We decided to leave Ole Murphy behind, locked firmly at home while we had that ‘perfect holiday’. Did too. Almost.
Here, for a change, is what did NOT go wrong.
1. Did a train journey to Goa. Air-conditioned 4-seater to ourselves. Kids did not fall off the train. Niks did however, fall off his lower berth SEVEN times in the night, which meant, I had to wake up SEVEN times in as many hours – and shove him back on.
2. The hired car guy ditched us when we reached Goa, asking for double the hire rate. Met my darling college buddy, who I wanted to spend hours talking to. She spent hours talking – to every car operator she could think of – begging, pleading – and finally getting us the car. She did not talk to me, and I don’t know if she ever will again.
3. We spent every day at the beach. With cousins. The kids turned purple and peeling – and would not get out of the water or sun. The bottle of sun-screen lotion got lost on Day 1, and the un-sun-screened kids had a blast.
4. All the kids got tattoos. Made of HAIR DYE! Niks is gonna have a purple scorpion running in rivulets down his forearm – and Neel is gonna have to wear a jacket to school for the next month to keep his hidden from his teacher. Niks, back in Bangalore, bared his arm to a little girl on his school bus, and I could hear her scream. (Desired response achieved. Niks sat back, pleased!)
5. We ate. We walked. We ate. We shopped. We ate. We drank. We ate. We partied. We ate. We ate. We ate. No one got sick. We put on a total of 24 kilos – 4 adults. We tried to walk it off – only till the next bar, where we ate some more.
6. I bought tons of flimsy shell trinkets, and sarongs in scraps of cloth, that were perfect for the beach. And that I will never ever wear again. I ate, to make up for the guilt.
7. We met family and friends in our aunt’s beautiful old house. We ate. The kids made tunnels through the hedge, and collected sticks and bruises. Their clothes turned red, their faces black.
8. Lost the keys to the suitcase. Twice. Scratched the hired car. Puked into the sands of the Arabian sea. Sat through a Konkani mass. Got into a bar brawl. Chased a Goan pao (bread) guy on a cycle at 7 in the morning. Fed stray dogs.
9. What we brought home: 2 kilos of sand – sand in clothes, shoes, hair, cuffs, ears... shells, broken sandals, feni, cake, tattoos, cuts, poison ivy itch, sunburn (found the sunscreen bottle when we got home). If anyone wants to come over and share our Goa loot – you’re welcome to any of the above. P.S. The cake is over!
Was a perfect holiday. Came home to ole Murphy. Got out of our sunny holiday plane into Bangalore. It was raining and cold. The sunhats and shells got soaked.