Been to Arambol, seen the Tree

Last Thursday began the international filmfestival, IFFI, in Goa’s capital Panjim. I couldn’t make it there to the opening, but from the Candolim beachside I admired those three fighterplane’s show in the sky. Each one them drew a different colour, and the show ended in a Bollywood way, when those two fighter planes drew a big heart in the sky, and then disappeared.
Wellknown local artist Subhod Kerkar is having his big fineart exhibition right in the middle of sunbathers, dogs and cows on the Candolim beach, and the exhibition is called Sea & See.

Last week some strange heatwave hit Goa and the weather was truly burning hot and overhumid. The heat didn’t ease off even for the night. After this, the air stopped, and during daytime there was no wind blow, not even on the beach. The sea was almost still. Then came couple of cloudy days, and to me clouds are almost a miracle here in the sky. Now the weather seems to be cooling down. Luckily.

December is soon at hand, meaning that the prizes of accommodation will rise up. I’ve been looking for a long-term accommodation for a good prize, but so far I haven’t found a place that I’d like enough. December and new year are almost fully booked everywhere, also in my present guesthouse, so I hope I won’t be left without a rooftop over my head…
Seriously speaking, I shouldn’t need to worry. I went to see one nice house in Anjuna, close to the sea. But the decision is dependant on several things. The following days will tell.

Those bombblasts in Delhi, few days before my coming to India, and the possible threat of terrorism in Goa may have reduced the amount of tourists here. This is what the locals say. And at least during the weekend there wasn’t much people nor happening on the beach, which is exceptional. Otherwise you don’t see or experience this threat of terrorism here.

In a party in Finland, couple of days before my coming here, J recommended me to visit the Tree in Goa. So yesterday I decided to drive through Anjuna, Vagator, Chapora and Mandrem to Arambol. To my surprise I saw Pelle Miljoona jogging there on the beach.
The path to the Tree was surprisingly long, and pretty hard to walk. At some point I even began to regret my going there. But the nature was beautiful, green, and there were lots of banyontrees and monkies were jumping on their branches. My clothes were wet from sweat when I finally reached the Tree. There, in the middle of the jungle, under a huge banyon tree lived a woman, and there with her were also her friend and her puppy and some older local man, an altar, guitars and lots of exotic birds singing in the middle of otherwise quiet nature. In the middle of that camp was a fireplace, and I suppose people have a habit of gathering around it to smoke some drugs. Now wasn’t it under a boddhi tree were Buddha was enlightened as well? This might be their point with this Tree.. I decided to skip that experience. Still my way back was lighter, thanks to endorphins.

"Stepping on a cowpoo brings a good luck"

Last night it finally did happen.
I was on my way to a beach shack for a dinner, walking in the dark, when suddenly I realized the sand under my sandals felt odd..
I looked behind me, and saw a big pile of cow dung on which I had just stepped..
Locals were there to advice me what to do. That is to rub the sandal in the sand and knock it on something hard. And so shall the dung fly.
The good thing in this accident was that – when you step on a cow dung accidentally, it will bring you a good luck.. according to an old Indian belief. This is what they told me.What else happening here – Well, I live in a wonderful place, in a homey guesthouse, so close to the sea that one can listen to the waves when in the balcony, and see them as well, if one really wants to.
Food is heavenly good most often. In Helsinki / Finland you go to an Indian restaurant and pay 20 euros for mere thali. But here you can get a thali with less than a euro, and a special thali with one and a half euros. So you wont be starving. At least not, if you’re a Westerner.
Whereas mosquitos, they are hungry here. Every evening at least one of them bites me.
The other night was a full moon night. And the other day I visited a Finnish friend of mine, who spends her winters in Goa. She had a lovely appartment. It was wonderful to be in Anjuna again.

In Candolim, Goa

Candolim beach, Goa
In the end the flight from Mumbai to Goa was over two hours late. Sun was setting when we finally got on board. I was admiring the beautiful sunset and taking pictures of it with my phone camera, when the airhostess started to complain and told me to delete all the pictures I had taken. I thought it was only in Goa airport, where you weren’t allowed to take photographs.
Finally yesterday I got to wet my toes in the Arabian Sea. I enjoyed my tea in a beachshack, where I spent my time reading a good book until it was time for the sunset. Which was, beautiful.
The only negative thing here, and I mean the only, is the hard mattress in my bed. Otherwise I’m happy.
The weather is hot during daytime, but after a few days it will get cooler, say the locals. Nights are already rather cool – I’m almost freezing, when wearing a t-shirt only.
Quite a many tourists have arrived here. I was eating in a Chinese restaurant and the next table was having a conversation in Finnish.