We ate eggs like no ones business last week. Yes, we were on vacation. Usually, Mr.Important (I like the sound of that, might stick to it henceforth) takes time off between Christmas and New Year every year. I have decided that instead of trying to manage and massage things otherwise, and considering Miss Smarty Pants (hmm. Interesting) also has school vacation that time, that this will be family vacation time at Kennys. This year was headed the usual way, meaning, zero planning on location and dates and flights going crazy and accomodation getting booked up the wazoo and what not. In addition our good friends returned from Sunny California to Burning Chennai assured us that they wanted nothing more than to spend vacation time with us (rather surprising, what?). So the lady in question and I went back and forth and back again while the guys did what they do on their blackberrys (i.e. work and ignore us). Finally it all came together about a week before. I sat one afternoon and charged up Mr.Important's credit card all over, and flitted across million web-sites and finally had bookings made everywhere. Oh, yes, acco needed a wire transfer and that is the only thing I asked Mr.I to do and that he could not because miraculously his money had disappeared from his bank account. I had to fill a Blue Chalan in my PSU bank for this purpose (and keep my fingers crossed that it would work. But hey. This stuff is MORE reliable than fancy online transfers, so there you have it. Granddad was right).
Goa was chosen. It was quite empty. The men asked everyone about business and asked them to estimate how much less this years was as compared to usual. And felt really smug or happy or unhappy (I could not tell) at the numbers that were bandied about. We stayed in some species of villa, which was nice especially with the washing machine and tea kettle and the snacks I took along (including several packets of nuts and dry-fruits that we get at Diwali routinely and I have to work hard to finish before the next set shows up).
I (we) won a bottle of Port Wine for my innovation involving jumping up and down and down and up again (both feet off the ground) for the entire duration of the song Sajanajivari from Honeymoon T.P.L. But I had to pee immediatly after, which was annoying. And Port Wine. Bleah.
We rented Honda Activas and zoomed all over Goa and found all the beaches and planned to shop for several things (and never did finally) and got in the water and ran till my shoes gave up the fight, and dug crabs in Baga Beach and marvelled at the various middle-aged and paunchy men walking around in VIP undies with family jewels on display (that is when they lifted up their overhanging paunches). Mr.I has taken photos of this annoying group of men sitting in the sand near the water drinking fosters from cans. They were photographing all the foreign women in bikinis and somehow a lot of them showed up within photo distance that time. They also flung their finished cans into the water. My friend & I pointedly collected them and stuck them in the sand next to them, as a hint. I wanted better closure and was going to go up and talk to them. But the VIP undies... I chickened out, wiped sand off my child and we left. I have the photo of the creep on my mobile though (YUCK).
New Years Eve party was already paid for so with typical middle class mentality ness we went there. My stomach was out after an untimely Chilli Cheest Toast so I just sat there till the organising dude bugged me about dancing. Some American whale-like ladies tried to come up and kiss us all but I managed to escape it while the others were slobbered over. There were some fireworks (dangerously close to us, had to hug the child and try to cover her from all sides with my large being) and so on, and finally at a bit after midnight, we left the men to their beer and took off back to the villa to chill and sleep.
The gym in the resort was a major disappointment. It felt like they had stuck a treadmill from the 1970s in that space under the stair-case that Harry Potter lived in. It was very claustrophobic. The bright coloured shirts that were manning the place did not wake up till 7 am and only then I could get hold of the key to the gym, which was annoying. I of course did not dare run outside alone (and anyway it was only one day, the rest of the days Guns and I ran together on some really fun routes).
The flights were as nightmarish as expected. On the way out first of all I had to dig deep into my patience-pocket and be really zen about the fact that our flight was about 6 hours late. Mr.I went ballistic and got us a refund on that one and got us booked on another one and that we were wait-listed on and finally we reached there at 8 pm as opposed to 1 pm. On the way back the airport was a zoo and people were cutting the security line left right and center and my zen state was gone by then and I exchanged caustic words with this young rich looking couple who shamelessly cut the line. I mean there were old people and people with small children and people with not-so-small children (i.e. ourselves) waiting patiently as really, the airport is small and under-staffed and too many flights taking off at same time, and what not, and here these people think nothing of being uncouth. If there is one thing that is very clear, it is that on average we lack civic sense. Paan-spitting. Chips packets. Gutka packets. Cutting lines. Shouting. Shoving. (& befittingly, I saw Shakti Kapoor in the airport, he looks like a carpet).
But hey! We saw dolphins! Crabs! Seagulls! Got sun-burned (at least I did, despite the sun block. Its still itchy). Ms.Smarty Pants had a ton of fun! I made a crossword (for the other child). It was fun! It charged me up for the year. And though we are friends from a long time ago, we had the best time together in a long time (the last time was when we were single - i.e. no children - and we hung out at their beautiful house in California), and I am really really happy to have found them again, and the child, oh that girl is just too wonderful for words. I love her immensely (and her metabolic rate exactly matches mine, how cool is that?). It was relaxing for Mr.I (which was critical considering this schedule in 2008), great for me of course, but very perfect a thing for mine child, with child-company, and loving adults, and the beach and of course parents in vacation mode. I think we will all treasure these memories for a while...