Monday, 2 March 2009

A day in the life of an Arambolian

Well I'm back. 18 months, three continents, four lovers, five jobs, and one mumma of a breakup in between. How do I start to play catch ups with you all?

From this moment.

I am in Arambol, my healing place, in northern Goa. It was here last year I dragged my tattered heart and started to re-piece it. After seven years of planning to come to India, I had absolutely no intention of coming to Goa. But Arambol was my first stop and here I stayed, for two months from December to February 2009.

After five months total in India and another nine months of being back in Australia, I wasn't meant to return to Arambol. But here I am again, and again for two months.

You might long and long for India but eventually she will call you to her bosom when you least expect it and you have no chance but to acquiesce.

And rather than try to explain everything in this post, I'll just give you a snippet of my day. It might explain why I stay.

Today was quiet. The sea was calm from my balcony.

I woke up and went to play my hang at the Sweet Lake beach. Not another soul on the sand, not a dolphin in the sea (they've been notibly absent the last 10 days). It is Sunday. Many Indians like to come to the beach on Sunday. But it was early, so I was on my own. The sun is hot by 9:30 here now. It is March 1.

I went to the place under the stairs for fruit salad breakfast (papaya, strawberry, banana, chicoo and ginger). The power was off, so no juice. But I watched the movie screen of hippies old and young, enfields, cows, beggars, stall holders, go past. I chatted to some Russians about how big my breakfast was - enough for the three of us. Then I played with Chotti, the shop owners three year old daughter. She wanted to swing in a hammock we made from a red napkin.

Then an Swiss lady came. She is travelling with a Swiss Alp Horn. It's about three metres long, made of light wood, with a bulbous end piece that rests on the floor. On top of the end piece is painted the swiss flag with a bouquet of edelweiss. Apparently they used to blow this horn to send messages from alp to alp in Switzerland.

From hot India, this lady calls to her cold home and her ancestors in the mountains. And when she is in between mountains (or continents), she takes her horn apart - into three one metre pieces - and stashes it in her hand luggage to sneak past customs.

In the place under the stairs, she blew to her homeland. Her horn was as long as the shop floor, where we all sit on two benches opposite each other, our backs to the wall. Our knees would be no more than half a metre apart, facing each other. The call of the horn, as lonely as a monk, stopped the traffic outside.

When she finished, Chotti started blowing a horn through her hands.

Swiss Alp Horn in the dark, fruit and juice bar in Goa. I turned to the Aussie man next to me and said, "Imagine trying to explain this to your mates in Western Sydney."

My friends came around to my place with the seaside balcony and we laughed and ate Tibetan momos and Israeli humous. Anouk and I gave Lena a four hands, 20 minute massage. I played my hang some more, and Ed, the dutchman and my hang master (in secret, for he is contrary and wouldn't like it if I called him my teacher) came to say hullo after a few days in Hampi.

Then I put on my catsuit and my white feather earring and went to Double Dutch and ate three desserts, two with ginger compote.

This is a typical day in Arambol.

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