We’d planned on three days in Goa, but instead we vegged out for five full days, taking in sunshine, lots of food, and one another’s company. There were vendors and touts everywhere, and one guy, in particular, so wanted to sell us light-up devil horns that he gave us a twenty minute demonstration of every one of his products. Goa is supposedly “ultra Western,” with bikinis on the beach a regular sight. Not my experience. After about ten minutes of being leered at in my bathing suit, I resigned myself to a t-shirt and pants. The staff at our hotel was highly entertaining, as was the dog and Mr. Bigglesworth-like cat pair that playfully attacked one another.
My 28th birthday was spent sipping pina coladas on a beach in India with one of my favorite people. Culture, love, and more than a few gray hairs. Not too bad. But the best part of my birthday happened a few days before, on the train ride to Goa: sour patch kids. No that wasn’t the real best part (though we did demolish those in hours—thanks, Mom!). The real best part: We were bored, and Ad said, “I know something that will pass the time,” and brought out a stack of envelopes. Oh, man—letters from friends and family! You guys made me laugh and cry, and some (Connie’s) did both, simultaneously and with snorting. I miss you all so much, and it was great to have a little piece of you halfway around the world with me on my bday. 2011: best yet.
Another afternoon, we headed out to see the Haji Ali Mosque rising from the sea, where there were lots of families beautifully dressed up, and teenage boys pushing one another into the water. At Chowpatty Beach, we watched couples shyly hugging, and we spent a lot of time just walking around Mumbai, eating sweets and taking in the tightly-packed streets, the rushing motorbikes, and the fabric stalls.
Then, way too soon, Ad had to go home, and I had to leave the home of Bollywood.