Key West Florida - great for snowbirds!

by Ray
(Key West)

I visit from Oregon to Key West and stay in a Condo.

Why do you choose Florida every year? Laid back atmosphere.

How long have you been going to Florida? over 10 years now

What do you love about Florida? The beaches

Any negatives? tends to get hit by hurricanes every now and then

What do you do all day? Wake up early in the morning and walk on the beach, have some lunch and then visit the stores they have, after that lay on the beach some more till dinner time.

Once I'm done eating dinner I usually enjoy the night life entertainment they have at the boardwalk.

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by: (Mr.) Durgesh Kumar Srivastava New Delhi, India

Mr Ray's experience of his visits to Key West in Florida reminds me of my home town Allahabad in north centrral India and our relaxing boat rides on the river under the full moon.

The city of Allahabad in north central India is situated near the confluence of two big rivers ? the Ganga and the Yamuna. Both these are perennial rivers which rise in the upper Himalayas and are fed by the waters of many glaciers.

The river front in Allahabad is truly magnificent. The beauty of the riverfront is enhanced by three magnificent Railway bridges built under British Rule. When in full spate during the rainy season, Ganga is about 5 or 6 kilometers wide while Yamuna is about 2 or 3 kilometers wide.

After Yamuna joins Ganga at the confluence point, the holy Triveni Sangam, Ganga assumes a gigantic size and flows on towards the Bay of Bengal, passing through the holy city of Varanasi and the ancient city of Pataliputra (modern Patna)

A boat ride on the placid Yamuna is the favourite pastime of the people of Allahabad. In the early 1950s large luxury boats called BAJRAs could be seen tied to strong pegs driven into the river bed or to the trees on the river bank.

A Bajra could seat 40 to 50 people comfortably in cushioned seats which were fixed around a central raised platform on which performers with musical instruments would sit and present Kajri a genre of folk songs dedicated to beauty, love and romance.

The boat ride would generally be planned for evening hours on a full moon night. Delectable eatables will be brought from the famous shops of the city.

The Bajra would be untied when the moon rose in the sky and allowed to float in the slow current of the Yamuna. It will be guided by MALLAHs a professional group of rovers. There would be no attempt to raise the speed.

Nerves will be completely soothed by the time the Bajra would return to the starting point at about midnight. Professional cooks would keep hot dinner ready on the river bank. In deference to the holiness of the river, meat preparations and liquor would not be served

There are no Bajras on the river today. The languid pace of life of yesteryears has been replaced with the fast paced routines of the modern world. You may still hear strains of music wafting from motorized boats on the river. But the music is from i-Pods, mobile phones and other electronic equipment. Liquor is no longer taboo. Bhang and Thandai have given way to chilled beers. The only thing that has not changed is river Yamuna itself. It continues to flow placidly as it has since times immemorial. For the river, time has stood still.
(Mr.) Durgesh Kumar Srivastava New Delhi,India,
25th Sept., 2010

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