Bye Bye Baga Beach!
Trip Start Mar 07, 2007
50Trip End Aug 14, 2007
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Interaction with people of different cultues is on of my greatest joys, and while here I've engaged several people in conversations regarding Indian culture. So far I've gathere that the caste is one if not 'the one' basic social structure of Hindu Society (ie India), and while it is much weaker than in the past (I think due to gov't reforms), it still appears to wield considerable power. Well, what is a caste you may ask? Well, living a righteous life and fulfulling your dharma (moral duty) augments your chances of being born into a higher caste and thus into better circumstances. Hindus are bnorn into one of four varnas (castes):
Brahmnin - priests and teachers
Kshatriya (hope I spelled right) - warriors
Vaishya - merchants
Shudra - labourers
Little background on this....
Now it doesn't stop there! Beneath the four castes are the 'Dalits' (formerly known as the untouchables). I believe that the 1992 file 'City of Joy', starring Patrick Swayze and set in Calcutta should provide a pretty good idea of the plite of the unfortunate Dalits. At this very moment I'm sure Truitt is rushing out to get it...no Todd, it doesn't hold a flame to Dirty Dancing.
... And below even the Dalits are the Denotified Tribes. Most of them are nomadic or semiddomadic tribes that are forced by society at large to work at the fringes of it. I guess they are the same to India as gypsies are to European countries.
OK, enough of the social lesson.
Last night I went to a club called Cuba Cubana. The place was set in the hills above Goa and quite nice. The club was nearly all outdoors and have 4-5 terraces with a few bars, two dance floors, and a pool
My last day in Goa is today. This morning I spent most of the time trying to book a bus/train ticket for tonight (I'm aching to get out of town). As it's getting towards down season there are fewer travel agencies and I needed to rent a taxi to go into town and buy one. I found success and will be leaving Panaji (last Portugues colonial capital in India) tonight at 8pm for Hampi. I'm a bit anxious as I booked an air conditioned sleep, however the ride is 11 hrs and I'm told that I will need to share the sleeper with another man... as the basic India bus is small/cramped by western standards this could prove quite interesting... more on this to undoubtedly follow.
So upon my return from town I headed to the same beach resort (Marin Beach Time), or rather beach front plot with a restaurant that I have frequented the past 3-4 days. I also was assailed by the same 10-15 beach vendors selling everything under the sun as I have the same aforementioned number of days.... if anyone knows how to say 'No Thank You!' in all 22 indigenous languages please let me know as English doesn't work and I wish I knew! I've posted a few last pics.
Off to Hampi!