I got on the train at 11 last night, booked into 2nd class sleeper, no AC. This means you are packed into pretty tight quarters, and my (narrow, short) bunk was the top one of three, which I chose in order to not have people climbing over me. There was commotion until pretty late at night, and it started up at around six in the morning, but my earplugs and eyeshade worked wonders and I slept fairly well. You are in no danger of starving on these trains: vendors come by with food, chai, or coffee every five minutes.
I got off at Thivim, which is the northernmost train station in Goa. I was thinking so hard about swimming that I decided to forgo the bus ride and take a taxi. I asked a few people if they wanted to share, but noone else was going to Anjuna, which I had decided would be my first stop, so I negotiated with a motorcycle taxi to take me. If I’d realized how far away it would be (at least half an hour with my big backpack in back, small backpack with the laptop in front, and big purse hanging off the side) I might not have done it, but then I would have missed an amazing experience. I’m not sure if my adrenaline levels are back to normal yet, what with the guy passing a car that was in the middle of passing another car. We very nearly hit a dog, and we came close to a couple of buses and an ambulance. I really felt like I was in India.
Spent the afternoon on Anjuna beach swimming and sunbathing and hanging out with the beach cows. There’s a big flea-market here on Wednesdays, so I’ll stay for that then think about where to go next. The room I have is clean and has its own clean private toilet for very little money, so I may make this my base for the next week and take day trips.