Letter from India VII
Well, I'm finally over my bug after a slight relapse.All in all it could have been a lot worse.We had a slight problem at our hotel, our shower was abysmal, and withall the dust here you feel dirty the moment you step foot outside.The dust is red and gets everywhere, it is playing havoc with ourlaundry budget, which, I suspect, is quite possibly another ploy bythe natives. In Goa they have 2 principle industries, tourism (whichcomes second) & Mining/Quarrying. Now, on our various travels we havepassed several quarries, and guess what they haul for miles from thesevast pits to the gods only know where????.......yup you probably gotit, red dust/rocks. I am not entirely sure why you would do this, yesthe rocks can be used as brick if chiselled into squares but seeing asthe accommodation of choice for the locals comprises a few sides ofchipboard with a bamboo roof (essential for keeping the rain off your42" screen and satellite set up....i kid you not) i really fail to seewhat happens to it all. My end conclusion is that they either sneakaround late at night emptying red dust onto the roads (or maybe duringthe day, secreting it out of their trousers like in the great escapeor escape from Colditz) to keep the laundry business buoyant OR therereally is life on mars and they have an insane fixation for red rocksand dust.Anyway I digress, due to the shower problem we have changed rooms. Wenow have a family room with 2 bedrooms (ideal for those argumentativenights) which is far more pleasant. This morning, whilst we weregetting showered, there was a knock on the door. After a briefdiscussion I was sent to the door wrapped in a towel to find out whowas disturbing us. Pulling the door open I was confronted by no lessthan 6 of the hotel employees who stood their smiling at my white bodyas I dripped water into a rapidly expanding pool at my feet. We had alimited discussion (limited by their pigeon English and my deep scowland irritated demeanour) and as far as I can make out they want to dosomething with a wardrobe in our room (it is possibly the gateway toNarnia by the way they turn up in droves first thing in the morning).I really have no idea what’s going on but I will not be surprised if wereturn to find a family of Albanians with their dancing bear huddledin our spare bedroom.We went to the market the other night, it is a vast place and sellspretty much everything you can think of. Saara purchased a silkembroidered shawl and somehow managed to avoid buying shoes. There wasfree live music and some rather poor performance artist hippy typesthrowing fire about and trying to look impressive. I was ill socouldn’t eat but Saara assured me the food was lovely.Yesterday was our 6 month anniversary, it coincided with our ringsbeing made so we thought we would make a day of it. We spent theafternoon on the beach with some friends (Jan & Barry, a fifty+ couplefrom Skegness, they are lovely and good company) and then headed offto the Taj resort, an exclusive resort at the end of the beach inCandolim.I managed to acquire a Romeo & Julietta cigar (No 2 Reg before youask) and sat puffing away as the sunset drinking martinis with mylovely wife.We then headed for the Banyan Tree apparently one of the bestrestaurants here and also part of the complex. The restaurant waslovely but the food was monumentally average, it is a Thai restaurantand they had used that much chilli that you practically choked onevery mouthful. We asked for a bottle of wine, it was bought out, itasted it nearly spat it back in the glass and refused to buyit.....the poor wine waiter was obviously used to fobbing tourists offwith this ageing vinegar and stood there looking bemused until Saaratold him that we just wanted watermelon juice and he wandered off tostand in the corner staring over at us for the rest of the evening.Anyway, we arrived back at our hotel, sat down to have a drink whenthe owner came over. The Owner is a lovely guy called Royston, a Goanwhose father owns several hotels and is also a developer. He has takena real shine to Saara and calls her bubbles. He produced a bunch offlowers for Saara as a congratulations on the 1/2 year anniversary,which was a sweet gesture so we sat by the fountain and sipped acouple of cocktails and amaretto’s (Wendy, Amaretto here is 35 rupees aglass (45p)).We are off to Mapusa market tomorrow and will head for Paololin onThursday (they call it paradise beach so its probably full of toutsselling bounty bars).Goa is filled with Northerners & Scousers its very odd hearing suchbroad accents in amongst the broken English of the natives. Most tendto be from the I’m considerably richer than yow' school and, as wewitnessed the other day, like to tip as many of the locals as possible(They even tipped the security guard on the gate not realising thatthe tips are pooled and distributed equally among the staff). It istypical of the mentality of the tourists here and no doubt thereason why the Indian phrase 'hello money' is so popular amongstchildren and why the touts ask ridiculous prices.....they know somethick Mancunian will just pay it without batting an eyelid and thenthey can go home for the week.Anyway, got to go. speak to you all again soonKeith & Saara
More great stuff from Keef. Now, I ask you: would you buy a used airline ticket from this man?
(I just KNEW there would be hippies involved!) Might we take up a collection, Gone, and send him afield again?
"There is some corner of a foreign fieldThat is forever England..."
Psst...Way... What are collecting again? Hippies?
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