I have just returned from my run. I am still sat in shorts and t-shirt melting in the heat of the new day and that which I have generated.

My run is now only weekly as Monday to Saturday asanas begin before sunrise and end two hours later by which time I am so famished it is any wonder I can even prepare my "heavy" breakfast. Also, the day is too warm for cardio by then.

So, today even though I took my tech with me (phone and music) I decided to run with the found sounds around me as my soundtrack. I am so pleased I did. I mentioned in my previous post of the wonderful sounds of birdsong; so exotic and tuneful. The same greeted me as I stepped out of the door today. I wasn't surprised by the over-protective dogs a couple of bends away from the ashram. In fact, their growls and barks are almost comforting now. Almost.

The first sound that I registered was a hum. Not a natural hum but one that sounded "prickly" and "constrained." As I advanced along the road, I saw an ancient street light with what seemed to be a gas filled lightbulb which glowed a warm but aggressive orange. The hum had the same resonance of when a lightbulb is just about to expire; the moment before the pop and shock of being plunged into darkness. Naturally, I gave it a wide berth.

As I continued, I heard the gentle "clop" of cows hooves; the soothing lap of gentle waves as they broke on the rocks at the water's edge; more dogs. And then I reached the outskirts of the next village, Chapora. This is where my soundtrack became glorious!

I heard snippets of conversation; mother's hurrying children and husband's out of the door so as not to be late for mass at 08h00 (Goa is still heavily catholic having being governed by the Portuguese up until 1961); women sweeping the front of their homes with brooms which are distinctly Harry Potter-esque (minus the stick); hawking and spitting; morning greetings to one another; happy children out with pet dog or cow; the bread man ringing the bell as he cycles from village to village.

I also heard (and saw) a lot of teeth-brushing - more than ten (men) out in the street with toothbrush in mouth. One chap was even riding his scooter with bright orange toothbrush stuck out at a jaunty angle. This amused me greatly. I commented to another student when we walked through the village yesterday that this area of Goa reminds me so much of Brighton as it is filled with colourful characters from all over the world living side-by-side regardless of creed or colour and with tolerance. (In Brighton, a man in sharp suit and of obvious good means giving his face an electric de-fuzz as he walked along the street to work...which amused me just as much.)

What I was most pleased to hear on my run, however, was the constant and heartfelt "good morning" from all ages. It felt special to be greeted by so many, some sat on their verandahs, some on scooters and bicycles, and plenty walking in the dusty street. Even though Brighton is such a friendly place (ask anyone who has visited) this area of Goa is far more friendly. And I don't mean from the point that I may (or as is the case, may not) have a pocketful of Rupees which can be extracted with a bright smile. These are lovely, genuine, gentle people.

On my return, and as the morning became busier, the hoots of scooters as they dashed by and the noisy, blast of the bus horn as it got stuck in between scooters narrowing the street. More dogs that had woken hungry and were looking for scraps (my bottom looked tasty this morning!) and then home to the peace and quiet of the Temple. 

I am pleased that I took this opportunity to really hear my surroundings and immerse myself deeper, more fully into this wonderful place in the world. I am also delighted that I ditched Apple and found bliss.

Namaste : )