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Sarah’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 09 Dec 2007

Location: Panjim, India

MapGot up early, far to early considering we hadn't gotten in until about 2.30 but we had to check out and move guesthouses, thankfully we had been given a good lead last night. But I really should begin at the begining. Nat and I were wandering along, keeping an eye out for somewhere to have dinner. We saw a sign pointing around a corner and went to have a look, it pointed to a small resturant with a few tables outside and a few tables inside, it was empty. We thought it looked alright so we sat down got some menus and ordered dinner and beer - we both felt the need of a beer after our day. So we drank our beer and started playing cards as we usually do while waiting for dinner. One of the guy's working there (I'm not calling him a waiter coz it was a kinda mish-mash place) started watching and predicting who was going to win, and kept getting it right then he said he wanted to learn a game so we started trying to teach him one, after a bit the owner came out and taking our cards started shwing us magic tricks, then our food came. It was amazing, the Paneer was the best we've had yet. We were having a second beer after dinner - we felt very extravagant- when all of a sudden everyone came rushing in with a crying woman- she'd just fallen of her scooter and was in shock although thankfully not badly hurt, but she was fussed over by everyone there until someone came to get her. Then another customer turned up, a german lady called Lisa. We had been talking about needing to change our accomodation tomorrow and she told us about where she was staying, saying it was clean and cheap, so we thought we'd look into moving there (we moved there and it's fab, clean, spacious, soft beds and pillows, a tv and for the same money as the skank room we were in.) Soon after Lisa turned up an Indian man (Victor) arrived and ordered a drink, he was waiting for his friend to arrive for a small bachelor party (his friend was getting married the next day). Anyway after his friend (Joseph) arrived we all started chatting a bit, Lisa told us where her guest house was, after a bit we decided to have a tea (a habit we have acquired) and would leave after. But out came one of the owners saying they weren't selling tea today, we could have beer. So we had another beer, and two more indian men turned up to see Joseph, (Brian and Neville). So we were all chatting and laughing and having a great time, food was brought out, including an amazing carb cooked in Garlic butter (and I don't even like seafood) and we were bullied into eating more, and given a glass of wine, then Lisa left having a curfew at her guest house, and we were bought more beer, and then some music was put on and the inside tables moved aside, and the glitter ball set to spin in the coloured lights and we all danced for a bit until Neville started to get a bit annoying then Brian was a real gent and stopped the dancing and we all sat down and Nat and I said we should go but ended up staying for a bit longer coz Brian insisted on walking us home and he hadn't finished his drink. Anyway eventually we were walked home by Brian and Neville, Brian spending the few minutes that It took giving me a bit of a lecture about not letting myself get used by other people. Then we said goodbye and promised to see them the next evening - you see we had been invited to the wedding. Anyway we slept easily having drunk more beer than we have for ages, and danced and it was quite late. Waking up we left and walked the very short distance to Comfort Guesthouse and left our bags there - we were a little early for checking in but we would get a room, so we went and had a very plain breakfast at one of the few resturants open before 9 in the morning, then went back, checked in and after marveling at our new room, so much nicer than the old one, we settled down and watched a movie - we couldn't help it, the owner had put the telly on when he showed us the room and it was an english language movie, after the movie we had a nap and then left to find Nat a new pair of shoes - completely necessary, after all we were going to a wedding that night. We found some surprisingly quickly and then went back to our room and watched another movie. Got ready as best we could considering our store of clothing was minimal and most of it wasn't all that clean and head back to Lorenzo's ( the resturant of the night before) with Lisa, to wait for Victor who was going to meet us at 6.30 to take us to the wedding. He was late, and the Neville turned up and he drove us rather than us getting a taxi. The wedding was in Mapusa and we were running late, we didn't get there until after the bride and groom, but only just, Joseph and Maria (how cute) were still doing the circle o\around the floor, greeting people and showing themselves off. Then every one sat down and they cut the cake and had there first dance. It was a Goan Wedding, but a Catholic wedding so not all that different from an English one. Just lots of people and dancing and fairy lights. And boy did Nat, Lisa and I stick out. The only white people there we sure felt conspicuous. After awhile. we'd been sitting there drinking beer, Joseph came over and said how glad he was that we had come, he was so happy he positively glowed. anyway he told us we had to dance none of us really felt like it but Victor was a gentleman and stood up, dragging me with him so at least some of us would have danced. The only problem - everyone was waltzing - it's obviously something they all learn to do over here but I couldn't waltz to save my life. Poor Victor managed a whole set with me stumbling about and treading on his feet. Neville danced with Nat for one dance but apparently she was worse than I was. After the hellish dancing I sat back down gratefully and drank the beer in front of me far to quickly. Then we went and got some soup which was nice and then we all dragged ourselves up for some more dancing, but just general bad dancing this time, then they played some Goan folk music and Victor started trying to teach us the moves, but they were simple so we coped really well. Then the buffet was served and we all went to get some much needed food, it was after ten and we had all be told to skip lunch. The food was yummy, all Goan food - it was nice to be able to try a few different things. While we were eating Joseph brought Maria over to meet us, we were fairly certain she had been staring at us earlier - no doubt wondering who on earth were these people crashing her wedding. They didn't stay long and Nat and i went and got some desert which was ridiculously sweet. We drank more beer. and Brian finally turned up just as everyone was leaving, and after the bar had closed but Joseph spoke to the bar and we were brought over so many glasses of beer that everyone thought we were having a massive drinking contest. We were the last people out of the venue thanks to all that beer and then Neville, Victor and Brian decided to take us all to Calangute for a few more late night drinks (there is always something open in calangute as it is the major party town for tourists) so we did a bit of a drive through, which just made Nat and I glad that we hadn't bothered to go there and then sat down in this little bar and got some drinks -two rounds before they shut. We were just left there at an outside table and all the staff went home, Neville went off to a 24hour bottlo and bought more booze, which was all drunk before we finally headed back to Panjim. Nat and I got in th car with Brian as we decided that he was the one who had drunk the least and we didn't want to be stranded in Calangute. We had to wake the poor night boy up to let us in to our guest house. It has an 11pm curfew we got there at 5.30am. Great night though.