As soon as it came, Christmas was gone, and Jim, Maggie, and I were faced with our next adventure: New Years in GOA! We packed our bags, hopped on the train (which was late, of course), and began the 15-hour journey to paradise. Photos to come…eventually?
Highlights of Goa:
-getting to be an anonymous tourist!
-wearing western clothes for an entire week!
-getting to be a beach bum for an entire week
-finding 2 super cheap, super cute beach dresses
-enjoying the gorgeous beaches of South Goa
-being somewhere cosmopolitan enough to find anything from pizza to quesadillas
-dinners at candlelit tables on the beach
-lounging in the water with Maggie on the floaties we bought
-dancing 2011 into existence on the beach in North Goa with people from literally all over the world
Basically, it was a blast, and a much-needed, relaxing vacation.
I arrived to Buchanan yesterday a little tanner, a lot tired-er, and ready for some of Amamma’s delicious food (which I’ve always enjoyed, but never expected to actually MISS!). It was wonderful to be greeted with smiles from the students and teachers alike.
What was really interesting, though, was recapping my time in Goa for them. I suppose I should tell you that Goa has a bit of a reputation. Telling someone you went there for New Years is about the same as telling someone you went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. And while it’s true that Goa is a haven for drugs and alcohol alike, the worst that I had to show the teachers, upon being asked, was a few photos of the beautiful scenery, and me and Maggie wearing (*gasp*) swimsuits. There was a great amount of giggling over this and I couldn’t help but feel a little indecent looking at a picture of myself in the bikini that I had just worn freely for the entire previous week.
It’s funny how living in such a conservative culture can start to affect you subconsciously. While showing the photos in the staff room, I was also mentally chiding myself for not having changed into a churidar from my current outfit—capris and a t-shirt. Conservative by US standards, slightly risqué for Kerala. I started telling them how on New Year’s Eve, we met a guy from Kerala and how he was impressed with our Malayalam skills, halfway through realizing that volunteering that I had spoken to a random boy, regardless of why, was probably a bad idea. It was a story that I know would be so innocent in the US, and that no one would think twice about.
Sometimes, I think my sun-tanning, Capri-wearing, stranger-(who-happens-to-be-male)-conversing -self is just too much for Buchanan. …But maybe it’s not a bad thing for me to shake things up a bit?
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered by your old nonsense." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
(This quote was chosen in hopes that you will take it in the context of the New Year; in hopes that you will strive to leave behind the bad, and cherish the good, of 2010; in hopes that you will embrace 2011 and all that it brings :) Happy New Year!!)