What Westerners Have For Breakfast

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       November 5, 2013

 

Author  John McBeath

Distributor:     
ISBN:                 9781921924484
Publisher:         Transit Lounge
Release Date:    

Website:    http://www.transitlounge.com.au 

When you travel sometimes you find a country you feel you can relate to sufficiently to make the shift and resettle. In what Westerners have for Breakfast or rather Five Years in Goa John McBeath shares the good, the great, the not so great and the endless frustration of living life in a country not his own, with a people who have their own way of doing things, that surprisingly were not his!

For those of you seriously considering relocating take a good read of this very entertaining look at life through what was initially rose coloured glasses and ended up being just glasses.

In the mid-eighties John and his partner Sue decided to move to Goa, a place they had visited many times, loved in all aspects of the climate, culture, people and most of all the lifestyle. Their change of direction was bought about by John losing his job and Sue wanting to try something different.

Packing up and flying out proved to be both nerve racking and exciting as they were on the brink of a new, positive lifestyle; something they had both always talked about and dreamed of doing. They had plans to set up a bed and breakfast style accommodation to make the most of what was then the burgeoning tourist trade in Goa.

Beginning and end of organised planning as they knew it commenced when they tried to find reasonable accommodation to rent, finally settling on a beachside house, part of a resort complex in the Village of Calangute in the north of Goa.

And so began one of the most challenging periods of John’s life, learning to survive in a culture not his own. He talks freely about the strain it placed on his relationship, the diverse nature of the people of Gao, those who can help and hinder, and the wonderful mix of old and new traditions which made up Goa in the 1980’s. A Goa before major tourism, a Goa that was full of charm, both rich and seductive, as only life in the tropics can be.

The Bed and breakfast never eventuated, a journey into selling antiques to the lucrative American marketplace and a failing relationship all contribute to wonderfully frank portrait of life in Goa, expatriate style.

An enjoyable read as you travel the pages through the eyes of John McBeath, lumps, bumps, warts and all.