This is India! 132

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.

What I was up to other than here:

  • I am so sad Christmas is over! I had a very festive week considering we live at the beach. That’s why this post, I’m sharing what we did for Christmas!
  • My parents spent Christmas in Jamaica at an all-inclusive resort. I’m trying to talk them into writing a post on the blog about the pros and cons of the place and if they recommend it. I’m sure a lot of you are interested in these kinds of trips.
  • I’m not on Snapchat or Instagram Stories, so if you want to see more live updates you can join my chat on Pepo (you can download it on your Andriod or iPhone). It’s a place where you can join chats with like-minded people, so of course, I’m in mostly food chats lol.

Now your story,

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Okay, I know people read my posts because I can see the stats, but only a few of you comment. Please comment and tell me what you did for Christmas and where you were. I am really curious to know!

Christmas in Goa

What you’re seeing above are the best cookies that have ever been made. I used this recipe for chocolate peppermint cookies that I’ve had bookmarked forever. I had to bring Andes mints from the US and have Ann bring candy canes when she visited.

If you make them just FYI I did add an extra egg and don’t roll the cookies in the candy cane like it says, just get the candy on top or it sticks to the pan.

What you’re seeing below is the face of a monster dog who realized how good the cookies were, jumped on the counter, and ate 5. That’s a lot of cocoa powder, and according to the website Ben checked it’s a “fatal dose”.

Christmas in Goa

So, he did everything he could to make Omni vomit (mustard, baking powder, salt, eggs…) but Omni saw these all as treats, slept like a baby, and showed no symptoms. Indian stray dogs can withstand so much more than pedigrees!

For Christmas Eve, Ben and I went to get some local food which consisted of rava fried kingfish and mussels, butter garlic prawns, cheese garlic naan, chicken dry fry, chicken tandoori, and paratha. Yes, it was a lot of food and the grand total was $20 because of all the seafood ($20 is pretty high for two people eating local food).

Christmas day, we woke up early for our tradition of Ben cooking me pancakes. LOL. What a good tradition, right!? Lucky me!

Christmas in Goa

Christmas in Goa

FYI that pancake syrup was $18. WTF! But, imported USA things are so so expensive here. I’m going to be eating a lot of pancakes so I don’t waste it.

Christmas in Goa

Kit kat hid during the celebrations.

Christmas in Goa

This guy came by the house to get a tip, and I happily gave him one in exchange for this photo. He comes by the house about 2x a month and also hangs around Anjuna at the markets and anywhere he might come across tourists.

Christmas in Goa

Christmas in Goa

It was time to burn my Christmas candle that I brought from the USA. We have re-used this wrapping paper now for 3 years lol.

Christmas in Goa

Ben was DYING for this Raspberry Pi 3. He wanted it so badly that I had to let him open it on Xmas eve or as he said “he won’t go anywhere on Christmas day because he’ll want to play with his new toy”.

It’s been almost a week now since Christmas and he has deemed this little mini-computer a waste of time and he’s over it!

Christmas in Goa

Shanti and Omni also got Xmas presents. Ben got them a huge bone in the USA and saved it until Christmas to give them.

After breakfast we picked up Tia and went to Vaayu to rent some surf boards.

Christmas in Goa vaayu

Christmas in Goa vaayu

Vaayu Waterman’s is a cool cafe and guesthouse in Ashwem. The beach here is a lot nicer than Vagator where I normally go, but the waves weren’t great by the time we got there. We missed them by like an hour.

Christmas in Goa
Christmas in Goa

There were still enough to play around though and practice!

Christmas in Goa

Christmas in Goa

Christmas in Goa

Christmas in Goa

Then we had a little snack of tacos and Ben downed a healthy amount of mimosas.

Christmas in Goa

From here we went to lunch number two at La Plage around 3 PM. Our friend Priyanka joined us and it was actually the best day I have had in such a long time! It was SO much fun and we stayed until nearly 7 PM drinking wine. Later, we stopped by a friend Mona’s and then can home to Skype our families in US and UK. We were pretty drunk but I don’t think they knew that until they just read this haha!

Christmas in Goa

Christmas in Goa

Christmas in Goa

Christmas in Goa

Christmas in Goa

This is India!


About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Dominic December 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Can’t believe you were in Vaayu on Xmas day, we were staying there then and would of been great to meet you!

    • Rachel Jones December 31, 2016 at 11:58 am - Reply

      OMG are you serious!? I wish you had messaged. Are you still here? I’d love to meet up. Isn’t Vaayu great?

  2. Karen December 30, 2016 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    I spent Christmas in Siem Reap, Cambodia with my boyfriend. We rode bikes around town during the day, had a “fish massage” and a great $6 dollar lunch. It was nice to be away from the over-the-top American festivities. Not to mention humbling.

    • Rachel Jones December 31, 2016 at 12:02 pm - Reply

      Sounds perfect. I haven’t been to much of SE Asia really (not Vietnam Cambodia or Laos) so really want to get over that way. Glad you had a great Christmas!

  3. Tessa December 31, 2016 at 1:38 am - Reply

    I’m living in Hong Kong but came back home to Cape Town, South Africa for Christmas with my family and friends! Christmas Eve was with family friends – we had bobotie which is a cape Malay dish of curried mince served with rice. Xmas day was hosted at my parents with 18 people. Lots of sunshine and laughter!
    Yours sounded lovely too

    • Rachel Jones December 31, 2016 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      Oh, I want to visit both of those places! Bobotie sounds tasty. I miss having big family gatherings. Fingers crossed that next year I can go home for Christmas too.

  4. Pradipta December 31, 2016 at 2:28 am - Reply

    Boating in December?? I am just shivering.

  5. [email protected] December 31, 2016 at 7:04 am - Reply

    Hey Rachel! Spent my Christmas at my aunt’s house, eating our lives away. Then came home and watched a movie in bed. Oh- I’m in Los Angeles!

    BTW, if you ever need to make a dog vomit again, squirt a syringe of hydrogen peroxide 3% straight into the throat (don’t let him spit it out) and massage his belly for a bit. Could take up to an hour, but it will induce vomiting. If you’re able to find activated charcoal anywhere, give it to them right after vomiting. Helps bind and remove whatever toxins weren’t expelled by vomiting. My husband is a veterinarian and this is what they always use!

    • Rachel Jones December 31, 2016 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Ooo LA nice! I’ve only visited there once but would like to go back. Eating too much good food and watching a movie sounds just about perfect to me.

      I saw the thing about hydrogen peroxide but was scared to do it! Good to know it works. I’m sure I’ll be needing to do it again some time since my dogs are crazy!

  6. Harmony, Momma To Go December 31, 2016 at 8:57 am - Reply

    Sounds like a great day! I hung w my kids and family but around noon started vomiting I caught some sort of bug and stayed in bed for the next two days :(

  7. Erin Bliss December 31, 2016 at 9:23 am - Reply

    Awesome!!! That sounds like quite a celebration! I was in Goa for xmas and New Years last year. Looking at your pics brings a flood of memories. I went to vagator for New Years and had a blast! Xmas was spent with good friends, lotsa food and tasty drinks…. This year I was at home with my family in Texas. Missing the beach terribly

    • Rachel Jones December 31, 2016 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      Goa on NY is always a fun time (although so crowded with traffic!). I bet Christmas in Texas was great… and I bet the food was good too! I haven’t been to Texas except to drive through but really want to come there and see Austin especially.

  8. Dilip December 31, 2016 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    You’re amazing & you live free. i wish you well.

  9. zascha January 2, 2017 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Sounds like you’ve had an amazing Christmas!
    Wish someone would make me pancakes for breakfast, haha. Oh and also, I’m glad the dog is okay :-)

    • Rachel Jones January 2, 2017 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      I’m so happy the dog was okay too! I kept thinking “I can’t let my dog die on Christmas!”

  10. Anarghya January 2, 2017 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Well, I live in India in Delhi and I went to the church. Did not do much of traveling but a church at midnight on the 25th is a must. My friend went to Goa for Christmas and she loves it. I dream to travel when I grow up which after a graduate from a university. That is after 9 years. lol.

    I love your website.

    • Rachel Jones January 2, 2017 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      I hope that you get to travel after Uni! Yes, church on Christmas is always so nice.

  11. Thursa January 4, 2017 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel, I love your blog so I’ll stop being a lurker at your request :-) I live in the Cotswolds in England (in the same village as my family) so we spent Christmas day together opening presents and eating great food (my mum’s fed up with making roast dinners so we had macaroni cheese!). We drove over to Avebury in the afternoon to walk around the standing stones, it was really quiet and magical, and surprisingly sunny… though I’m pregnant with my first child, so more waddling than walking ;-) Evening was spent just watching festive TV. It was a lovely chilled out day!

    • Rachel Jones January 4, 2017 at 8:54 pm - Reply

      Haha nice to meet you lurker :) The Cotswolds! I cannot think of a more perfect place to spend Christmas. You day sounds fantastic and I”m glad you left a comment so I could learn about you! How exciting that you’re going to have your first baby! what an epic christmas.

  12. Rita January 5, 2017 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel..its always lovely to read your blog. I learn about so many places through your writings. Its so exciting. I love travelling to new places but cannot do so with a new baby around. Wish you a great 2017…

    • Rachel Jones January 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      Maybe when the baby is a little bit older :) Wishing you a wonderful 2017 filled with adventure!

  13. Tim UrbanDuniya January 7, 2017 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Merry Christmas! What an awesome Christmas Day!!! And I love your tradition of having pancakes cooked for you on Christmas morning – I’ll need to get my other half on to that :p
    I spent Christmas in Melbourne with my family, eating too much and then falling asleep on the beach in the afternoon – it was 38 degrees celsius, and it was much more of a prawns-and0salad affair than hot roast turkey!

    • Rachel Jones January 7, 2017 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      Haha yes just have her read this blog post lol slight subliminal message for pancakes!! It’s funny how I can also fall asleep on the beach, but at night time need AC so bad to sleep!

  14. Betsy January 11, 2017 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Looks like you had a nice holiday! We had a nice time up here in Rajasthan too. We had Christmas Eve dinner at the Palace and drank champagne. Christmas day we went to a friends house and had an international affair, one Greek, one American, 2 Finns, and 3 Indians. Very nice. The food was also international. We had some Finnish salad and desserts and Mexican food for dinner. I brought Velveeta cheese from the States to make queso. :) I am jealous though because it is cold here. I would love to be in a warmer climate now!
    Happy New Year!

    • Rachel Jones January 11, 2017 at 10:57 am - Reply

      VELVEETA!!! OMG Why don’t I think to bring Velveeta!? I saw once on TV, Dolly Parton say that she eats a large block of it a week. Haha. Glad you had a good xmas it sounds wonderful!

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