Welcome to my first attempt at a blog! I figured now is as good a time as any, having moved halfway around the world to Hubli. While I didn't know anyone on day one, I've since met many wonderful people, both those who have come from out of the country as I have as well as those who are native to India and have been teaching me a lot.

The plan is to update the blog somewhat regularly so that none of the posts get too lengthy (which is the case with the first several, as they were originally mass emails). We'll see how well I do at keeping up. Miss you guys!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

our first visit to the beach

Not too long ago I was wondering where monsoon season was, but I don’t recall mentioning needing to actually experience it. Alas, it truly has arrived this time – at least says the girl who’s been in the country for barely more than seven weeks (that’s it?!) It’s been raining for at least 24 hours now and maybe, MAYBE stopped for about five minutes, though I think it was misting even then.

Gee, that reminds me of Goa! A couple weekends back a group of us headed to the coast for some beach time, fully aware that it was “off-season” but never really putting two and two together. Goa, my friends, gives a new meaning to the concept of “off-season.” The eight of us agreed that we had never wanted to see tourists so badly in our lives, and I don’t think we ran into a single one. Nearly all the restaurants were shut down for the season, the hotels were closed for renovation and the only non-Indians we saw were the hippy townies frolicking on the beach outside a very damp hippy bar.

Though it rained quite a bit (this was before the rain hit Hubli, but I guess that happens on the coast, huh), I think we managed to glean some major gems from the weekend. The hotel we stayed in offered stellar rates, and we had a room situated right above the beach (see the view?! Yes, it’s cloudy…), I had the first (two!) hot shower I’d had since June, I got to go running in shorts (shorts!) and we even squeezed in some time at the pool (see Rene, Noelle, Kate). I definitely ventured into the ocean, but only barely – I’m scared of the ocean as it is (it’s big, it’s dark, it’s ominous – and there’s undertow), plus the beach was rocky and the water rough. We all partook in some scrumptious food, including a particularly delicious omelette with cheese followed by a scoop of Baskin Robbins (yes, this was for breakfast – but when it comes to the real stuff, I take it whenever I can get it!)

While some of the gang plans to go back monthly, I think my next trip will wait until at least October, when the monsoons have about wrapped up and the place begins to stir. I hear it’s a wild place for Christmas and New Year’s, and seeing as it’s only a short train ride away (assuming you don’t get on the wrong train, as I apparently have a knack for doing), it may be my holiday getaway!

Next weekend? Bangalore! Friday is Independence Day, so we get the day off, and I'm taking Saturday off. I don't think words can express how psyched I am to hit up a real city.

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