Thursday, February 26, 2009

What exactly constitutes a "weekend on the beach"

Last week a bunch of my friends and I went to Gokarna, a small beach town in the neighboring state of Karnataka. It was beautiful and idyllic...there was everything you could want in a beach, including cows and stray dogs wandering around...

However, I think that I have a much different definition of a beach vacation than the people I was with. When I say I'm going to the beach, I mean that I'm going to lay in the sun reading a book until I get hot, when I'm going to jump in the water. Maybe I'll take a stroll along the ocean, and I'm more than happy to walk on the beach after sunset and look at the many stars (I don't think I've ever seen that many stars in my life! And all the constellations are flipped on their sides and in different places than they are at home, making it a whole new sky). My friends however, decided that what would be a really good thing to do would be to scale cliffs in an attempt to find the next beach over. Fun, but probably not something to be done in shower flip flops, a bathing suit, and a silk sarong.

Gokarna is apparently where all the European hippy couples go...the beaches were covered in them. It was a strange mix of Indian and western; mixing with all the naked Europeans sunbathing were hordes of Indian men (who apparently swim in nothing but their underwear, which are even briefer than briefs in the US) and Indian women playing in the water in their full salwar suits. Which again made me cringe at the double standard between the genders (It's okay for men to go out wearing next to nothing--and certainly I saw more than I ever wanted to see!, but women better stay completely covered, even in the ocean...)

The food was also amazing. It was a welcome respite from Indian food, as I feasted on hummus and homemade veggie burgers and fresh seafood. I did happen to get a fish worthy of my father--it came with the head and the tail still attached, and my friends laughed at me as I said something along the lines of, "I can't eat that, it has a face!" But one of them did cut the head off for me and put it on his plate where it wasn't starting at me for the whole meal. It's also hard to complain about anything you're eating when the view looks like this...

In other news, summer has officially started and it just keeps getting hotter and hotter, my sunburn is peeling and I look kind of disgusting, and I have two presentations next week (one on Frankenstein and women's literature and one on Roald Dahl and the definition of children's literature). My computer has a giant crack across the screen, and I'm starting to be able to pick up parts of conversations in Hindi. Life keeps going on and it's already almost March. But whenever life gets too hectic, I can always remember sunsets on the beach, and hopefully remember to slow down and enjoy whatever comes to me.


  1. AHH!!! Cows on the beach? Fantastic!

  2. Visit to the 5star hotels in Hyderabad might not be all that pleasant anymore with stringent and high end security measures making way in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks. The business and budget hotels in Hyderabad are also much in demand owing to the massive growth and development in the city. In the last couple of years Hyderabad has seen a considerable increase in the number of business travelers. But as far as the guests to the 5stars are concerned, they are facing difficulties owing to the beefed up security measures. Visitors are going through security measures right till the entry of the hotels to the extent of having sniffer dogs sneaking into their cars after entry inside the hotel gates. The security measures have in some way or other come in the way of the affable and warm hospitality that the guests experienced prior to the attacks. The hotel owners maintain that however much security is hiked up hotels would always remain vulnerable to attacks.

  3. I knew you would enjoy that, Desirae...

    It would be better if there were llamas on the beach though. Or reindeer. :)