2 years of living in Goa

Honestly, I don’t have a gift for words, though I have a lot of things in mind that I want to share not just about craft but the way of life in Goa, India.  Or maybe I just don’t know how to put my stories in words or in writing.:-)  Sometimes I do get bored too..for days and even do nothing, but I think that is a good thing too, to be bored sometimes.  Maybe that’s just because I got so many things in my head and don’t know which one to do first.

I got busy with a lot of different things aside from handmade crochet custom orders. I’m preparing boutonnieres for my sis in laws weddings this coming Dec. 26, 2017 and Jan. 7, 2018.  I just finished them all today.  Indian weddings are extravagant!  The boutonnieres I made are total of 150, but these are only for the relatives of the bride and groom. Their weddings have a total number of 1,000 guests!

maple leaf wedding boutonniere
all the finished boutonnieres but without the ribbons yet

These maple leaves boutonnieres are for the december wedding.  I’ve finally finished all of these before they come for a short holiday this end of September, so that at least they can see the finished product.

blue,pink and yellow flowers are for the january wedding

Goan or indian weddings are festive and expensive since they celebrate for several days. Some rituals they still do, which I would say is part of the culture or some superstition. Now, the new generation also want something different, something new, from decorations and dresses, etc.  Mostly the materials they chose for dresses they have bought in Dubai where there are more choices and it is cheaper.

There are still other things I have to prepare like the headgear/crowns for the flower girls and bridesmaids, flower girls baskets and flower wristbands for the bridesmaids.  Being busy like this for me is much better than doing nothing…I would die of boredom.  I have custom crochet orders  https://www.facebook.com/knitwerksandcrafts/and  cake orders  in between.

Some other days I go around visiting filipina friends around the neighborhood, just to give my mind space to breath and think.  But during these past 3-4 days we are having heavy rains in goa, so mostly I am just at home.  if i’m not napping for at least an hour then I must be busy doing something with my hands.  I went out to do some errands for my mother in law and buy consumable stuff for the house in the nearby shops and the market, just around the neighborhood.  I am glad that I’m finally getting confident with the “indian” kind of traffic on the road when i ride my scootie pep scooter bike. My husband bought it for me almost 2 years back in Dec. 2015, he wanted me to learn so if I need to go out I could just go on my own.  From that time I was learning on and off with my sis in law teaching me.  Then just very sudden this January 2017 i said i need to go out on the road and be confident with the traffic.  One of my filipina friends invited me for her son’s birthday and there is no other way to go to her place (Varca)

I’ll end with these food items. Filipinas around the neighboring villages come together whenever there is a feast, birthdays to celebrate, baptism or any other gathering that we get the chance to be together and be with our “kababayans” in this country which we have adapted as our second home.

chocolate cupcakes i made
potluck filipino food lunch

This was a post birthday celebration with bbq chicken, rice noodles, rice, cassava cake, deep fried braided donuts(siakoy as what we call in the visayan language).

Celebrating Eid in our neighbourhood

Most of the communities or villages here are compose of hindus, christians, and muslims living together.  Today the muslims are celebrating eid.  Some neighbors kids come to the house to give food.  They come around lunchtime and bring pulau rice (plain or with mutton), that’s what we got today, mutton and chicken gravy and some kind of noodle dessert.  These are the same kids who come for tutor lessons with my mother in law.  But today, was a holiday for them to celebrate eid and they go around the neighborhoood to bring food.  They also go roaming around the village to their muslim friends.

Dressing Up

She is one of our muslim neighbors.  She came in the morning to have her hair fix by me.  I just made a braid headband design and a bun at the bottom.  Indian women like to grow their hair long and always either braid, tie or made into a bun.  She said she wanted to put her hairdown.   But I was doubting that maybe somebody in her family might not like,  even at times I try to teach something new to these kids.  Then later on I realize I could have put half her hair down because I saw her wearing a high heeled shoes too.

I did put on her a bit of make up.  Just something light to put some color on her face just like the last time.  I like to match eyeshadow colors with the dress that they wear.  So, that’s just what I did.

gold and green  eyeshadows

It isn’t so obvious in the photo, she’s just a kid so I made it light..but she did look good in it.  Pink lipstick and blush on, and eyeliner and she’s done.

 

I braided and made a bun on the lower half.

I sometimes teach them with their lessons too and other new things to learn over the internet.  Since they don’t have access to it and they come from villages in Karnataka, their hometown.  Their fathers come here to work in Goa, so the whole family comes too.   Most or not all of them were born in their native places but have grown up and study here Goa.

Happy Eid to the Muslim community around the world!

 

 

What I do on a weekend if I’m not knitting or crocheting

Welcome to our abode!

This is rural Goa, about 45 minutes from Margao City.  Some old houses in Goa, looked like this–2 houses divided by a wall.  Usually, it maybe 2 brothers sharing the lot.  This house of my husband was divided between 2 cousins, one was my husband’s grandfather. Our house is the one on the right side.

There is a bit of wildlife that can be seen when staying in rural parts of Goa.  Sometimes, monkeys come to take fruits from mango trees, like this one in front of our house.  They come in groups and run over the rooftops.  Sometimes, i see squirrels running up the coconut trees here in front or eating the breadfruit tree at the back of our house. I also spot on birds like kingfishers, or the red-whiskered bulbul.  During afternoons, around 5.30-6pm I can  hear foxes howling, but I’ve never actually seen one around.

living room during my mother in law’s birthday

Here aunties are enjoying each a glass of beer and uncles are having whisky. Goans always like to have something sweet especially on birthdays.  In this photo, they just arrive and are having snacks and drinks.  I think indians really eat their meals late and have a habit of sleeping after eating.

banoffee

So, another thing i  like to do aside from crochet and knitting is baking.  I made this banoffee pie for my mother in law’s birthday.  All the guests liked it and I liked it too it taste like ice cream to me.  But I need to improve my crust…it got burned in the oven.

Sunday out to Cuncolim Market

I always like to go out on the sunday Market in this Area, located just off the main highway going towards southern Goa.  We have actually Assolna market which is busy every thursday.  Which means all the vegetables, fruit stands and homeware, fabric vendors, etc all come.  On ordinary days you can see few vegetables and fruits and normally the fish vendors around.  In this market, these vendors are there on sundays.  It’s a good day for me to go since my husband is there to accompany me. I get more variety of fruits and vegetables here too.

vegetable vendors
spice vendors
bus stop

A bus stop on the main highway on the way to south goa, just infront of the gas station.  There are certain bus stands/stops in the area, but bus drivers just stop anywhere if a passenger wants to get a ride or go down the bus.

gas station

This is just before we head to buy things at the market.  I really don’t drive on the main highway with my scooter.  So it’s always my husband who drives on sunday when we’re out at the market. And that’s him pushing my pink scooty to put some gas.

This is how i spend my sunday mornings.  Late afternoons, if I don’t crochet/knit at home we are out for a movie in Margao or just going around with the bike looking for something to snack.

 

Daily Life in Goa

The decision to live in Goa

When I met my husband in Singapore, fast forward to 3 years, and decided to get married,he ask me that if I would be willing to live in Goa.  I never gave an answer right away.  I had so much doubt that I would fill homesick because India has totally has a different culture, practices, a mix of different religions.  And the food, I think is too spicy for me.

After my work contract ended in Singapore.  I have to go back to Cebu, Philippines and take a long term visa (OCI) at the Indian Embassy in Manila, Philippines.  My husband also decided to resign with the job in Singapore and come back to Goa.  After just holidaying in Goa for the past years while working in Singapore, I finally settled down here in June of 2015.  It feels like really plunging into the unknown.

Currently, my husband works in the ship design office in Panjim, where he has to drive 1.5 hours from where we live.  Changing a job or career, is another difficult decision to make unless your willing to take risk.  I didn’t really want to work in the same office as my husband, although they invited me to join.  I didn’t want to hassle myself of going to Panjim and driving everyday there for work.  Instead, I chose to stay at home and start my own home business.  I do handmade crafts like crochet, knitting, sewing and baking!

Daily routine

While my husband goes to work from monday-saturday.  I enjoy my time at home, cooking, crochet, knitting. My mother in law is also here to accompany me.  We like to do the same things together while talking, I do crochet and she does cross-stitch or embroidery.

rose embroidery pillow cases done by my mother in law

Some other days we go to Margao to buy food items or anything we need that we can’t buy in the shops nearby. Sometimes have some errands to do too.

Since I like a variety of crafts, I like going to Margao where I can buy cheap stuff   Cotton fabrics are so cheap.  It/s as cheap as Rs50/meter. The most I buy in Margao can range from Rs50-Rs75/ meter and are of good quality and nice prints already, like this shorts I’ve made.

floral cotton fabrics I’ve made into shorts that can be worn at home

 

My mother in law does tutor classes too from monday-saturday with the kids around the neighborhood, from kindergarten to 8 standard.  Sometimes I help out with the teaching,  but I really don’t have that much patience like hers.

one of the students who comes for tutor classes with my mother in law

 

So this is my daily life in Goa.  In Singapore I and husband use to have the same job as ship design engineer in one of the shipyards there.  As for now, I’m quite enjoying just staying at home, having my own time.  In my next post I want to show some of the crafts I made and actually sell to local people.  I was amazed at how goans and indians like handmade items so much, than if I was selling in the Philippine market.  That is another thing that I like about Goa and the goans, they like crochet, knitting, handmade decors, tailored clothes.  So if you got skills of doing this craft or this is just a hobby, you can actually turn it into a home business here.

If there are filipinas out there who are planning to get married in India or Goa specifically, you can contact me in this blog or thru my email: canas_fe@hotmail.com I’m sure you have some questions in mind about the life here and most probably on processing of documents.

Goa: Living with locals

How to get around in Goa

Goa is the smallest Indian State.  Living here is  just laid-back, that even on Sundays or holidays, the shops and market  in Margao are close.  At around 1:30pm-4:00pm that is lunch time or siesta  for the shop owners, which means that the shops are close too during those times.  I live in Velim, a village, around 45 minutes by bus, or 20-30 minutes by scooter to Margao.  Margao is the second largest City in the State of Goa.  Almost, or not, all the locals here own a scooter, which will definitely just take you anywhere you want to go.  Taking a public bus is totally just fine and safe,  but there are certain timings so you can catch it on time.  A Filipina neighbor’s village around 2 minutes from my place, has 2 buses that go to Margao in the morning and 2 buses again coming back to her place in the evening.  So, she really has to urge herself to learn to ride a scooter.  At anytime she wants to go out, she can go by herself.

My new Scooty pep
My new Scooty pep

This is my new scooter which my husband bought for me last November 2015, so I can just go around in the village or nearby shops or places that I would want to go to.  Obviously in one of my fave colors.  The scooter has been registered under his name,  so as not to spend more money on registration.  I am an OCI card holder, but that will require me more papers and more amount of money to pay for a vehicle registration.  Then, I told him to decide and put it better on his name.

Konkani: Goa’s Dialect

Goa’s dialect is Konkani.  But after living for a year now in Goa, I still don’t have the urge to learn the language, as most of the locals around or even our neighbors can speak English.  So, I didn’t really feel the need of learning the language.  As I have met a Singaporean living here too, she also had the same opinion.  Although, there are neighbors who are urging me to learn because they prefer to speak Konkani rather than English.  It’s as if I’m learning hangul (Korean language), because of learning to write the Konkani characters.  When we go for a Sunday mass in our village, all the mass timings are said in Konkani only, no mass is ever said in English, unless maybe if I would have gone to Margao.  I am learning simple words for now, which i can use to give short answers when conversing.  Some Konkani words are actually coming from Portuguese, since Goa was under Portuguese rule for 450 years.  Words like balde(bucket), lapis (pencil), sal/sala(living room), mis/misa(holy mass) to name a few, we say it the same in Filipino, which came from being ruled during the Spanish era in the Philippines.

First Trip to Goa

The first time I came to Goa, was on 2009.  Truly, I was culture-shock! Most of the time with the way they drive here,  it was just crazy. And the shops at why they are close too long for lunch. I kept asking or complaining that one to my husband.  There were no shopping centers at that time.  Well, at least now, Caculo Mall is there in Panjim and Mall de Goa in Porvorim.  But then, Goa reminds me of my hometown in Cebu, when it use to be so laid-back and you can only see sugarcane, corn, banana plantations around.  It reminds me of my childhood years when I was growing up in Cebu.  Aside from that, I was really shocked at how locals don’t care about garbage disposal here.  As one of my husband’s cousin told me, that they don’t care about the disposing any kind of garbage outside, as long as they can keep their homes clean.

a picnic site at canaguinim

Picnic Sites at South Goa

This is a popular place for a picnic along Canaguinim beach, South Goa.  This was last year around December when my sister in law came for a holiday from Dubai.  As we were looking for a spot to put our things down and settle down for a place to seat, I was having second thoughts on really having a picnic here or going somewhere else.  We were carrying food, and so I thought I would like somewhere else where garbage disposal is managed  a bit. Proper garbage disposal, shouldn’t be something bad to talk about.  Instead, it should be something locals have to be more aware of and be more educated with, on how to care for the environment.  In this way,  they would be able to invite more tourists to come and see that cleanliness has improved.

Agonda Beach
Agonda Beach

This was a much better place to have a picnic.  There were garbage bins around to keep our trash.  As what my husband said, they keep these trash bins around this area since this is touristy compared to the previous spot we’ve been.

chicken barbecue indian style

My mother in law marinated these chicken overnight with some plain yogurt and ready mix  marinate seasoning.

our buffet table

This small boat, we made into our buffet table.  We had vegetable salad and another dish of chicken which was made with some curry.  Some Filipino dishes, we like it with coconut milk, but Indians even used it more.  If they can use it daily, yes they will.  My mother in law, stocks home grounded coconut flesh in the freezer and mixes it with vegetables or other types of chicken dish.  I still have a lot to discover about Indian food and cooking.  As long as it is not too spicy for me, then I’m willing to eat it.  If it’s too much, then I get hiccups.

cow in colva beach

Cows are a common sight to see

Even cows are so laid-back in Goa! This was also during my first holiday in Goa.  Well, it’s almost always my husband who tells me whenever I ask why is it like this here in India.  And so, I ask him why the owners aren’t keeping these cows? or does somebody really own these cows? When they just like to lounge on the side of the road, or in the middle? He told me that nobody can hurt the cows because they are gods to the Hindus.  But aren’t they suppose to keep them away from the roads so as to prevent accidents or the cows get into an accident?  I really pity once I and my sister in law saw a cow on the side of the road which was bruised badly, somebody must have bumped into it. Just the other day, I saw another cow that was bruised on the rear side.

While Goa, is like my hometown from 30 years ago, where people grow their own food like corn and rice.  I still miss Cebu even that it has evolved into an urban jungle, shopping centers popping everywhere, new condominiums rising,  and traffic is getting congested.

There’s no place like home, but there’s also no place like Goa — quaint and charmed with all it’s old fashioned buildings and Portuguese style houses, like this chapel on the hill.

Baradi Cross
Baradi Cross