- About Jashuat
- Foodie Alert!
Hmm okies. So we’re done with food, we’re done with the sea. Now onto the shopping! Goa has lotsa shops along the roads leading to various beaches (Calangute, Baga, Anjuna are more touristy than Arambol beach and thus have more stalls selling more stuff). And Goa is huge. The place itself is bigger than Singapore (well…everywhere is bigger than Singapore. Locals are always always surprised that our country is smaller than Goa, looking at us with doubts in their darting eyes…) and we have only been to a part of Goa, which is North Goa. North Goa is a more commercialised area than South Goa, where you get more beach shacks, more shopping, more flea markets. South Goa comparatively, is more beautiful (according to my friends, cuz we haven’t been to South Goa), the rustic, unspoiled kinda beauty. It depends on whether you wanna have a romantic getaway cum rendezvous with breathtaking sights or the hustle and bustle of activity with friends. The choice is pretty clear for the 3 singles so off we jetted to the North!
There are mainly 2 flea markets held every week in Goa. This goes on until monsoon season hits (ard July/Aug?), when people generally vacate the place and Goa becomes sorta like a ghost town. The flea markets aren’t quite like the ones you see in Singapore. They are HUGE and don’t sell 2nd hand stuff. It’s like one big Pasar Malam with all kinds of stuff: bedsheets, jewellery, clothes, bags, drums, etc. Funky stuff you get here. The flea markets are also generally divided into 2 areas, stalls run by Indians and stalls run by Caucasians foreigners. The stuff sold by Caucasians are en general, more expensive than what the locals sell. Jo and I didn’t really dare to bargain with them so we didn’t buy much stuff from there. The food sold at the flea markets is amazing though. Dutch bakery like cheesecake, panfried tuna pizza etc… Great continental food. More expensive definitely but nevertheless, great.
The Wednesday flea market is held at Anjuna and it is the original flea market. I guess the concept caught on pretty quickly and became so popular that the second flea market sprouted up – the Saturday night Bazaar aka Ingo, which is held at Arpora (midway between Anjuna and Baga). The last time we came here, we missed the Anjuna flea market but this time, we caught both. Wednesday’s market starts in the afternoon and Saturday’s flea market starts in the early evening. Be warned though, cab rides to the various markets are pretty expensive since throngs of people swarm here! The area is lively though, with a stage for performing indie bands etc and a real chill out atmosphere!
See? The area is where caucasians/foreigners hang out, more so than locals themselves. This place just doesn’t exactly feel like real India you noe? The food, the feel, everything! Another thing about Goa’s flea markets is that you have to bargain. This is true for most touristy places in India. When shopkeepers see foreigners, they jack up prizes, sometimes twice as much, sometimes even 3 to 4 times as much. So as long as the prices seem exorbitant, cut it down! Hmm there is a difference between the local shopkeepers and the foreigner stalls though. Don’t try to bargain too much at foreigner’s stalls. They normally don’t price their stuff much higher than what they want to sell it for so don’t bargain with them how you would if it was a local. That’s asking for a box or two to the ear. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
SHOPPING PART 2 – THE TATTOO~
Yeah you read that right, you saw that right, I had a tattoo done here! It’s of a butterfly, situated nicely on the back of my right shoulder. Sexy huh! And yes it hurt like crazy~ It was kinda worth it though, cuz the butterfly is really really nice~ This is a photo taken of me when unaware, by my friend Arpoova. Hmm turned out quite nicely cuz it shows the tattoo! And don’t worry guys, I didn’t place it somewhere really conspicuous, for eg, on my arm, where potential employers will just write me off without batting an eyelid… So Khai Yan, mom and dad, I understand your concerns but oh well~ More pictures of the arduous process of tattooing below:
Alright, I jest. It wasn’t a real tattoo I got… It was a drawn one! hahah. A henna tattoo! Gotcha! Hahah. I wasn’t lying entirely though, it was a painful process, sitting still is a pain in the butt! It’s damn difficult to remain immobile you know. The ONLY time I ever felt faint in my life was not after running cross-country or wadever, but it was during a Girl Guides ceremony, where we had to stand still for like one hr or so. Goodness. That’s too long a time to NOT move much in my books.
Oh man. Ren, Jin, Eug and maybe for a li’l while, Ky? you guys really believed I got a tattoo? Me the scaredy cat queen who’s so afraid of pain she doesn’t dare to pierce her ears? Hmm but Jo said that there must be some degree of rebel in me that can convince people I tattooed myself in India. Hmm I gueeeeeeeeess so… tee hee! Boonei didn’t believe me though. Totally just brushed it off like it was nothing lol. Oh but KY probably knows by now that it is fake. Sianz. I cant believe i put in the blog that Jo had a henna tattoo… Argh.. Im so ditzy sometimes.
Hmm basically i told Benji that I had a tattoo done and asked him to test waters for me. Benji said, ” You go there lose your brains but gain guts” and later asked me, “You serious or you jesting?” Jasmine: “serious lah”
Then i told Benji to tell my parents, to help me test the water. Meanwhile I sent him a pic of me with the tattoo to prove the authenticity of what i said.
Benji: “Here goes nothing.” After a little while….
Benji: “He exploded (as in my daddy)”.
hahah tt was quite funny. And then Benji typed snatches of what my dad was saying.
Benji: ” He kaobei me nonstop ever since I told him.”
Benji/daddy:”You will regret what you have done. Tattoos are never accepted in the high profile corporate world.”
Benji/daddy:”One thing, it will stay for life even if you hate it.”
Hahah quite funny. And Benji told my mom too and she was like, “Tell Jie Jie I want to talk to her.” Well by now, my parents know the truth though so yuppers. All is well and fine. Wondered if I scared anyone abt my pseudo tattoo though.
Ooh and lotsa things happened at the bazaar. Firstly, we met some chinese there for the first time and we conversed in Chinese! That was so cool. It’s like how you immediately click kinda thing. I guess alot of students on exchange must have felt the instant connection when they meet fellow Singaporeans abroad and it is the same for us.
And another thing. In Goa, the shopkeepers generally try to persuade you into buying their stuff. So there was once when I walked past one of the stalls, and an obasan held my hand and kept on asking me to look at her shop. So i kinda looked abit but there was nothing I wanted to buy there. Jo was at the stall next door and I was talking to Jo, with the obasan still holding my hands when I heard this shout, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU”RE NOT ALLOWED TO DO THIS. THIS IS NOT ANJUNA FLEA MARKET. TAKE HER OFF THE LIST.” Woah. Shock. Utter shock. The booming voice came from this Caucasian who was patrolling the place. The woman then ran off after the guy pleading with him not to take her off the list so that she could continue to hawk her wares in future. I was too shocked to do anything. It’s kinda sad as in I wished she didn’t hold me and use the guilt trap to try and make me buy stuff, but I don’t really want her to be taken off either. She was afterall, just a harmless old lady. I later asked her when she came back whether there was anything I could do but she said no. Oh well…
Hmm other than that, Jo and I got ourselves lovers in Goa! Hahah. Not that it was solicited though. No way!
Let me start with Jo’s story. Our stories are kinda interconnected so brace yourselves! We were shopping at this stall and Jo was bargaining with this guy. She wanted to buy this green skirt and like the guy just told me, “okie, you can go walk around now. This’ll (bargaining) take abt 5 mins.” So off I went to walk around (and this was the start of MY story) While bargaining, the guy was like, give me your contacts etc, and Jo wrote down our MICA address and said the guy should write her a love letter in Hindi and she’ll get our friends to read it for her.
Hahah. Pro leh. If you wanna bargain, do it the Jo way lol. So like they were “flirting” and stuff (although duh~ Jo only wanted her things to be cheaper. Not that she really likes him hahah) but I think the guy thought that Jo is interested or something. Cuz like after we parted ways, and shopped around, about 20 mins later, he suddenly appeared by our side, taking us completely by surprise. He then tagged along as we shopped and Jo was making a “oh my, now-what-do-we-do?” kinda face and I replied with a “hahah you reap what you sow! you’re on your own” kinda face. Lol.
So we just walked ard with him tagging along with us (BTW, he is 19 yrs old. Bloody young bugger huh?) and when we were looking at some caucasian stalls, there was this caucasian lady who saw that guy sticking to us and she asked me whether he knew us and whether he was being a pain in the butt. She then told him, “Bhai, leave these girls alone yah?” It was quite bad to chase him off in this manner so i just reassured the lady that “it’s ok, thanks for the concern but we kinda know him so yup.” And she told me that sometimes, these indians just stick onto foreigners and refuse to go away.
It’s kinda true in some sense, (I’m not over-generalizing but yeah. Some younger indians look at foreigners like us differently than how they would their fellow indians. It’s as if we’re the tickets to a better life. Of course, this theory doesn’t apply in the educated world, read: MICA, where everyone is equal and stuff.) Now on to my story.
While I was ‘chased away’ and had to walk around by myself while Jo was bargaining, I met this shopkeeper/store helper who flirted with me. He was fair and didn’t look very Indian, perhaps a Nepalese/Hispanic kinda look. He knocked into me “accidentally” like head to head (which DUH~ is no accident) and said, “Oh sorry” in a dramatic way, all-at-once letting me know that both He and I know that it was no accident that he knocked into me. He then asked me over to talk to him, but I just smiled and motioned in Jo’s direction, and left.
When Jo finished bargaining, and we resumed shopping, Jo was a little ahead of me at some shop while I was at another shop and he bumped into me again. This time, he held one of my hands and talked to me etc. He is quite cute (Jo thinks so too), and he’s the “I’m hot and I know it” type of person, which he probably feels gives him the license to flirt so outrageously. We chatted abit and he was talking some crap about how it’s kismet (not in exact terms of course) that we met again blah blah blah. Then he asked me for my name and I said, “Jasmine. And you?” He then bent over to tell me his name and when he did that, he kissed me on the cheek! Oh my god! I was stunned. I TOTALLY didn’t see that coming! And I said something quite retarded like “No lah, No kiss lah!” hahah. Quite dumb. We parted ways soon after that.
When we met up with Kenneth again, we were telling him of all our various adventures. We then shopped a little more; our last lap you see hahah. I was looking at some leather skirts at the shop next to where Kenneth and Jo was, and we met a shopkeeper who has a shop at Baga Beach (where we stay) so we recognize him. He then chatted to me abit, asked me for my name (the usual) and I said Jasmine. He said, “Nice name, reminds me of my girlfriend Yasmine.” which he has tattooed on his arm. He then added that I was beautiful (hey hey, as my mom would say, “there is still some charm left in me yet!”). Hahah. don’t think too much abt it though, he wasn’t gonna cheat on his gf for me! hahah. The clincher in this little story is that somewhere along the way, the guy who kissed me appeared! hahah.
He chatted to me abit again, and yeah, held one of my hand while talking again. (face to face kinda hold, not the girlfriend boyfriend kinda hold. The same way the obasan held my hand, the no-you-cant-go-just-yet kinda hold) He said, “You think we’re joking when we say you’re beautiful? (referring presumably, to himself and the Yasmine guy)” I laughed (perhaps a tad too heartily, which can also be interpreted as uneasily. I’m not too good at flirting I think. Keeps me on my toes too much. ) and said, “yah maybe.” Jo was nudging Ken at this point of time, and Ken came over and joked, “She’s (me) mine, you can have her (Jo).” I think Mr Kissy got a little offended and said something like, “Why, you think I’m not handsome enough?” Goodness! hahah. That guy had a hellotta confidence in him. Super player can.
And when we wanted to leave for our hotel, he asked me for a hug. I was like, “oh no no, no hugs.” Quite a dumb way of saying no hahah. Then I gave the excuse of “See, I just had my tattoo done, so it’s not dry. Cannot hug.” hahah. Aiyah, I’m not made for flirting man. Like I’m really comfortable with boys (having grown up with two brothers) and will fit in very nicely with them, the smack-them-on-the-back-and-laugh-heartily kinda bonding, but not the flirty kinda bonding. Like how Yan Zhang will say, I’m a fellow brother….” hahah.
Hmm that’s about it for our trip there. Oh we came back by a train (sleeper class). There are various classes on the train. From the top class to the lowest class: 1st AC (air-con), 2nd AC, 3rd AC, Sleeper and 2nd seating. The first time we went to Goa, we went by the lowest class, 2nd seating. It wasn’t as horrible an experience that our friends warned us about, like how the ticket conductor will try to cheat us of our money and we have to bribe him etc. Nothing of the sort. In fact, we shared our seats with rather pleasant people for our our train trips so far. The only pain in the butt was that we had to sit on the train for 12 hrs straight and my butt was really kinda sore at the end of it.
This time, for our return trip (solely by train, so it was abt a 24hr journey) we took sleeper. Sleeper class essentially means that when night hits, you have a whole berth to yourself so that you can sleep on it.
That’s me all holed up. While I was sleeping, I was attacked relentlessly by mozzies and had to cover myself up like that. You know how mosquitoes are attracted to sweet people with sweet blood yeah. Tough life I lead.
In the day however, we don’t sleep in the berths, instead everyone sits. so yuppers. It is okie on the sleeper class, but in the day, its gets incredibly HOT and STUFFY in there. Kenneth can take it cuz he is about to achieve nirvana with his meditative style of monkhood but Jo and I were positively sizzling in the train, just that one tiny little step away from convulsing in a smoke of heat. Thus Jo and I decided that we’re gonna take 3rd AC or even 2nd AC the next time we travel. It’ll be more expensive definitely, like perhaps 50 to 100 bucks more per trip depending on the class, but goodness… I cannot bake in the heat any longer. I’ll be tempted to strip in the train as a weak protest against the stuffy air. And believe me, there is NOTHING kinky about that. The freaking temperature is around 35 degrees now and it is only the START of summer. NOT the full blown summer. Hoo boy, i simply CANT wait for summer to hit.
Oh well, that’s it for my entire account of the Goa trip. Haha all those suckers who believed I had a real tattoo done, you guys really really don’t know me well enough, do you!