And So it Grows!

7.1485280938.our-gang-at-cubaAnd So it Grows!
Patnem, India

Patnem, India

The last few days have been beach days. Quiet. Uneventful. Hot. Well, I say uneventful, but our numbers have greatly swelled and we are now a major mob force in the village. Up in the Tubki, we have the Cyprus 8. Newbies to Goa. Newbies to India in fact. Now settling in after about a week. Getting into the rhythm of the place. At Marylyn and Clive’s – The Eve Resort — we are now the Eve 8. Bob and I have been joined there by Bob’s cousin Susan and her husband John – both of whom came last year for 2 weeks and liked it so much they are back for much longer this time. They arrived yesterday with their close friends, Nick and Jan, both India newbies. We ate with them on the beach last night and as if to celebrate, it was a bumper night for fireworks. Then today, Joseph and Janet arrived. Our oldest Goan friends. We met in early 2011, on the beach at Salida and have been firm friends ever since. They have stayed with us in Kent. We have visited them in Devon. A lovely, lovely couple. They haven’t been for the past couple of years as they have recently become first time grandparents to the very lovely, Joni. They arrived about 5, very hot and tired. But, they were up for a beach dinner. All 16 of us ended up at Nirvana on the beach, where a British trio, The Goats, were playing live. We have seen them many times. When we used to stay at Dinesh’s pink house in Patnem our neighbours on the roof for a couple of years were a couple called Mark and Kate. Mark was an ex headmaster and a rather brilliant guitarist and singer. He is a mainstay of the Goats. Anyway, they were playing music of the 60s and 70s mainly. Very pleasant to listen to as we ate dinner and quaffed our g&ts. I had a palak paneer (spinach, garlic and curd cheese chunks), Bob had chicken biryani with a roti bread. Plus 3 g&ts, it all came to about £12. Nirvana is not the cheapest or the best food on the beach. Clearly they subsidise the music fee by upping the food charge. But it’s ok, the food is ok.
Towards the end, some beach children came and did an act fire-eating and walking a tightrope. They then come around with a hat. I am very conflicted about what to think about this. On one hand, I feel these little children (maybe they’re 6) should be in school during the day and at night resting at home, not engaging in dangerous activities. So I shouldn’t encourage it by giving them money. On the other hand, clearly they have nothing and this is the way the family makes money. What to do? No solution seems entirely satisfactory. We gave them some money. At home you’d call the social services. Different world here.

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