Weekday Goa scene versus Weekend Goa scene was as different an experience as an ATM queue on a Monday versus a Saturday (Our PM made the latter happen after de-monetization and the Goa over-hype resulted the former). Made me do the cruel math of how many years I've added since I last visited Goa. It just felt lacking in it's usual warmth to me. The trucks, the buses and the cars on the weekend seemed to be targeting me. As if they've ganged up and cloned my annoying siblings who would cough deliberately on my face. One of those tricks to disgust each other as kids...Yuck! And that too right into my lungs. But, my main reason to extend the trip for the weekend was the Saturday night market which I still have pictures of from my girls trip of four years ago; the Photo Booth, the avant garde gypsy jewellery, the drool-pool worthy burgers and what not!
There was still some time before Mr Bling and I hit that, so we got down to the most important decision making - where to eat the next meal? Bean me up which is highly rated on the internet was the lucky draw pick for today. But, not before we indulged in some water sports at the beach attached to the hotel. Now, I'm sure am not the only one who dreads rides for flying vomit surprises. So, all of you pukey dukies remember the rule: First adventure ball, then food call.
When we got to the activities counter, there were several we wanted to do. They were a little steep priced than usual, but I was hoping it'll be worth the money. So, we gave 15 notes of 100 for parasailing first. From the moment we wore the lifejacket to the moment we got to the big boat from where they tied us up to the parachute I was ready and high. On the other hand, even though excited, Mr Bling was worried I'd topple and he won't be able to save me since he doesn't know how to swim (panicky non swimmers often forget about life-jackets I observe). We were the first ones to be tied to the safety gear and the rope which was to take us high in the sky. I think my springy demeanour must've helped :D Caution: they might think you have to pee and finish your sail earlier than you want. Joke. And just as we were about to take off, came a business man googly from the operator guy. "Do you want to go higher than the rest and for a longer period..ittt IJJ AMAJJING..But pay me 500 rupees more". An emphatic 'yes' was the chorus reply. Within a second, we were floating in the the sky and he kept releasing the rope bit by bit servicing us the extra 500 paid. I love being so high in the sky when everything seems so tiny and irrelevant. All you feel is a sense of freedom and calm. Sigh. This dreamy flight was interrupted by a sudden descent into the water. Splashhhh!! we were then surfed out immediately. It was a total of 5 minutes of the activity. Too much fun! Wished it lasted longer (No pun). Next I wanted to take a round on the jet ski, so we took out our card to pay for it, but they had no machine to accept. Pooper. Advice: 100 currency notes together in a thick stash make you feel rich and loaded, but reality hits when payment of 1500 or 2000 rupees is to be made. It just vanishes in a jiffy. And I don't wear cargo pants to carry so much cash either. So, we skipped that and set out to Chapora fort. The same place where the super hit film Dil Chahta Hai was shot. And it was when we hit the road that it struck me how the population had tripled within a day's time. It wasn't the same place I had come to three days ago. (Everyone from near and far comes to Goa on the weekend)
We got to the Chapora fort parking and set off on the climb to the main fort ruins at the top. THE MOST exhausting and THE LEAST rewarding part of the trip. To top that I heard human frogs croaking Dil chahta hai songs. Come on, even I love the movie songs! But at this time and in such murderous voices? Especially, when its burning under the sun and the trek is awful AND I can feel the extra ten kilos am carrying on my front and back. (Festival season baggage as I call it..not that the nature's bounty on me is absent before the festivals to be honest. OKAY THEN.. time to basket the topic in the bin). I'm not a grumpy person at all, but I really wanted to kill the next one who would sing 'Dil Chahta hai hum na rahein kabhi yaaron ke bin ooo ooo ooooh'. I just couldn't fathom even upon reaching the fort top as to why that bunch was so cheerful about this site? It wasn't as if Aamir, Saif and Akshay were stripping and dancing with them!
Food is a medicine to such disasters. So, we made an about turn and ran away to this popular organic-vegan food place called 'Bean me up' that had been on my list since a while. Scooter ride gave me shivers (No doubting Mr Bling's skills, it was due to a dip in the temperature). As we entered the cafe, we saw a new store being set up and before I could say 'Let's check out , Mr Bling was getting a nice lime green hoodie billed (which looked nicer on me). I love nicking oversized clothes off him. A lot of girls would relate to this act of nicking tees off brothers or guy friends, their entire lives on the pretext of borrowing for a day :D All snug and ready to eat, we scanned the menu at the cafe. It had a lot of lentil and tofu variety. The owner of the clothes store had raved about their guacamole. So, we ordered guacamole with fresh tortilla, a veg burrito, a veg sushi plate, a juice and a ginger based drink. The place was very nicely done up. The food arrived. The drinks were good. But, the food except for the crisp tortilla didn't live up to the hype. Even the guacamole was too bitter and sour. It wasn't our best day.
We headed back to freshen up for the Saturday night market. We jazzed up for a fun night ahead and chilled out at the hotel lounge bar for a while (they have the tastiest home made like chilly cheese toasts I've ever eaten)! The next one hour, I discovered what a disaster of a day it was. The market on its very first day of the season looked tacky and more of a potbelly show. Its isn't easy to escape bumping into laundry bag sized paunches when hundreds around, right? What had happened to my Saturday night market of four years ago :( We sprinted from there. Went clubbing. Club Cabana had us sprinting again. Between Cohiba and Love Passion Karma we went to the latter and stayed for 20 minutes before swimming out with the high tide of the rowdy crowd inside. The DJ looked particularly pleased with himself and refused to part with the mic asking the crowd on the floor which place they had come from (wasn't that supposed to be a cafe conversation?). He shouted- "Mumbai!? Pune!? Delhi?! Bangalore? Raise your hand!". I was ready to give him my address, without raising any hand, if it could shut him up. My peeps back in town told me later that Cohiba was the real deal. Too late.
The next day was sweeeeeet!:) Wanted to go for a swim in the morning. On spotting a few enthusiastic Indian couples, in tee shirts and pants inside the pool, posing for their Facebook and Instagram profile pictures, I opted for a meal at the hotel restaurant instead. The best Goan heritage thali for lunch. And a vegetarian one that too. So, I could imagine how good the seafood one would be! A delicious ending is what I like ;) It was time to pack our bags and head home. 'Hello from the other side'.... Soon:)