Our final day in Goa! My desire for the lazy atmosphere of beaches and pool side vacationing has long passed. I am excited to get back to the bustling city of Delhi where I hope to find something with a bit more air of adventure. That is why I planned this trip, after all.
Check out is 11am, and our flight doesn’t leave until 3:30, but Ilona is feeling well enough to leave the room so we go for a long breakfast down the street from our hostel. The one thing I will actually miss about Goa is the Indian Kitchen. The quirky room we stayed in was so sweet, and I can’t pretend I didn’t like having a pool in the backyard for me to take a quick dip in when I was overheating, which was more often than not.
After our breakfast we get in a taxi to the airport. We are slightly concerned because the ticket they gave us when we booked our flights only had my name on the return ticket. We were preparing for the possibility that Ilona would be stuck in Goa forever. Luckily the airport staff members figured it out and let us both board the plane, but it took a few of them to look it over before they decided to accept it. Close call.
While we’re waiting for the plane to board, Ilona buys a lychee drink with chunks of white lychee fruit floating around in it. It reminds me of those Aloe drinks that I tried once and hated, solely because of the chunks. She can’t stomach the juice because it is too sweet, so I try it, thinking I will also hate it. Wrong. It is probably the most delicious, heavenly juice I’ve ever had. Ever. The chunks of lychee are strange at first, but I start to welcome the surprise of texture and extra flavour in my yummy pink juice. I read the label to find that it is produced in Thailand, so in other words I will be drinking this juice every day… for the next 45 days. Perhaps I will bring a case home. That’s how much I love it.
The plane ride, like all of the planes I’ve been on, was awful and filled with people kicking chairs, crying children and even one child who decided to become physically ill when we were landing… At least that was at landing, not take off, I would have died.
We are due to meet Dolly (family friend living in India) for dinner tonight, and she has also offered us the option to stay at her home, which is extremely kind of her and of course I accept. We call to let her know that we have landed in Delhi, ask her where we should meet, and she gives me her home address. Ilona is concerned that she will offend Dolly with her inability to eat any food at dinner, so decides to opt out of the dinner and accommodations for the night, and goes to room in the hotel we had previously been staying at in Delhi. Her plane leaves for Thailand tomorrow and I won’t see her again before she goes, so we say goodbye for now, until I arrive in Bangkok on the evening of the 30th to meet her.
I get in a cab, and hand the driver a piece of paper with Dolly’s address. I am to stop there and drop off my things, then go for dinner. As per usual the cabbie tells me he knows where he is going, but starts to get lost as we approach the area. After about 10 minutes of aimless driving around and asking people on the street to help us, the cab finds Dolly’s apartment. I am greeted by a young girl about my age wearing a long green shirt and matching pants, both with traditional gold Indian embroidery stitched into the fabric. She helps me with my bags into the house, but I do not see Dolly anywhere. I ask the girl if Dolly is at home, and do not get a response. I ask her where Dolly is, hoping that re-wording my question will help her understand, if it is an issue due to the language barrier. She looks at me quite blankly, but tells me (in broken English) that Dolly has already gone. I call Dolly to let her know I have arrived at her house and to ask where to meet her for dinner. She informs me that one of her close friends children has just passed away, and she is unable to meet me for dinner, but that she will be home later tonight and we can plan to do lunch tomorrow. The young girl has prepared a meal for me which consists of rice, spiced potatoes, beef on the bone in a brothy sauce, and a curried vegetable soup. Everything is delicious and I am starving, having missed lunch, so I appreciate it even more. I am so happy to finally have a true, and fantastic India meal!
I see a very cute baby in a cradle at the top of the stairs, and I ask if the baby is hers. She says yes, and tells me that he is 6 months old. I ask her name, but she doesn’t understand me. At this point I am unsure of wether or not she is Dolly’s daughter, or just a woman sharing the living space because it is a large apartment style building and I know Indian living is much more crowded than Canadian living… It’s all very confusing. I don’t know how to ask, mostly because of the language barrier, so I help her clean the dishes in silence. Afterwards I go to my room and watch Vampire Diaries and Grey’s Anatomy dubbed in Hindi.
I am alone and awkward, but so happy to have been invited and welcomed into their home after only having met Dolly twice before.
She and her husband arrive home and make me eat more food even though I’ve already had dinner, but it’s hard to say no because it’s so good! Dolly arranges for me to do some sightseeing and market shopping in Delhi tomorrow which I look forward to. I barely got to spend any time in this city when I first arrived, so I’m happy that I have the extra time now to fit in all that I can before I go off to Thailand, on an entirely new adventure!