India: More Goa…

I have one more full day in Goa. Ilona’s health has gotten worse again so it’s just me. I have no idea what to do with my day. I can’t fit anything else in my bag so shopping is out of the question, I don’t dare go back to the beach alone after yesterday’s little encounter, and really there isn’t much else to do in my surrounding area of Baga Beach. If there is, I don’t know what it is. This is a party town, but I’m not in the mood to party.

I met an Australian guy last night while I was using the Internet (which is only available in a small location of the hostel), who has been here for a month, and he was telling me about different busses I could take to different cities for very cheap. I consider doing a little day trip, but I don’t know if I’m ready for Indian public transportation yet. Also, with Ilona’s illness not passing as quickly as we had hoped, I don’t want to go too far away and be unable to contact her, so I stay in Baga Beach.

I get up and take a cold shower (I have a new appreciation for these, when it is so humid out like this I could never dream of wanting to take a hot shower), then venture out to get some breakfast for us. I go the opposite direction that I did yesterday morning, because I didn’t see any good breakfast restaurants that way. This time, I am lucky and stumble upon a restaurant which has MUFFINS on the menu ! I order one Apple Cinnamon, and one Banana Walnut muffin to go. I think they were planting, watering, and harvesting the apples and bananas from scratch out in the back somewhere, because it took 45 minutes, but I can’t complain because they look pretty delicious. When I get back to our room we dig into the muffins and the 45 minute wait is confirmed to have been SO worth it. They are fresh, warm and flavourful, what else can you ask for in a muffin?

After our breakfast I decide to go and try to find a walk-in clinic somewhere for Ilona and for myself. I have gotten so many mosquito bites lately that I am probably 30% mosquito now. The tent covers me at night, but there’s only so much bug repellant I can apply during the day. The bites are swollen and red, and about 5 times the size of a normal mosquito bite. (I will attach a picture… you know you want to see it). I figure it can’t hurt to go see a doctor about it if I’m already in need of one for Ilona, but I also know there is probably nothing they can do for me. Finding one however, proves to be more difficult than I thought. On previous walks I had passed lots of places with the little red cross, so when I am planning to find a walk in clinic, I figure it should be no problem, and I even have a vague memory of one location in particular. I quickly discover that Baga Beach has an obsession with dentistry, because each and every red cross I pass is for a dentist, not a doctor. I wonder if the people who live here all have nice teeth, but I haven’t noticed one way or the other.

I give up on the walk-in clinic. I could probably ask around and find one, but I figure we can wait just one more day and make it back to Delhi, where I can ask Dolly (family friend in living in Delhi) for help on where to go or who to call.

The rest of my day is uneventful. I hang out by the pool, go on Facebook, Skype my parents. I hang out with Ilona in our room when she is awake. Later that night however, she becomes so sick that we decide we can’t wait until tomorrow to see a doctor, so we get in a cab and go to the nearest hospital. Medical costs are almost nothing, about 500 rupees ($10) total for a visit with the doctor and meds to take home. One of the medical staff “accidentally” forgets to give me 100 rupees after making me fork out all this change because she doesn’t have any. It’s all very confusing but I catch it and call her out, because I have learned to watch everything everyone does at all times…even in a hospital, sadly.

On the way home we ask our cab driver to stop so we can get a couple oranges and a bottle of water. He offers to go and get them for us, and says he’ll get it for cheaper because he is Indian. He is right, he comes back with 4 bottles of water and 8 oranges and doesn’t accept my money when I try to pay him back. (I think he was trying to hammer home the point that everything is cheaper for him, but I still very much appreciated it.) There are often signs even, that list the price difference between Indians and foreigners. It isn’t anything like the wage difference between men and women in Canada, where they try to hide it. Here it’s like they are proud of it. At the Taj Mahal it was 750 rupees to get in for foreigners, and 25 rupees for Indians. Quite a big gap. There were also separate lines for 1)foreign women, 2)foreign men, 3)Indian women, and 4)Indian men at the Taj. And who do you think got in the quickest? Racism at its finest.

It occurs to me that morning will be somewhat of a challenge if Ilona isn’t feeling better because our hotel check out time is 11am, and our flight doesn’t leave until 3:30pm. The airport is only an hour away so in any other case this wouldn’t be a problem, we could just eat a long lunch or something, but if she is still sick I don’t know how that is going to go. If we have to carry our full backpacks around from 11am to 2:30, it could be a problem. The adventure continues !

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