Palolem, south Goa. I've been sitting on the beach, jotting down some of my thoughts ...
1. The music out here in Goa is, for lack of a better description, TACK CITY. You can't go very far without hearing Enrique Eglasias, Savage Garden, Bryan Adams (he's Canadian, so he's cool), and, most unfortunately, Ricky Martin. Dido's "White Flag" came on a few days ago while I was having lunch and my thoughts of course drifted towards Mats Sundin. He went down with the ship. Like a right, honourable captain shoud. I miss him. It's not too late for him to come out of retirement and play with Phil Kessel. A fan can dream. Especially a Toronto sports fan.
2. When in Goa, try the Prawn/Chicken/Beef Xacuti (pronounced "cha-coothie"). It's divine.
3. I'm obviously late to the party but it certainly took me by surprise to learn that Ilya Kovalchuk is a New Jersey Devil. I can't say I saw them winning the sweepstakes. But the Devils are, as always, competitive, so I have to respect their taking the plunge. I'm curious as to when the Devils last traded a first-round draft choice. It doesn't seem like their modus operandi. They are the antithesis of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Especially when it comes to winning.
4. I'm reading Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now." The cynic in me is having a hard time believing it's anything but 270-odd pages of complete, utter bullshit. Actually, I was reading it. It was stolen yesterday from the deck of my beach hut down here in Palolem. TRUST NOBODY.
5. There are no traffic lights in Goa. Not in the cities, not in the tourist beaches areas, nowhere. I've yet to come across one. While speed bumps, and potholes that make Steeles Avenue seem like asphalt heaven, are numerous, the only time a car comes to complete stop is when cows set up shop on the roads.
6. While sitting on the beach drinking buckets of Kingfisher, my thoughts invariably drifted towards the boys of summer, our Toronto Blue Jays. It's been quite the few months for Alex Anthopoulos and, while expectations are low, nothing would please me more than seeing the 2010 squad win more than 75 games; more than they won in 2009 with Roy Halladay taking the mound every five days. It's nothing against Doc; how could it be? But I've turned the page. I'm genuinely excited about the future.
7. I have no idea who Kevin Gregg is.
8. As I'm sure you noticed, the new Sports And The City banner is up. Welcome to your Aaron Hill years. And thanks, Deaner.
9. While getting my head shaved a couple of days ago, the power went out. Which I of course knew it would. For a good half hour, to boot. Needless to say, I got to know my barber, Imran from Faridabad, really well. With half a buzzed head, I didn't really have a choice. I'm not religious and don't often pray, but sitting in that chair, I asked the heavens for electricity.
10. We take electricity and hot water for granted in the west. Perhaps that's why the terrorists hate us.
11. I'm hoping to return home a less bitter man. More contentment, less complaining. In all walks of life. With that in mind, my thoughts drifted towards Cito Gaston. The Manager. When the Blue Jays ruled the baseball world, I was too young to know that Gaston doesn't have a clue in the dugout. I've figured it out now. But I'm not going to spend 2010 complaining about his shortcomings. What's the point? Cito is what he is. No one, especially not me, can take his World Series rings away from him. I'm going to do my best to enjoy his swan song, and remember the good times. Such as the emergence of Adam Lind. If Cito can somehow do the same with Travis Snider, we're all good.
12. Once you ride public transportation in India, you won't give a damn about a TTC booth operator taking a power nap. Again, we're spoiled out west. Automated announcements, air conditioning, and, I don't know, a bus not in motion while you hang half way out the back door. The fare? Ten rupees. I guess you get what you pay for, eh?
13. The locals have a staring problem. Necks must hurt around here.
14. India is in severe need of a humane society. Stray dogs are everywhere, and bark the nights away.
15. Nazem Kadri's NHL debut; I'm sorry I missed that. How'd my boy do?
16. I wish I knew how to ride a scooter. It would have made the Goa experience that much better. I've never ridden one, and learning in India doesn't seem all that wise. Like skiing for the first time in Whistler, which I did back in 2001. I barely survived that experience. Lesson learned. Plus, the only helmets worn around these parts are the natural kind: turbans. On an aside, it's a miracle of God that hundreds aren't killed on the roads in front of my very eyes everyday.
17. Vesa Toskala doesn't think he's a back-up. He might be as delusional as I am.
18. I might have to visit Ponani, Goa, south of here. Just so I can call home and say "Everything is wonderful; I'm in Ponani."
19. Has Chris Bosh re-signed yet? Please call/text/email when he does. Playoffs!!1
20. For the next two weeks, "Playoffs!!1" is being replaced by "Gold!!1"