there the other day. i don't try to not eat meat it's just not a big thing here and the vegetarian meals are so good and allot cheaper. i am having food dreams though, day and night dreams. the other day susi and i were talking about how we would really love a meat and cheese plate for dinner, we went on and on and by the end we had named off all the cheeses and meats we could think of. i also dream about bacon and biting into a nice juicy steak...........

but that does not mean i am not enjoying the food here, i do love it! another thing i don't do allot of is drinking, goa is the only place that i have had alcohol. so for the month of travelling around in between my goa visits i didn't have any, and i didn't really miss it. here we usually have a drink or two watching the sunset, i have a kingfisher beer or a honeybee, which is what the others drink. it's an indian whiskey, really smooth and tasty. i mix it with soda, or put it in my tea, these past two months have probably been the driest i've had in a long time.