So here we are in Goa again. Much like slipping back into a pair of old, well-worn, faded vintage Levi's which hug your curves in all the right ways, so have the past couple of days back on the Indian sub-continent felt like 'coming home'. The monsters seem pretty happy to be back too - but that could just be down to the mango juice drink ('Maaza') which they are addicted to and which is served in every single eating establishment here.
We found our little primitive beachside cottage to be exactly how we left it. Literally, I mean, exactly how we left it. No painting or cleaning had been done in our absence, and traces of our scurried rush out of there five months ago were still evident. Of course not everything was the same. Waiting for us on our blue-tiled porch as we pulled in late the other night, having battled torrential monsoon rains from the airport, was 'Uncle Chancey' - a dear, dear friend of ours who had made the nine hour journey from London strictly to supply us with duty free boozes, chocolate and all the gossip we've been missing in London town these past eight months. (Okay, maybe he also came to acquire a killer tan, eat chicken tikka masala nightly and watch pretty sunsets but still...)
Thankfully, the tropical deluge lasted merely a day and now we're firmly ensconced in sunny skies, even sunnier smiles and the wicked vibe here which signals the start of the new tourist season. Although some are fans of the laid-back tail end of the season, there is something to be said for the optimistic attitudes of the beach hawkers, restaurant workers and fellow long-term tourists who are settling in for another glorious stint in the Goan sun.
Mornings have quickly resumed their usual routine: up at 7am, strong coffee a deux, feed monsters porridge/cornflakes/eggs, chase Dumpie around the yard to get him dressed (whilst trying ones best to avoid being soaked with his newly acquired water gun), snatch and grabbing Egg's Nintendo DSi with one hand while trying to spray him with sun lotion with the other, then herding them out to their respective schools just before 9am.
We do find we're missing our Bali mates. A lot. Only thing for that I suppose is to get them out here for a visit. So to any 'Bali-ites' reading this, you've heard the clarion call. Sort yourselves out...Air Asia yourselves over to the Arabian Sea and we'll do our best to make you feel as welcome on our turf as y'all did on yours :)
I confess I was sorely tempted to do a post about our two-plane-two-taxi journey over here from KL...but I realised it was the same old horror story as always - just the details differed. Dumpie held the plane hostage (if not physically then in every other way) so much so that the husband, Egg and I found ourselves squished in a three seater row right behind Dumps who had somehow wrangled the three seats in front strictly for himself. He spent much of the five hour plane journey standing up and pacing, laughing and whipping stuff back at us when we wouldn't pass up treats on demand for him. Or just because he was bored. And that was on the first flight. On the second, (thankfully only a 50 minute journey from Mumbai to Goa) we had to go to our 'happy place' and try and ignore Dumpie's constant wailing of, "I hungry! I huuuuuungry! I HUNGRY!!!".
As the husband later pointed out, on a crowded flight full of mostly Indians, what shame it was to have a child advertising the fact that he was not being well fed...and by parents who could well afford it. Oh the shame. (Never mind that the husband procured an overpriced limp 'cheese sandwich' from the cabin crew early on...Dumpie was having none of it....and while Egg obediently chewed the less than appetising sarnie, Dumps merely took a bite and spat it across two rows straight into my lap - and onto my expensive, newly laundered All Saints cardi. Urghhh).
Disembarking, we waited till most passengers had exited the plane, on account of having smuggled in double the amount of hand baggage allowed, and being unable to move without bashing people on the head from both sides. And as everyone passed, there were murmurs of 'hungry boy' and affectionate pats of Dumpies head as everyone got a look in at the starving child up in row 13. Oh the shame.
Anyway, we got here in the end and thankfully there is to be no more plane travel for a few months at least. And the school hours are slightly longer here. And we have procured portable dvd players and fixed the broken handheld Nintendo. Daresay the husband and I might be enjoy relatively civilised dining beachfront under the stars soon? Ah bliss.....