Posts Tagged ‘India’

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What a chaotic last couple of weeks we have just had here in India, and it was all down to DIWALI.

Diwali basically means the (Row of Lights) and is a 5 day festival for all Hindus and is associated with Lakshmi  (the Goddess of Prosperity) and marks the beginning of the Indian financial year. For Hindus Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes.

So now you have some idea of what Diwali is and what it means to the Indians, but what does it mean to us, well let me try and explain.

Goa is a magnet for Indian tourists and they invade Candolim and Calangute which are the most popular seaside resorts in their thousands. Every hotel room is booked up, all private rental apartments are booked, and if they cannot get accommodation then they sleep in their car. It seems like every coach in India has brought people down to Goa for a week to Ten days.

The roads are bad enough to drive on during the season but during this period its suicidal. Everyone hires out a bike even if they can drive one or not and ventures onto the road. The one thing you learn very quickly when driving in India is that no one has any patience. We will sit and wait for a gap in the traffic before we will pull out, not here they just drive straight out from a side road and expect you to stop, nobody lets you out. Everybody is overtaking each other regardless if there is on coming traffic and they will nip in at the last second.

Alcohol plays a big part in the celebrations especially with the younger ones and because it is a lot cheaper here in Goa then in other states in India the majority are permanently wasted. They go onto the beach lay in the sun then drink more and decide its time for a swim, but they forget they cannot swim so the life guards are continuously telling them to get out of the water.

But saying all that it is great to see them all enjoying themselves especially the families with the kids. You need to remember a lot of these people would have saved up all year round so they can enjoy the festival with their families. Hotels inflate their prices 100 to 200% because they know the people will pay. And of course we have the power cuts more people means more power used and the antiquated system they have here cannot deal with it, so we are plunged into darkness. Last Wednesday we had a power cut for 10 hours, then the other day we had one for 5 hours but thats India.

But this week it is back to normal all the Indian tourists have gone home, and that means a safer drive ??? and less power cuts.

Majority of the beach shacks are up and running now which is great to see and the European tourists are starting to arrive.

You have heard the saying (its a small world) well we were walking on the beach yesterday afternoon when the better half heard her name being called out. On looking around we saw a couple who we knew when we lived in Portugal and they were on holiday with another couple who own a restaurant in Albufeira (Portugal). So after lots of hugs we sat down for a couple of beers and chatted for about 3 hours. It just goes to show you never know who you are going to bump into, but brilliant to see them all.

Time for some gardening work and sadly the Mango Tree had to go as it was rotten, so one man with a very old axe turns up and proceeds to cut it down. It was not until after the tree was down that we realised we had another problem ANTS. There was millions of them everywhere, carrying their eggs so mass murder was the order of the day. Did we win ? no chance!, they have just moved on and infested another tree ha ha.

I see the locals most days take a coconut and open it up for the tourists to eat. Just a couple of hits with their machete on the top and bobs your uncle. Well I thought I would try it surely its not that difficult, so armed with a machete I attacked this coconut. After a good 5 minutes I was no nearer to getting inside this coconut then when I had started. So it was time for brute force and ignorance and I won. Ok I never got any of the milk and the inside was literally destroyed but I got into it.

Time to sharpen the machete I think !!, I managed to grab a couple of guys who sharpen knives for a living and they were only to happy to pose for their picture along with their medieval equipment, we laugh but it works.

And finally have been doing a bit of burning in the garden have not set the trees alight yet but there is still time, anyway we get peace from the mosquitoes for a couple of days after a good fire.

Here are  a few more pictures to keep you busy.

Thanks to all those that have brought my book recently if you have not and your interested then please go to my web site which is and have a nosey. Cheers Steve.

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Well that is nearly a month we have been here and overall it has been good. We have had a few problems which eventually got sorted out but as they say thats India for you . The washing machine gets loaded up with better half’s whites and when we took them out they were Brown.

So myself and the landlord who is very embarrassed goes and checks the well. The water seems to be ok ish next stop the water tank on top of the house, My word it was like a sand pit inside. This had to be cleaned and the only way to do it was climb inside the tank. The landlord told me he knows a very skinny man who will fit in the tank, so he phoned him. This skeleton appeared and proceeded to get himself through the top of the tank and vanish. We threw some brushes and rags into the hole and let him get on with it.

After a few moments he asked us to turn the water on so all the crap could get flushed away. Now the water comes in from the top pipe on the tank but the skeleton of a man was happy and said he was ok. Water poured into the tank at some force I might add, and yes all the muck came flying out the bottom of the tank. Then this drowned rat emerged with a huge grin on his face saying everything ok now. (Thats India)

We have adopted a dog as you do when you live in these countries, she is very friendly and very quiet. She knows where the good life is. Chicken for dinner sometimes meat and rice, Pedigree dog Biscuits, she gets well spoilt. But now and then we have noticed that she goes into a little world of her own, mouth half open and tongue hanging out. Then she comes back to earth and she is fine. I think we have found the reason for this behaviour I believe she is HIGH,  you know wasted, out of it.

I watched her the other day eating her way through our neighbours garden which is full of flowers and plants. She goes up to the flowers has a sniff and when she finds the one she likes she woofs it down. I know dogs will eat grass and then throw up but madam does not, and after about 10-15 samples of different leaves and flower heads she comes wandering back.  Her face is grinning and she is slightly staggering when she comes up onto the porch she then finds herself a corner and flakes out for an hour! (Only In India)

There are so many power cuts at the moment it seems like every day the electric will go of for at least 2 hours and this can happen a couple of times a day. When I am watching football on a Saturday the game just starts and BANG power of for maybe 30 mins. Then back on for a bit then off again. But it will get better as the season picks up (I hope).

Apart from that, the beach is still empty at the moment another week and the shacks will start appearing. The weather is good, now and then a bit of rain but this is welcomed by everyone.

As I have said before the roads are absolutely terrible there are holes and I mean holes some 9-12 inches deep everywhere, and the traffic is chaotic. I saw an accident the other day a man and women plus a young child came of their bike. As they laid in the road dazed nobody went to help them and all the other drivers started beeping them to move! then driving around them, even a bus went around them. Myself and another man went and helped them up they were ok a few scratches a bit embarrassed, but they got back onto the bike said “thank you” and away they went. (Only in India).

Hope you like the pictures and all being well I will be back on here in about 2 weeks time unless something important happens like the electric stays on for a day ha ha.