A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Go, Goa, Gone..

Posted by Pepper on August 23, 2013

‘Let’s go to Goa tomorrow’, Mint said to me conclusively one morning. I looked up in dismay. No, I love Goa to bits. But we had been oscillating between going and not going to Goa for the long weekend since the past 10 days. As usual, we had been unable to decide and the constant oscillation had worn me out. This time, he looked at me and said, “Let’s not change our mind again. We’ll go, pakka.”.

Okay. Fine. I hoped this call was the final one. Tentative plans don’t go too well with me. Immediately, we logged on to the dreaded irctc website to check train ticket availability, in tatkal ofcourse. But the goddamn website was down for an hour, and by the time it was active again, the tickets were sold out. That took me back to my state of uncertainty. We thought it was stupid to fly to Goa, considering how close it is to Bombay. Unfortunately, train tickets were not available. That meant we could only travel by road. And I find road travel very tedious. So was it worth going then?

Mint however, seemed quite enthusiastic about it. We would be staying in a villa owned by one of his friends. It was also seen as an opportunity to catch up with his batchmates from the MBA days. It was going to be 6 couples. Excited emails about the trip had been exchanged within the group. Seeing how keen Mint was, I decided to overcome my reluctance and go for it.

Our next debate was whether we should go by bus or take the car and drive down. I was unsure, really. Having the car would give us freedom, but it would come with the responsibility of driving the car ourselves. Honestly, I was not too confident of our driving skills on Indian highways. At the same time, I wasn’t particularly thrilled by the idea of traveling by bus. Mint on the other hand, was quite convinced we should drive on our own. After some bit of thought and consulting people who’ve done the drive, I dissuaded him and said we should stick to the bus.

Mistake. We stepped into our sleeper coach at 6 pm. At night, we noticed that the bus had halted for no reason in the middle of nowhere. The halt seemed endless. After asking around, we realised there was some dispute going on between the driver and the company that owned the bus. The driver nonchalantly told us we would not be going to Goa. He would take a U turn. A few enraged passengers got off the bus to fight it out. Mint decided to stay back, owing to his lack of knowledge of Marathi. I was pushed to the forefront. We yelled, threatened and did all that we could. The driver seemed to have agreed to get on. Only after did he start driving that we realised that the bloody guy had indeed taken a U turn and that we were headed in the wrong direction.

After driving in the wrong direction for a while more, he halted once again, in the midst of nowhere. This time, all the passengers got off the bus. What on earth was happening? We begged and pleaded and wasted another hour there. After some bit of cajoling, he agreed to get going and we were finally on our way to Goa. Phew. I climbed back into the bus and tried to get some sleep. But the bumps on the road would cause my back to ache. It was a grueling journey that never seemed to end. What was supposed to take 10 hours had already taken 18 hours. I was a mess. My neck and shoulders were sore. My back hurt. And I had a bad cold. Motion induced nausea was setting in. Finally, after hours of trauma, we reached Goa. The bus journey having taken a grand total of 21 frigging hours. Man, I could have made a trip to the US. All along, I could hear Mint saying, “I told you we should just drive on our own”. Sigh.

Once we reached, things got a lot better. We were welcomed with loud sympathetic chatter. Everybody wanted to know, ‘What happened?’ How could it take you 21 hours when it is supposed to take just 10?’. We don’t know, we said. The bus just kept driving. Unfortunately due to the delay, we had lost a lot of precious time that was supposed to be spent in Goa.

Nevertheless, Goa, as always, was rejuvenating and beautiful. People shy away from going to Goa in the rains. But I think the rains add a special charm to the place. The lush green seems more lush after a downpour. The beaches are less crowded. The air smells fresh and clean. It is gorgeous.

This trip, once again made me realise that I am quite an introvert. And that feeling is not very nice, especially if you are in a big group of people that has most girls and some guys jumping, squealing and clapping at the opportunity to go dancing to clubs late in the night, to come back home early in the morning and yet not sleep, to keep the loud jokes and banter going, to play games till the sun is up and never run out of enthusiasm to be with each other every minute.

Me? I can’t handle being with people all the time. After some time, i want my space. I had a good time in my own way. I enjoyed the food I ate, I marveled at the sights around me, I took walks at the beach, I read and I rested. I suspect most people around me would have labelled me as ‘boring’ when I found myself a chair to slump into when all others were dancing in a club. I was tired. I enjoyed the music and i wanted to sit back. I did it without caring of what it looked like. After getting home around 4 am when others decided to play games, I excused myself and said I wanted to sleep. So I did just that. Boring and dull, perhaps that is what I seemed like. Mint on the other hand, if full of energy and ever ready to party, play and socialise. So that really does make me the only odd one out in most groups. Sigh. The differences..

All said and done, I did have a wonderful time. My favourite part of this holiday was a trip to some fort. We were high up there, in an open expanse. It was raining. We stood at the edge of the cliff and looked at the sea and the rolling mist, with the wind in our hair, the sea and the rain in our eyes. Looking down from the edge of the cliff did make me dizzy. We were standing on a little stone on the very edge. One little slip and we’d be engulfed by the valley. To add to my worries, Mint as usual wanted to fool around and take pictures of him jumping from there. Instead of fretting, I asked my nerves to remain still. I took a deep breath and let the beauty wash over me. When I think of it now, I can still feel the cool drops of rain..

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The swing I spent my morning in..

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The huge balcony of the villa. Goa is so green..

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Picture taken by a friend. I couldn’t resist putting it here..

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One of my perfect moments from the trip..

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The breathtaking colours..

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Where we had a lovely meal overlooking the sea..

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21 Responses to “Go, Goa, Gone..”

  1. Santulan said

    As long as you felt rejuvanted by it.

    Will you be now not using the said travels company again?

  2. R's Mom said

    Sorry gave you bad advice..please apologise to Mint from my end!

    Loved those pictures..

    and hey its not only you..even I am like that..cant just feel very comfortable in a group..I need my space…but I guess…if everyone was the same, variety in world would be lost no?

    • Pepper said

      Arey, mad or what RM. I asked you for your opinion, and then chose to go with it. Why should you apologize? A lot of other people, including my parents, had the same opinion. Other than that, I think we were plain unlucky. It just happened to be our bus that had such a problem. Otherwise people travel comfortably in 10-12 hours.

      And no yaar, variety is good to enjoy only in a diverse group.. If everybody in a particular group is exactly the same, wanting to do the same thing, then the one who is different does end up feeling odd and cannot blend in seamlessly like the rest do.

  3. Loved the pics!!! Is it fort Aguada?

  4. Awesome yaa. After all the drama, Goa toh panch gaye tum log. My first trip was more or less in the same vein as the bus reached late. Now, you inspiring to write bout my first Goa trip in December 2011 on new year eve. It’s fun, nonetheless and Goa rock. Have u tried Palolem beach in the south? It rocks:)

  5. Boiling said

    I would be considered very boring by hose standards too 😉

  6. Ashwathy said

    Been planning to take a road trip to Goa. Should happen by end of this year. Will learn from your experience and not try the bus. Although I guess in your case you may have been just unlucky to get into one that caused you so much trouble.

    You an introvert? Really? Hmm… I guess it could also be about changing interests in time… I don’t look forward to partying as much as I did some years back….

    • Pepper said

      Lol, no man, changing interests it is not. I was never big on partying, and that remains till date. So there is no ‘change’ at all. This is not about my interests, this is about my experience with people in general. I feel exceptionally stressed out by the mere idea of spending time in a big group. Sometimes, it doesn’t even have to be a ‘bit’ group. Mint actually has to keep coaxing me to come out for dinner with a friend, whereas I’ll be dreading the amount of effort I’ll have to put in conversing, wishing I could stay home in bed with a book. It is how I react to his suggestion of meeting people about 90% of the time 😦

  7. Jyotsna said

    Beautiful…. love the way you write… 3 posts in 3 days… hurray!!!!

  8. Little Fingers said

    The picture of you too look so sweet, I am glad you had a relaxed time after the initial glitches. It’s ok to be different from the crowd , do what makes you happy and make you feel you . Hugs!!

  9. smiles32 said

    I went to Goa some time back and it took me frigging 18 hours by the bus..i think we ought to stop taking bus to go to that beautiful city..!!

    FInd my entry..By the same name! 😛
    http://brightsunshines.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/go-goa-gone/

  10. Childwoman said

    I love Goa in the rains. I was there couple of weeks ago for around four days. And had the most awesome time. Biked everywhere. Got drenched in the rains! Its was beautiful.

    We went by flight, because I knew it will just take us 2 hours to reach there by flight and wanted to use that bonus time saved on enjoying the trip. It was expensive but it made travelling and the booking hassle free and totally worth it.

    The pics look fab, and am really glad you had a good time!! 🙂

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