Beach Bliss

Feeling chilled. 

I slept ok, woke about 2am here which is 9.30pm in U.K. time. I was surprised to get to sleep when I went to bed around midnight but I think after so long with no sleep it helped. It was so hot in the room, I had turned the air con off as it’s noisy and the room was cool. But in the 2 hours that I had slept the heat had built up and it was quite difficult to breathe. Air con back on, a few texts answered, and back to sleep. 

I then woke at about 5am here, freezing cold! It seems the air con is very effective and with it directed straight on to the bed, it was rather chilly! But I didn’t want to turn it off again as it would just get hot, so i turned the temperature up a little and pulled the duvet over me, which when I had first saw I thought it would be mad to need it!

At about 8am, there was a lot of commotion on the roof. I think it was birds, but it could have been some of the kittens that live round here – or maybe a battle between the 2!

I stayed in bed until 9.30am. I was feeling very unsure about heading out. It even crossed my mind to hide in my room all day. I don’t know why, I can’t really explain it. I just didn’t feel right. Doubt flooded me again, if I could go to breakfast alone, what the hell was I doing?!

I gave myself a mental shake. Of course I couldn’t hide in the hut all day. I got into a bikini and threw a sundress over the top. I took my little bag with my phone and kindle plus sun cream (factor 50 for the first few days!), towel and hat and headed down to breakfast, ready to hit the beach straight after.

The air was already warm as I stepped out the hut, but not stifling. I got a table on the front and ordered my inclusive continental breakfast – orange juice, tea with boiled eggs on toast. Delicious.

I had forgotten my sunglasses so popped up to the room and thought I might as well put my sun cream on in front of the air con. I had forgotten how much I hate putting on suncream! Plus I had the awkward task of making sure I covered my back and shoulders. 

Hot and with that horrible feeling of a layer on my skin, I headed to the beach. There was a selection of sun beds, only 2 taken already. I settled down and began to read my kindle. On my previous holiday (July 2015) I had started to read Girl on a Train on my way home. Whilst away I can read for hours, but when I’m home I always get distracted and so I had only got 30% through it and she was still just going back and forth on the train. I had managed to avoid the film, so didn’t know what was going to happen. I won’t give any spoilers, but I did enjoy it in the end. 

I was very hot on the sun bed so I decided to be brave and go for a dip. I say brave – I am terrified of sharks. It is a phobia and it’s totally irrational – in the past I have got out the bath, come close to crying in a swimming pool and had full on panic attacks when in water and I think about sharks. One of my ex’s used to read the newspaper on a Sunday before me to make sure there were no shark stories (after witnessing the tears when once faced with a full page picture of one). A very caring thing to do I know, but then the same bf made me watch JAWS when I lost a bet (I have never felt so sick, clammy and shaky watching a film) so he had his evil streak too!

Anyway, it is very rare for me to go in the sea. I was persuaded to go in over the summer when we were down in Devon, he made me feel safe and we had fun, even though I got knocked over by a wave and tumbled under water. 

But he wasn’t here. It was just me and I had to conquer this today otherwise the fear would take over and settle, stopping me for who knows how long. 

I hopped down to the sea, sand burning under my feet. I braced myself for the cold water to hit my hot feet, but I was met with warm water. I carried on walking, the waves splashing up my legs, a deep breath and I sunk my shoulders under. It was so warm, even when in deep enough to cover my shoulders. The water is quite cloudy, can’t really see your feet.

I swam along, in line with the beach, keeping an eye of my stuff that I had put under my towel. After about 50m I stopped to turn back but realised I had gone at a slight angle and I could no longer stand up.

I could feel the panic rising, my body going hot and my breaths coming in short sharp rasps. The image of the teeth and a jet black eye filling my head. I swam in a few metres with the help of the waves and stood up. Counting to 10, focusing on breathing in and out to the count. I carried on and got to 35 before I felt calmer. I went further into the shallows but knew I had to get through this otherwise I wouldn’t go back in.

I lay back with my legs bobbing around, watching a family playing ball. My breathing back to normal, I turned to watch a couple climbing onto a rock which is about 400m from shore. I decided by the time I leave Palolem Beach in 6 days time I will swim to that rock. 

With a challenge, even self set, it gives me motivation. I am very competitive, something he always loved me for. Now with this mission to complete I will be in the sea a lot more!

I spent a few hours swapping between the sun bed and the shade of the restaurant, avoiding the midday sun and having a cheeky chicken pizza for lunch. 

Late afternoon, I decided it was time to explore and so headed off for a stroll down the beach with the water lapping at my feet.

I didn’t get far when a local lady started to talk to me and then offered me a manicure or pedicure. I didn’t want either, but asked if she did massage instead. My neck was aching after all the carrying and travelling. She said her friend did and so we headed up the beach. 

I was taken into a shop first where her friend greeted me. I was shown dresses, skirts, tops, bags and sarongs. I didn’t need any clothes but thought a sarong could come in handy. I picked out a gold one with sparkles running through it and when she unfolded it, there was an elephant design which I thought was fitting so asked how much. She wasn’t having it, she sat me on the floor and started pulling out necklaces, bracelets and all sorts of jewellery. I asked to see her anklets, to which she was delighted and of which she had many. 

With the sarrong, anklet and toe ring (I couldn’t resist) chosen, I again asked her how much and I paid 1700 rupees for all 3. I think, well ok I know, that I have been ripped off slightly but they are very pretty and it’s only £20 so still cheaper than home. 
Once we had exchanged the money for the shopping, she gave me a leaflet with different massages listed. I decide on a deep tissue massage and she calls an older lady over. They have a brief discussion in their language and she says 1600 rupees. Again, from what I’ve read I think this was a bit high but I agreed, not wanting to offend. She then said they needed 200rp if I wanted them to use oil. I didn’t want a dry massage so again I agreed.

The older lady led me to a hut which had sheets hanging everywhere, across the door, along the ceiling and walls, hanging down around the massage beds. She indicated that I was to lie on the middle bed and stood watching. I put my bag under the face hole on the floor so I could keep an eye on it, took my dress off and then lay face down on the bed. 

A young man then entered and she asked if I was ok for him to do the massage, to which I nodded. 

The massage was wonderful! Once he had finished my back and arms we had a little break to wash my legs and feet as they were rather sandy. When I turned on my back, he started chatting, asking where I was from, where I was staying and who I was with. He seemed surprised when I said I was there alone, he then asked if I was married or had a boyfriend. When I said no he seemed even more surprised and then when I answered 28 as my age he was openly shocked. I guess the shock was because I’m quite old to be single in India, but I’d like to think it was because I don’t look 28 and I’m far too good to be single! 

He was 21 and had been doing massages for 7 years, 7 days a week! He was a handsome chap and kept smiling at me, which made me feel a bit on edge. A couple of years ago I would have loved his attention and played up to it, but I’m here alone because of heartbreak and the thought of being with someone else makes me feel sick. 

The massage finished and I felt all sleepy and relaxed. He sat me on a chair and asked if I wanted a head massage. I probably should have said no, as this was more money (500rp) but I thought today could be my treat day.

It then got a bit complicated with the money. I had told the original lady that I didn’t have the cash on me as I wasn’t expecting to spend so much and she said it was fine to come back after and pay – I was only 3 doors down anyway!

Whilst the head massage was going on the older lady came in and said something to the guy. He then asked me how much I had agreed to pay so I told him and he said the head massage would be 500rp which I was to pay to him. 

Once finished he said I could pay the full amount to him and he would sort it with the original lady. I explained I didn’t have all of the money and then the original lady appeared. She beckoned me to follow her so I gave the guy a shrug and a smile and went back to the beach. 

She seemed annoyed that I had told them how much I was paying. She said that if they asked I was to say it was partly my shopping too. She explained that she would be getting 1000 and they get the 800 because they don’t do business. This annoyed me as she really didn’t do anything and she had obviously lied to them about what I was paying. But she didn’t know about the additional 500rp.

I went to leave to get the money and she dragged me into her niece’s shop and basically tried to guilt trip into buying a long silk dress, saying her niece had sold nothing all day. I had spent way too much and didn’t want to give this woman anymore money. I said I would go and get my money and think about it, and managed to escape.

Back in my room, I counted out her 1000rp and his 1300rp so I could make sure he got what he was owed. I hoped he was going to be round the front of the shop and not doing another massage. I needn’t have worried though, he was on the beach in front of my hut! 

He came straight up to me and introduced an older man as his boss. Boss asked me what I had agreed to pay to original lady and so I explained and said she didn’t know about the head massage, which thankfully made him smile! I paid him the full 2300rp and thought I would let them sort it out!

I was covered head to toe in oil so went in the sea to try and wash some off before having a shower. 

Dinner was quiet, although a kitten made a very good attempt to get some of my food. I had a spicy chicken burger – not very Indian I know but most of the menu is not Indian food! 

I finished my book and chatted to some people back at home over what’s app/Facebook. 

He has been texting again. He text in the middle of the night to say he had just got in and cut his foot. He then text again this morning to say he slept walked and got into someone else’s bed, naked, and nearly had a fight when the man returned. I replied that I would love to find him in my bed. He’s not been feeling well today and has ended the day by telling me he has sunburn. He was impressed that I’ve been in the sea and asked if I had met any other travellers yet. I just don’t know if texting him is the right thing to be doing. I like that he wants to talk to me, but I don’t want to turn into a pen pal! If we are texting everyday surely he won’t miss me? Or will it make him wish we were sharing the experiences together, not apart? If we stop texting will he forget me or miss me? Will he think I’ve moved on? Will he move on?

I think the texting issue is something to think about, but the saddest fear is that he will stop texting me, taking that decision away. 

However, from a rocky start this morning, I have had a good day even if I have spent more than I wanted to! But on a positive note, that’s definitely a Sazzle thing to do! 

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