First thing we do, hire Activas. Cheaper than bikes, and stop you from overspeeding when drunk. And drunk you will be, sooner or later, becasue the booze prices will knock you off your feet even before the liqur will. RP came into her own on the Activa, so I nominated her my designated driver for the trip. CB and BR also formed an inseparable pair, and one of the great motorcycling couples to go down in history through the ages, much like Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis.
So what do you do in Goa on a holiday?
Infantaria - completely awesome. Food like ambrosia from heaven, caramel custard that leaves you unable to ever eat caramel custard ever again from any other place. Filter coffee. Pork Sorpotel. Steak. Muffins. Burgers. Cheesecake.
Fried Fish at Cookie's shack, officially and unofficially the best shack of the trip. Fruit plates and honey pancakes at Casa Goa. Auntie's food at Casa Baga. And snacks, bites, nibbles, and suchlike galore.
King's beer, the local Goan beer.
15 bucks a bottle and taste-wise, way ahead of Kingfisher, in spite of Vijay Mallaya's house on Baga road.
Tequila and cocktails served up by transvestites at Xavier's shack, also a karaoke bar.
Tea in the late morning lying on a soft bed at the hotel with the sun just coming in through the palm fronds. A beautifully chilled beer at Gene's, in front of my old Insti in Ribandar, while the memories come flooding back.
Snoring through the long bus ride in the Volvo sleeper... to
Snoozing through the morning in bed, listening to the sound of no traffic outside, just wind and sea, to...
Dropping off on park benches in the warm sunshine, to...
Semi-dozing on a beach chair,
watching the local kids
and women selling junk jewellery, sarongs, and scarves;
firangs sunbathing, reading, getting hit on by locals, tourists and each other;
babies get their first beach experience;
jetskis go bouncing over the waves in the distance, their engines a faint drone against the roar of the shimmering waves;
the underwear brigade do it's constitutional, between dancing in waterfalls while drunk;
dogs sleeping in the blissful snooze that only dogs seem to enjoy;
rubbing your feet in the cool sand in the shade, sensing the texture of the grains sliding, hissing, settling between your toes...
Picking through roadside stalls filled with psychedelic clothes and used jewellery.
Browsing picturesque and beautiful bookstores in the interiors.
Re-enacting DCH poses on the Aguada walls.
Watching the palms fly by as you bike through the interior roads.
Sit on a bench in the Cathedral grounds, watching the wind in the trees.
Chat on the Anjuna rocks, wondering what to do the evening, or the next day.
Walk down the beaches in the evenings,
watching the sunsets turn the sea, sand and sky to gold,
while stormclouds coming up
turn the coast's green-yellow colors neon in the setting sun's 'magic light'.
Watch palm trees swaying,
Or splash, or paddle, or wade, or simply stand there,
letting the spray fly up from the sea into your face, tasting sharp salt on your lips when you lick, redolent with the tang of the ocean. You do whatever you feel like. Dance at Tito's.
Meet old friends also dropping by on their holiday.
Make new ones (or try to) at the beaches.
Get into fights.
Do old bengali music director,
current item girl, and
seventies action hero imitations.
Reach for the sun.
Strike deranged poses.
Tell the future.
Play twister in sleeper Volvos.
But most of all... just let the worries, the tension, the phone calls, the clients, the deadlines, all disappear.