Friday, December 11, 2009

Yes, Madam. Come in to looking. Goa, India.

Judy and I set out yesterday for North Goa via public transit. We squeezed ourselves onto the busses, with Judy almost getting left behind on one occasion. The busses do not come to a complete stop as passengers jump on. Luckily a fellow passenger pulled her on board as the bus picked up speed. Three busses later we arrived at our destination, a bustling small city.

The vendors and beggars are aggressive here. I have been pushed into shops by both men and women. If you give one beggar child or mother money a storm of children swarm you. With one hand they grip your arm tightly and with the other hand they gesture that they are hungry, with desperation in their dark eyes. I scooped one young girl up and moved her to my either side because I was afraid of how close the cars and busses came to her small body as they raced past. It is distressing. I want to find ways to give back, perhaps starting with my own troubled city when I return home.

We are staying at a quaint homestay called Green Leaf, which is situated amongst the homes of several families. Chickens, dogs, cats and a pig also call this space home. I would recommend this accomodation to other travelers, with the warning that the beds are hard as rock.

There is a large Tibetan population here. Their markets are filled with beautiful jewelery, both new and old, as well as other beautiful trinkets. The Tibetans are happy to let people gaze quietly at their merchandise without shouting high pressure sales pitches. The Tibetan woman shown below is Dolma. She sold me a beautiful old silver ring with jade, coral and turquoise stones. She speaks seven languages.

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