Thursday, March 20, 2008

Temples and Churches and Shrines! Oh, My!!!

These are selected photos from three different walks. One to Little Vagator, another to Mapsa, and a third north past the Chapora river, into no-man's land. They're shown in chronological order, with most of the photos coming from the last walk. You'll notice that as the walk progresses the more Hindu architecture you see- the further you get from towns and villages the more likely it is that the inhabitants are Hindu, not Catholic. There are lots of reasons for this but, personally, I like to simplify and just blame the Inquisition ;)


Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Walk to the Beach

This isn't a swimming sort of beach, just the one closest to my house- a five minute walk down the hill.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Photos, photos!

As requested, here are some photos of my house in Goa.

My favorite thing about it is the ceiling/roof- great.


Monday, February 04, 2008

So. I'm back in India, that strange, strange place. It is profoundly odd, and more than a little unsettling, to come back here, to an empty house. What do they say, the fools, lessons learned? ;)

The weather is beautiful, though a little cold, actually. I've gone to the beach a few times. It is so nice to swim in the ocean.

I'm trying to do without a car or motorcycle. No problem there, really. Everything I need for my daily sustenance is easily within walking distance. I have, however, purchased myself a bicycle. It is a bit of a luxury but I'll indulge. It speeds my wanderings and time is, after all, money. I purchased it is Mapsa, the biggest city close to my home, after spending 2 hours walking there to pay my internet bill, for 3000 rupees (approx. 75 USD). It is a new little 5 speed, with lock and bell, and I like it. It will be particularly useful for those monthly romps to Mapsa and for going to the nice little beaches nearby. Though the sea is only a five minute walk from my house the best beaches are 3 and 9 km. away.

I'm doing ok. I'm working (which is going, as expected, well), watching way too much 24 (thank you, Grandma), reading (Walden, right now, in addition to countless words on this screen), and have decided, upon Dane's suggestion, to write more (good advice, and thank you).

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Bit of Holland, Thailand, Burma, and a Lot of India

We've been in India for over a month now and in writing this sentence I'm struck by how odd it sounds in my head. Time, for me, here, is a strange thing. Maybe we just arrived, maybe we've been here for years. I know the answer but in a peculiar way the statement confuses me. Perhaps I'm still in shock from our arrival. We flew into Mumbai around 8 in the evening, by 10 we were at the train station being told the train we wanted didn't exist, that if we wanted to get to Goa we'd have to be at the ticket counter at a quarter to 6 the next morning (we later discovered we had watched our non-existent train leave a half-hour later). Not wanting to lug our bags around (my one bag was truly massive and I found myself saying more than once, by way of excuse, and more to myself than Nina, that I was moving, not traveling), bother finding a guesthouse, or trust ourselves to get up in time we decided to camp out at the station. We were not alone. In that station were hundreds of people and by 3 in the morning everyone but the rats was asleep, on anything they could find. The sheer mass of people, the insane poverty, the grime, the desperation, the apathy we saw during those first 12 hours was truly shocking. Thailand, with its vast metropolis, rural poverty, slight inconveniences, oppressive government, and kind and passive culture, did very little to prepare us for India. When thinking of this place the word 'raw' often comes to mind. That word, with all its connotations and implications, describes it well- it is a fleshy place, brutal, beautiful, unsettling, and full of potential. During our night at the station we managed to secure two tickets on the morning train to Goa. We arrived in the evening that day- finally concluding our 60 hour journey (24 hours on two trains, 4.5 hours flying, 1 hour of heart-wrenching cab driving, and many hours waiting).
Arriving in Goa, India's smallest and wealthiest state, ruled by the Portuguese until 1961 when the Indian Army finally marched in, with it's long history of contact with other cultures, we let out a small sigh of relief. It is a comfortable, beautiful place and more on it to come.

I initially meant only to post some photos of my recent travels and provide some detailed explanations but I found myself compelled to keep writing. For now I'll cut it short and provide some photos of Holland, Thailand, Burma, and a good collection from India (all courtesy of Nina's wonderful eye). Follow this link to the full collection (apologies for the low quality, Indian broadband ain't all it's cracked up to be).

Breakfast in Holland.

My bag was always lighter in Burma.

On the train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.

Mumbai train station, late.

Quite literally there is a festival every other day here, this one involved a lot of pigment.

Fish market in Panjim.

The Sea.

And me.


Dallas, TX, United States