The Only Place in India Where You Can Swim Topless?

I cringe when I hear people pronounce Shanghai with a nasal “ang” as in “pang” or “bang” – when actually, it should be pronounced more like “aung” as in King Kong or wrong.   Yin Yang should never rhyme with “sang”.  This is something you learn when you study Chinese.

One of my friends has pointed out that I made a similar mistake with my pronunciation of “sikh”.    In my last post I suggested that “sikh” and “seek” were homonyms.  My friend Ann, whose husband is Sikh has assured me that the word is pronounced “sick”.  (Would that be Punjabi?) So, apologies to anyone who cringed when they read my blog and heard me drag an exceptionally long E where it didn’t belong.  I thankfully stand corrected!

Now, to that headline up there…

When Delhi teems with particulate matter and the temperature dips low enough that you wish you had heat but you can survive without – south India beckons:  A run on Goa’s wide flat beaches, lazy afternoons in the shade of palm trees, submission beneath the palms of a masseuse…

And when Goa beckons, it’s easy to fall entranced, zombie-like.  One simply must go.

Ditch the family?  (They’ll survive…)

Maybe not so good on the budget?  (Share expenses with girlfriends and appreciate the generosity of one in particular…)

Live in New York?  (Collapse a few time-zones on a business trip to Hong Kong and call India “in the neighborhood”…)

Have to work?  (Call in sick!…)

Your husband teases that you live an extraordinary life? (Work hard, play hard and try not to feel guilty for your blessings…)

Becky, visiting from New York,  Kristi, my right arm in Delhi, and I overcame these obstacles.

Goa is a Tic Tac-sized state that sits on the Arabian Sea on India’s west coast.  The former Portuguese colony is rich in minerals and agriculture and tourism.  It is rumored that Russian mobsters control the area and run the usual mob trades:  pot, prostitutes and property.   Early Hindus, Muslim invaders, Portuguese and Marathas – all have had a finger or two in the Goan pie.  Who can blame anyone for wanting a slice of this Indian heaven?

And at the gates of this heaven we sunned, we swam, we slept – the details are unnecessary… but here’s a peak:

The view from our lazy, beach-side perch:

Becky and Kristi – yummy mummies, awesome friends and inspiring role models:

Our spot:

One can never quite escape witnessing sadness in India.  This industrious family set-up a bamboo extension and performed tricks on the beach.  Beggars are not permitted to approach residents of the resort who lounge under palms 50 yards away.  Mama plays a drum while her daughter travels the line. The little girl first crossed barefoot, then she dragged an aluminum plate underneath one foot, finally, as you see here, she walked inside a wheel:

Typical local colonial architecture.  Many of the houses remind me of Louisiana plantation homes:

Our last sunset (we had an extra one thanks to a very delayed flight home..)


I’m giving you a reading break and making this my last post until January.  We’re staying in Delhi for Christmas but we’ll travel with the kids to the coast of Tamil Nadu for New Years.  It’s the same resort we visited this time last year.  The kids like tradition and this is how we cope with being away from our family during the holidays.

Sweet Happiness, dear friends and family.   May 2011 bring you to us or us to you – or maybe we’ll meet in between.

11 thoughts on “The Only Place in India Where You Can Swim Topless?”

  1. Merry Christmas, Theo!! You DO live an extraordinary life!!
    P.S. Your first paragraph reminds me of meeting some kids from Oregon, who were quick to point out that my (East Coast? Maryland? Uniquely mine?) pronunciation of Or-e-GONE was completely wrong!! Or-uh-gun, apparently. 🙂

  2. Thank you Theo for keeping us close.
    I am so bad at responding and I vow to do better! You have no idea how I look forward to your posts…..
    I am smiling at this beautiful family photo.
    All our love to all of you.

    1. originally, both boys were topless and we begged them to cover up – george, of course, refused. we’re lucky he’s wearing pants! he LOVES to walk around naked… and he sleeps in his birthday suit. problematic on sleepovers!

  3. Have a lovely Christmas and a lovely time at the beach. We miss seeing you five but hope that 2011 will bring us together somewhere. Santa Fe? T’would be nice. We’re off to Georgia Saturday in the carhouse to visit the Murrays, back home 1/4/2011. Love to all. Jane & John

  4. Thanks for this Theo… love the pics.. never would have seen what it looks like there if not for you fellow Spice Girls… Didn’t get too many details from Posh spice except that she was so happy to be with you guys and it was beautiful.

    Happy new year!

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