Shopping Run!

Shopping Run!
Patnem, India

Patnem, India

On our own again! Had breakfast at the Capitol Organic restaurant at Patnem crossroads. The food is very nice particularly the omelettes, juices and bread. The service is pretty gormless though. They get a lot of things wrong – mainly language difficulties. There is one waiter (looks like Lurch) and he speaks good English but if he’s not there, it’s pot luck what you get.
Our taxi chap met us there at 930 and we headed off to Margao. We had a few things we wanted to get at Fab India. Bob wanted a couple of shirts. Some of his Indian ones from previous trips are getting a bit “well worn” and probably shouldn’t leave Goa this time. Anyway, he found two fab ones for about £8 each. Lovely cotton. Not cheap by Indian standards but very well worth it for the quality. Sizing is a bit odd. He would buy a 40″ chest at home but here it was either a 42 or a 44. This was really due to shoulder size. The only trouble with the 44 was that it fitted well across the shoulders but the sleeves were massively too long! Anyway, he found two that worked for him in the end. I wanted some of the tight Indian trousers that you wear under kurtas. They are a bit like leggings (same material) but from the knee down they are designed to be “wrinkly”. got a pair of black ones. I already have a white pair. Also bought a black patterned kurta which is just lovely and well worth £18. Picked up some of their soap. We really like the lemongrass one – perfumes the entire room – and also the orange and neroli. They last for a long time.
Then we went to a suitcase shop we’d found online. We came out with 1 medium hardshell case and a large soft bag. Our other two wheeled large cases are already on the ship. We’d confused ourselves when we checked the cases before packing and thought the soft bag was also on wheels. It wasn’t. It was a real pain humping it around in Gatwick for a relatively short distance. On Sunday though we have to get it around the airport in Goa, then again in Delhi and then from Hong Kong airport to our hotel. So… we decided we needed to buy a large hardshell case here with wheels. There was one in Palolem at the start of the holiday but the shop wanted too much for it and then sold it. Which just showed us I suppose! So…. we found a shop in Margao which is the regional rail and bus hub and a likely spot. He had a great case and we bargained him to 8100 INR which is not particularly cheap but not too bad either. It’s a nice case. Quel horreur! He mishit on the cc machine and Bob didn’t notice till he’d got the receipt but he’d keyed in 81000 INR. A BIG mistake. This guy looked sick, it was definitely a genuine mistake albeit bloody lucky Bob noticed before we left the shop. So, then he didn’t know how to cancel/reverse a transaction and he called his brother. And his brother came and he didn’t know so he rang the man at Visa who talked them through it. All was well.
After that excitement we headed off into the lovely countryside south of Margao along the coast and across all the little inlets. So very green. And brightly coloured colonial style (some are genuine) houses and bungalows peeping out of the jungle. The taxi driver took us to the main fishing port to see the fishing boats. There are still over 2000 operating out of Margao. As we approached the town they were laying miles of fishing nets out along the roadside to dry and stretch. There are so many churches in this part of Goa, most with church schools attached. A remnant of the Portugese times. Called in at another remnant on the way home: Cabo di Rama fort. Bob had never been there so we made a quick call in. Fabulous views of the coast from up there. Magnificent walls and a lot of old iron cannons. All to keep the Brits out! It worked too.
Got back about 2pm. We’d had a bit of a shock overnight. In 2010 I’d had a call from Brian, Bob’s first wife Sylvaine’s partner, to say that she had been hospitalised and then put into nursing care with early onset Altzheimer’s. He said that if Bob wanted to visit, he could but that Syl would not recognise him and probably wouldn’t remember his visit. Terribly sad as she’d been a super fit, very bright lady who ran marathons, fells and was working on her Phd. In the end Bob decided that he preferred to remember her as she was and that he felt it might distress her if he turned up. He wrote to Brian and then we moved to Kent and lost touch a bit. In 2012 some mutual friends told us that she had passed away and again Bob wrote to Brian but we heard nothing. We just assumed he had a lot on. Well….. anyway,, we had an email overnight from Syl’s sister to say that she (Syl) had passed away only last week, actually on Bob’s birthday. She had been alive until then. Poor soul, it is a dreaded dreaded disease.
Tonight we had a final dinner at April 20 for this year. Delicious as always. I had Fusion Balti which was unctuous. Walked back across the beach under the stars. A very warm night.

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