December 9, 2000: Day 5, Goa
Date: 12/9/00, 2:36 AM EST (1:06 PM in India)
Re: Message from Internet
We're in Goa now staying at the Bogmalo Beach Hotel, and have connectivity from a back room off the reception desk. Very cool and spacious compared to the last cyber cafe we tried in Mumbai, where you literally pressed up against the next people over inside a tiny unairconditioned partition, heated by bodies and Pentium processors.
So far we're working on acclimating to the culture, and we're getting there. Our 12 hour train trip down was very interesting due to the scenery and getting a really good look at rural Indian life along the route (often going only 5-10 mph, so you could see a lot). Quite an experience stepping around the 1000's of sleeping people in Victoria Terminus at 5 AM on the way to the track. We were in the best available class but even that is pretty basic... they've discontinued what used to be the best classes because people who can afford that just fly now. But at least there was leg room and the many wallas selling "cha cha cha", "coffee, coffee, coffee", "chai, cha, cha", "coffee, coffee", "col drin" (cold drinks), "waafe biscee" (wafer biscuits, aka potato chips) were interesting to watch... their calls sounded like tree frogs on a summer night to me at times and all but cha (tea) and coffee required translation from english into english, as many things here do. We're still trying to get used to the particular way english is used here.
Then a harrowing 31 km drive in the usual tiny fiat taxi (at least this time with a roof rack so we had fewer of the packs wedged into the passenger cabin). But we arrived OK and are lounging today and resting while Rashmi and Guru are off riding around on a moped (which is insane, we are convinced, having seen how this is done yesterday).
That's about it. The ocean is right outside our balcony, and it's beautiful weather, warm but not too hot, and the food is tasty and safe (so far). We've been doing the preventative Pepto Bismol thing and so far so good... I even had a banana and orange bought on the street and didn't get any immediately evident diseases.
OK, we're going to cut this short. I'm not sure whether we have to pay for this or it's just a favor and someone was working here before we arrived...
Hope all is well!
- Stephan (typist) and Gina (supervisor)
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