Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Good Goan Friday

So, where were we- Thursday, we went to see some temples and went shopping in Panjim. Right.

So guess what we did on Friday? We went on the tour that was organized by the hotel. We were supposed to go to the old churches in Old Goa, but because it was Good Friday (this would be the day following Maundy Thursday) the church was not open for visitors. So..... we went to see some temples and went shopping in Panjim. Sound familiar? yeah. We were not pleased, but by the time we heard this we were already captive on the bus so we had to go along for the ride. We arrived at the first stop, which was the second temple that we had viewed the day before. Since we didn't want to go into the temple again we instead walked up the road to where all of the little sales stands are and got something to drink and snack on. While doing so there was a young man who ...well see for yourself.

It is a strange (to us anyway) behavior that many Indians seem to have the need to take photos or video us, I can only assume it is because we are not Indian. While we are generally good sports about it, my daughter does not always appreciate the attention. Unfortunately, I think when I took a photo of him taking a photo of us, I only encouraged him and his group of friends. They were very friendly, I think. Chatting away in Hindi, I couldn't understand what they were saying to each other- but I am pretty sure it was Hindi. Well, we walked on and found a shady spot to sit and soon we found ourselves surrounded by a group of giggling Indian girls wanting to have their picture taken with us. Bryan got a shot as well.

OK. We're done now. Can we go yet?

So, back on the bus we proceeded towards Old Goa and drove by a cool looking site that obviously had the ruins of an old building, I think our "guide" (I am being very generous to use that term) said that it was one of the original churches of Goa. Cool! We get to stop there and check it out... wait we are still driving... are we looking for parking? Nope. We aren't stopping. Instead a few minutes later we arrive at a "Handicraft Emporium". Here we can get out and shop and use the toilet.
Rug loom at Handicraft Emporium

Well, they do have some very nice things here, but I am hesitant to buy much because we are going to go to the night market in North Goa tomorrow. It is supposed to be very cool and have the best things. Plus this place is really expensive thank you very much. So, back on the bus and we continue driving into Panjim where we stop at a parking area where there are some shops that sell cashews and feni. Our "guide" says that we can get out here and buy some of these things. Well, fine- we did want to pick some up so we oblige. Once we finish we head back to the bus and are told that we can now walk to the boat tour. This is supposed to be an optional add-on to our tour, but I think they are feeling bad about how lame this tour really is and so they decide to foot the bill for our boat trip.

So, the boat. What can I say. If you ever go on a vacation that is near a large body of water you will come across this sort of thing. Boat, music, drinks, food (sometimes), and entertainment. The boat leaves the dock, the drinking and the entertainment begin, and then at a later point the boat returns to the dock. Raise your hand if you have encountered some variation of this-

Yeah- us too.

So, in keeping with the spirit of the day the boat left the dock and then had to return right away as the DJ had forgotten his bag that had all of the music. So we set out a second time and things got hopping with some Hindi pop and an invitation for all of the children to take to the stage and dance.

As I think I have mentioned before, Indians love to dance (so do I) and they love music (so do I) and they love to do it with others at ear splitting noise levels (yup- me too!). So, the kids grabbed the stage and got the party started (Anna took a pass). Then it was time for the couples, although most couples seemed unwilling to admit they were couples, but Bryan and I decided to get into the act and we went up on stage to join the one other couple that had copped to it and so we were a couple of couples. Once the music started and we began dancing, Bryan and I doing our best impersonation of Bollywood style boogie, more couples joined us- maybe so they wouldn't have to watch us making fools of ourselves. Well, the gods were well pleased and we were soon being pelted with a blessing of rain. But our dancing was so enthusiastic that the rain came down harder and harder! (it doesn't seem to sprinkle much in India) Our audience fled downstairs (I swear it wasn't our dancing) and we all... kept dancing! We were having fun! Well, finally the DJ said that we needed to go downstairs and once the music stopped we really had no choice. So we followed the other dripping dancers to the lower level where there were no chairs, just lots of people standing around, dripping. It was raining for quite a while and we tried to make do with looking at the scenery passing to either side of the boat. The skies really were something!

Soon the rain slowed down enough that the DJ, prodded by a group of enthusiastic (and possibly inebriated) young men, started up the music again.

I should add here that there were a couple of ethnic dance performances thrown in here, Goan harvest dances and such performed by four brave locals, but we would be kidding ourselves if we said that was the real show. We were the show thank you very much! I even got my dear teenage daughter to join me on stage in the end. I think, it is possible, perhaps, that she might have even enjoyed herself (and so did I!)

"Hare Raam, Hare Raam..."

Well, the show did have to come to an end and so we returned to the dock and returned to our bus and drove for about one hour so that we could return to our hotel. What a day.


no-blog-rachel said...

WHAT??? No video?? :) Loved the story about the dancing. What fun!

Jean said...

I'm glad you were able to make the most of the soggy booze cruise and have fun with it.

Rima said...

AAAh. I miss India already. Such great pictures..especially of Hubby and you. Reminded me of an old Hindi movie.

Maya said...

Sounds like they got their money's worth for giving you the free boat ride! Boogie on!

Chitra said...

I am glad you had fun. :)

"It is a strange (to us anyway) behavior that many Indians seem to have the need to take photos or video us"
I really appreciate your spirit. And your daughter's too. :)

"Indians love to dance" That I don't think is actually true for all Indians. Actually, south Indians are the more conservative sort and wouldn't have thought of dancing and swaying away to music in public even about 1.5 decades ago. But now, the younger generation, even in South India, are a changed lot.