Well, we sadly left Udaipur and headed for Mumbai to meet Rachit, our next Couch Surfing host. When we arrived at the train station and found an STD (pay phone) we called Rachit. He was at work, so he gave us the number of his roommate and after some miscommunication and 2 more train rides, Rachit's friend, Amit, picked us up. Amit has traveled all over the world and has lived in Texas, so communicating was very easy and we were very comfortable with him. He and his wife (Ms. Bombay) have hosted and surfed many couches and he was very proud to show us around his city.
That first night, Riley, Amit, Rachit, and I went out for pizza and a stroll on the beach. We learned about "Eunuchs", who are beggar transvestites. We saw one on the beach and were told to watch out for them. Apparently, they will do anything they can to embarrass you until you give them money, including stripping in public. Luckily, we only heard about this and saw a few (fully clothed) on some of the suburban trains we took around Mumbai.
The next day we went to the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival where Amit met up with us. He showed us around, bought us some street food, and we explored the festival. We ended the night at a free concert full of Bollywood artists, who the crowd went crazy for. We had no idea who they were (except for one of the singers of a nominated song from SlumDog Millionaire), but we knew we were watching something special. Amit said, "It would be like, if the Rolling Stones put on a free concert" (Riley thought this was an incorrect comparison).
We only spent a day and a half in Mumbai. We have learned quickly that we don't like the big cities. Even Amit said, "Get out of Bombay. People only come to Mumbai to make money or live a shitty life".
We arrived in Mandrem, North Goa on Feb. 15th and we are enjoying the beach life. First, we stayed at a brand spankin' new place called, Avalon Inn. There were 5 grass huts on the property, and for the 3 nights we stayed we were the only guests there. It was a short stroll to the beach, we could here the waves crashing at night. We were happy to move on though because the strange American woman who ran the place with her native Goan business partner was starting to give us the creeps. We think she is just secluded and lonely at her Inn. No harm because we were at the beach for the majority of our stay.
Today we are just 30 minutes south of Mandrem in a town called Anjuna. The room is not as nice and the beach is further away, but in another day we will be headed to Palolem in South Goa. We hear that although it is not a secret location anymore, it is the best spot in Goa.
Well, gotta get back to relaxing now.
Riley here. I just had to mention an interesting incident today. We spent the majority of our day at the beach, but also went to the local flea market. While we were at the flea market I encountered a man with an interesting scam. His scam was to rush up on my side and grab my arm. He looked in my ear and mumbled comments about how dirty and disgusting it was. He reassured me that everything was okay and said he was willing to help. I knew there must have been a money catch involved. The next thing I knew the man was cleaning my ear with a long, sharp, metal stick. As he pulled the weapon out of my ear he rubbed some wax on it or something. The wax did not look very natural as he wiped it on his hand to show me. I have also never seen such a substance come from my ear. He wanted to violate my other ear but I tried to politely decline. As I literally started to run away he demanded payment. He continued to follow us saying " Give me money! Sir, give me money." I refused to pay the man who raped my ear.