Slowly, but surely, I feel myself inching towards saturation with life in Goa. Every day brings with it a new challenge. The internet one day, cellphone network another, perennially useless roads, deteriorating power supply — with alarmingly large amounts of my daily time being spent fixing things. Dealing with service centres, talking to customer care, trying to understand the idiots who drive around this town. Every day, I find myself tired, exhausted and craving a little order. Where things just work. And I can focus on being productive, and less on trying to make everything work so I can be productive.
A large part of this has to do with the changes I’ve brought on for myself, really. For weeks and months, the sound of a sabbatical coming to a close has bubbled beneath the surface. A gentle murmur, never clamouring above the din. But steady, present and always making itself heard has followed me around. I’ve listened and steered along, doing the best I can to address it, feed it, satisfy it. It’s actually worked. And after what feels like aeons, I’m finally feeling back in the groove of the work thing. I’m almost afraid to say it, but I’ve been on a roll. Working longer days than I did when I was employed, having publications come back to me asking for work, getting closer to knowing my potential and the value of my words. And all that could be 3x more if I didn’t have to deal with so much staggering inefficiency on a daily basis.
And that. Is finally getting to me.
Goa blues, they come. I’m increasingly frustrated with the infrastructure, constant chaos and just how difficult it is to be a work-from-home person out here. Every other day I’ve caught myself wondered how long I’m going to be able to sustain this before I decide I’ve had enough. Several times a week, I imagine what life might be outside of Goa. Nebulous questions that spell out w-h-a-t-n-e-x-t when I sit down and patiently disentangle them, loom large and heavy like tantalising gray monsoon clouds that refuse to burst.
And yet for every few days that I brush aside mundane irritants, grit my teeth and plod on, a day like this comes along and wipes that slate clean, like some kind of natural re-boot.
And some days when I’m wandering higher, in places I rarely go, I look out and realise just how much of this green, green place I have yet to explore. I don’t know how much longer this will remain – how long will green patches hold off?
Goa blues, they come.
Already large chunks are making way for concrete dreams and an altered skyline. How long before we paint the town a dirty shade of grey? How long before we wipe down all evidence of character, history and a time gone by? How long before I decide I must up and go?
I’m here now and while the going may not always be good, the internet is mostly shit and my work takes 3 times as long as it really should, I remind myself that I still have the view.
Goa, you’re a frustrating, annoying thing. I do love you, but you’ve got to get your shit together, man.