Flying in India is the best!
Super cheap (Hour long flights cost about $50-and that's booking the day before).
Exactly on time (It's the only instance where this happens in India)
And great food and service(Am I doing a commercial here? No but I could be)
First things first,
It was my own fault but I got ripped off with my airport taxi to Arambol Beach. I was sharing with someone but agreed to a charge in a hurry laid down by the taxi buddy. I realised it half way there and proceeded to bring it up with the driver who wanted to turn the car around and take me back to the airport if i didn't pay. I was in the car with a German women and her daughter...lovely people...so I swallowed the venom back down like the good back-washer that I am and made peace. It wasn't the driver's fault but after a while here you kick yourself for falling for the same old tricks.
I let it slide also because the first attempt to get to the beach was unsuccessful...our initial driver realised he had the wrong car and turned around on the highway into oncoming traffic to get back to the airport...something I am quite comfortable with now, but the German lady obviously needed more time to get with the program. Poor Women. In the end I thought:
"I don't care, lets just Bloody get there!"
I arrive with no planned accommodations, though it's all guest houses and beach huts for no more than $10 a night so it's no big deal. I call my friend Oda, my Reiki Master from 8 years ago in Thailand, and she meets me at the chai bar. She looks amazing and has shaved her head like the good yogi she is. It's incredible to see her and all the wonderful memories of back then come flooding in. She offered me a room next to where she lives for a couple of nights to settle in before looking for my own place.
Ahhhh, the beach. Nothing feels like home to me more than the beach. I was raised on one. The water here is just the perfect temperature and very clean, no seaweed or jellyfish this time of year. The weather is 28-30 in the day, but not humid and a lovely cool breeze sweeps the village at night. I know...I'm making you all sick!
I feel restless...
Oda lives in an Ashram type situation with a Guru and other Yogi's who are strongly commited to learning and practicing Darma. The focus and intention is obvious, and although she has invited me to spend as much time as possible with them in the 9 days I'm there I feel like a real fish out of water. They are on a very different path than anyone I've ever met and while I feel an attraction and a want to be enlightened about it all, feeling worthy of being there is another thing.
I went with them to meditate on the beach most nights as the sun was going down though
I spent my days questioning myself...
Am I interrupting...
Do they want me there...
...and the millions of thoughts that go through your mind when you are around people who don't need anything from you, and don't care one bit for the ego.
For days I resisted and flipped through the pages of my travel book to look for other beaches to go to....all the while finding my way back to their home. It was strange, but when I was there and managed to let go of my needs and listen to the mind-bending conversations everyone was having it really hit me...
"The George in me was a little more than curious"
I learned some very important lessons in the week, about needing to please and needing to be accepted. As soon as I gave up and accepted myself and dropped the false "Hi I'm here and please like me thing"... a whole new world opened up. (hello acting!!)
Besides all the gems of inspiration that passed my way over those days and the beautiful soul that is my friend Oda, I am so grateful for that lesson. Feels like a chain cut lose from my neck.
Oh and I have booked myself and am waiting for confirmation to attend a Vipassanna retreat in T.O. at the end of April. No talking and 10 days of meditation. Yes!
Hair count :6
I might also add that I had a 4 hour massage from a British x-pat named Nick. This was no ordinary massage...don't be dirty people...
He moved stuck energy, stuck emotions, stuck muscles, stuck past lives...you name it, he moved it. 4 hours later I was throwing up and buckets of water were coming out of the other end yes it was the :
"Which end do I put on the toilet game!"
Now the actual cause of this episode is a little iffy:
-I had been eating salads at the ashram but they were very careful with their food and no one had ever been sick there
-I had a few sips of some bottled water that I thought had not tasted right so i ditched it.
-I had gotten a little cocky and eaten a small salad at the local health bar/restaurant a couple of days before.
General consensus was the massage was the catylist atleast and I later found out that some aryuvedic massage is done with that intention in mind...to make your body eliminate toxins through vomiting and the other unpleasantry. God I must have been toxic!!!
Unfortunately both my family and Sean called me right at the worst of it and then my phone ran out of time and I was too sick to put some more juice on it. They were worried silly. It's been a few days since and I'm still getting back to normal and have less than 24 hours before I start the long journey back to Canada. So wish me luck...with the butt end of things.
Mumbai is my last port of call...