Patnem update

Hello again from Patnem

Hope your all well out there, I know a lot of you have busy lives.

Slowing down here and not trying to rush around and feel I’m missing the chance to see more around Goa has been hard but I’m pleased to say that it has been easier this week and I’ve just been able to chill out without feeling I’m missing out on anything.

It has also enabled me to stop and just have a conversation with people when I’m out and about and not feeling like I’m rushing to get somewhere, like a woman selling printed sheets/blankets along the road, we spoke about our families and India and the difference between our western lifestyle and Indian lifestyle and expectations, which was nice.

The weather has has been a little bit cloudier this week with more rain than previously which actually has been nice but you end up spending a bit more time inside sheltering from it because when it does come it tends to be a downpour,despite the rain this week work continues all along the beaches to get the huts, bars and restaurants up and open ready for the season, it’s been quite a transformation from when I arrived and unfortunately Mickys restaurant seems pretty much deserted now that there is so much more choice, it was pretty much the only place open when I arrived. But it has also given me more opportunities to try different places and meet different people, one of my new favourite places has become a nearby Vegan restaurant which although I’m not Vegan and will pretty much eat anything ( I’ve never found a food that I dislike) I did try the Vegan diet for a month once and really struggled with it, by the end I’d never craved a burger so much ! But I am aware there is a lot to be said for eating more plant based foods and when someone really knows how to cook it properly as the chef at this restaurant obviously does it is amazing but for myself I will continue to enjoy my food and try to mostly eat healthy but not rule out anything food wise.

I’ve kept myself busy most days by continuing to explore locally on foot and running every other day although still keeping the runs short and done early so that by around 12 o’clock I’ve been able to escape from the heat and put my feet up. But this has also made me realise this that for the first time I can remember that I have too much time on my hands and this has taken my head to some strange places, one of them being while sitting in a restaurant having dinner being watched by a cow a few feet away ( not unusual here ) I suddenly realised that I recognised it from other places around Patnem ( their able to wander pretty much anywhere) but I didn’t recognise it from it’s colour or pattern but by its horns ! , I suppose I had never really given cows too much thought before, growing up mainly in towns and cities my only real contact was seeing them in fields from inside a car or train and whilst out running or walking past or occasionally though fields and these being mainly dairy and beef cattle which are very different to the Indian cow that wanders freely here, anyway back to horns, it suddenly dawned on me ( why I’m not sure ) that no two horns on these cows are alike ( even on the same head ! ) this one had one straight and one was broken but some are curved ( some times in opposite directions ) , some dead straight, frequently some are broken but there are so many combinations on the roughly 50 cows here that it made me think it’s similar to our finger prints and no two are identical, this kind of strange observation/thinking has sort of taken me by surprise, although I do consider myself a sort of people watcher ( think this may of come from facilitating some small groups for a number of years ) and observing behaviour, but again this week whilst sitting having a meal along the beach, it struck me how well behaved the beach dogs are here in India ( as opposed to The Gambia where they will chase you and try to trip you up if you run along the beach ) I had a dog lying near me whilst I was eating ( they don’t even beg here ) and I dropped a small piece of chicken from a sandwich that landed between my feet and the dog noted it but didn’t try to push in a get it but waited patiently for me to finish eating ( which was about 10 minutes ) and then I moved my foot and she got it, although she did growl at another dog when it tried to approach and may of not been so patient, also whilst here dog related I noticed how well these beach dogs communicated with each other, another dog appeared on the beach that obviously didn’t belong ( probably wrong postcode ) and although you hear the dogs along the beach barking at each other quite frequently and nothing really happens, one of the Patnem dogs let out a low muffled bark and you could see all the other dogs along the beach stop and prick up their ears and when they heard the same bark again all the dogs came running from the other bars and along the beach and surrounded this other dog within seconds and chased it off, so although very well behaved they obviously don’t like intruders ,although they seem to be okay with people’s pet dogs that arrive here.

So I think that’s enough on my strange thoughts and observations for this week ( not sure where my head will take me next week )but I’ve also been trying to follow some of the rugby here and just seen that England have beaten Australia so that’s a bonus also I know a lot of you have races coming up this weekend or soon and just want to say good luck

I noticed that preparations for Diwali (festival of lights ) starts here soon( fireworks have been going off for weeks ) and I’m looking forward to that.

So until next time

Take Care. Chris


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