GOA India Exotic! India! Excitement! The road to exoticism takes place in an uncomfortable plane. Simply, I never pay luxury transport in first class, out of pure principle. I reckon that all the money saved this way is going to good use of the knowledge, which implies another trip. After hours and hours of flying I feel completely exhausted and not very exotic. I am wafted by a terrible heat, and the clothes stick to my body the minute I stepped onto the exotic Indian soil. All the British pioneers in encounter with this country come to my mind.I choose to be open to its diversity at the start and decide not abhor, like all the conservative Englishmen do, of all that is different. In that case the travels completely lose their purpose and it is best to stay at home. Fortunately, for me that was not the case, I actually like different and exotic, the more diverse and exotic the better. For these reasons I do not like staying at home too long, is too non-exotic. I am sure that I love India. Yet I was cautious and chose to start with India light or India for beginners, often referred to as Goa.Maybe I'm still too small for further exploitation of the immense riches of India. Maybe it is not so bad to start with something so huge in small portions. After all the warnings I’ve read about the lack of hygiene, the possibilities of poisoning, motion sickness, this and that illness, disease and another million of small and big things, even if I take all this with a thick suspicion, a dose of fear remains, especially when you take my age and my still undeveloped immunity into consideration, but I choose not to think about it. Curious and open to everything new, I fully enjoy the feeling of the upcoming and I am looking forward for that “upcoming” to start. It is night time, and I do not see much of the expected exotics around the airport. I have not yet decided if I'm going to the northern or southern Goa. I'll let the situation to lead to this decision. The first bus to come will be the one to take me to the fated destination. I love these games, I love that someone or something else can decide for me, and thus the trip becomes even more exciting. North Goa, Calangute is my destination. I stay overnight in a hastily chosen hotel, still not realizing that I am in India. The blue pool and the pretty dull hotel's architecture do not promise anything exciting, and I almost repent that I didn’t chose the Indian India. Tomorrow is another day, I think, tomorrow will probably be better, so I'll just sleep and have a rest. I fall asleep sleep like a baby, tired of my non exotic arrival to this exotic land. Dawn woke me up earlier than I expected. Mom and I sneak out to take the first morning walk, discovering the environment. I think that nothing in the world can compare with it. The thrill of discovering the unknown can only be compared with finding a treasure chest whose contents are yet to be discovered. The first thing we saw were shacks cobbled together, if it can even be called that. Shacks were made of cardboard, canvas, remnants of clothes, I do not have a word for it in my language, but in this picture I recognize India. I'm not quite sure whether they are the backdrop for tourists or this is the realistic India, given the fact that I know that Goa is the most economically stable state of India. I do not know what to believe, but in any case it is interesting. I still have not completely sorted out my impressions and I'm a little confused by this image. A cynical thought comes in my mind that it might be easier to be poor in a hot climate, without having to worry about heating. As it seems, the population of this village has not yet woken up, and I enjoy experiencing this way this life in peace and quiet. I honestly have not even finished the thought when the linen fabrics door opened by a gradual ascent and a woman with the baby in her arms came out. She greets us with a friendly smile, and her white teeth flashed in the glow of gems. We greet her, also with a smile and move on when I hear her calling us. She invites us to her home. Curious, as we are, we accept the invitation without hesitation, and soon we find ourselves in a dark little room, sitting on the dirt floor and waiting for our hostess at her own insistence, to make chapati, a type of donuts. All the warnings about food poisoning are passing through my head, but out of courtesy, and out of curiosity I eat the chapati and behold, I wasn’t poisoned and it did not hurt my stomach. I had my first breakfast in India, and it was very tasty. I observe this simple interior. Everything is neatly swept and put into in its place. a small gas stove and a couple of pots stand in one corner, in another corner there is a covered pile of something, probably clothes, and on some kind of braid a bulb is hanging unlit. And that's all. I realize that you can live this way, totally without items necessary and unnecessary, even the baby does not have toys. Goa is famous for its numerous beaches. It's still early and there is no one on the beach. I like what I see and in that moment I realize that Calangute is not one of the most famous beaches of Goa without reason. Before my eyes there is a vast expanse of yellow sand in which legs dig in on the way to the raging sea as it persistently sends its waves to the unequal battle with the coast. In the background, behind the beach, a completely different life is led, somehow more realistic but not less appealing. We sit on the sand fully dressed and allow the waves to splash on us. The feeling is unreal, the sea is warm, too warm, taking us into dreams about freedom, dreams that seem to be relatively easy to implement in India. We will stay here, we conclude, and me and my mom almost simultaneously, while smiling, get up to start a search of some hotel or other form of accommodation, where we will feel better than in that boring non-Indian hotel. A trip to the Old Goa is a good excuse for a romantic ride through the dense tropical foliage that took over the villages and towns. Every time I come through here I discover another Old Portuguese villa. These Mediterranean villas, which the Portuguese left the sixties when they were finally driven out of India, are somehow even more beautiful in the natural and human environment. Some are abandoned and decayed, run-down - apparently inhabited by poor people, and some are magnificent in their new vestments. Each of them live in their own way, without interfering with the other, pointing once again to the equality of people, rich and poor, literate and illiterate, which is so rarely seen in this country. Entering the old Goa usually gives the impression of entering a ghost town. Rome of the East, as it was once called as it was the centre of the Portuguese empire in the East, at the present time is only a lifeless collection of preserved buildings, cathedrals and the streets. However, this year it is all the more lively and active. In December, the whole of Goa is celebrating 500 years since the birth of St. Francis Xavier, the most important saint in this region. Saint Francis the miracle worker, the founder of the Jesuit order, was the greatest missionary of the Catholic Church in Asia. He baptized tens of thousands of people from India to China, where he died. He performed miracles, healed the sick and raised the dead. His miraculously preserved body is exposed right here in old Goa, in the Cathedral of Bom Jesus, and every ten years it is brought out for the believers to bow to him. I join the mile-long row of pilgrims waiting patiently to go to his sarcophagus. Families with children dressed in their only formal suits made of thick cloth and velvet dresses, pass near the saint with their heads bowed down. They leave their gifts and go outside, where, beneath festive colorful awnings, a Mass is held in the local Konkani language. Small priests reflect the severity and authority before the masses with their heads bowed. People believe sincerely here. I'm going back to the beach in time to catch another lyrical sunset. Sky, sea and palm trees bathed in orange, and another graceful woman unaware of her beauty, blocks the fiery ball for a moment, while carrying a bundle of wood on her head.