India – Part 2

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The bride and groom were so generous and thoughtful to send us on a trip before we head back to America. After spending 5 days in Cochin, we took a flight to Goa, where we stayed at the beautiful Vivanta by Taj Resort. We were traveling along with two of the groom’s friends, whom were quite a bit older than us. We weren’t sure how things would turn out; if we would get along, if we would even stick together or chat. We arrived at Goa at midnight and by the time we got settled in the resort, it was nearly 2 AM. The place was dark and quiet, but the rooms were gorgeous! It was like a sudden 5 star upgrade from where we were sleeping the previous night in Cochin. The room was bright, air-conditioned, modern, and most importantly, we had a gorgeous bathroom with an actual shower! The time spent in Cochin was great, but we were always on our feet here and there. Now, we could finally relax and have peace, without the disturbances of a city.

When we woke up the next day and stepped out of our rooms, we realized that we were in such a beautiful place! Palm trees, the sea, green grass. It was such a big contrast from Cochin that it felt surreal to be in Goa. We had a breakfast buffet with both Indian food and standard American breakfast with eggs, toast and cereal. You don’t understand, I was absolutely delighted to have an omelette after 5 straight days of masala dosa. We started getting to know our two new friends over breakfast. I must say, they turned out to be great, great company. They both had a special kind of humor and there was never a moment of boredom with them. On the first day, we toured the resort as well as neighbouring resorts. Goa used to be under Portugal authority, so many of the architecture and culture were Portuguese-influenced. We enjoyed our first beer in India and then went off on a speedboat to tour the coast. I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on a hammock and then ate dinner at a Thai restaurant! We were the only ones in the restaurant, which was kind of bizarre because the waiters were just standing around waiting to serve us only. In the middle of our meal, there was a power failure. I found it quite amusing, haha. Anyway, the food tasted great! But I might have been a bit biased because I was just craving for everything non-Indian. To my surprise, the chef was actually Thai… I thought it was an Indian cooking our meals, but I guess not! He came out to thank us for stopping by. I wonder how many customers they normally get. I hope we weren’t the only ones the entire evening.

The second day, we went on a little tour to the main attractions in Goa. It is actually a very diverse city with many religions, languages and a lot of culture. We saw many grand churches, old Portuguese homes and casino boats! They have this law where casinos are forbidden on land, so they have an entire casino boat, where you have to take a ferry to them. Really cool! Back to churches… we went into one particular church that held the body of Francis Xavier. He was a roman catholic missionary who did a lot of his work in India. His body is in a glass coffin, on full display! Apparently, his body was buried several times, but it was incorruptible. The coffin was placed at a high altitude, and I really had to zoom with my camera to see him. To be quite honest, although it was an attraction, I felt quite disturbed after seeing an ancient body. The skin on his face was all dried up as you can imagine. I mean, with all due respect to Francis Xavier, it was not a very pretty sight. I think corpses give off a weird sense of curiosity. You try your best to get a glimpse of it, but at the same time, you really prefer not to see it.

To end off our trip, we went to their local Saturday Night Market! It’s a street market selling everything you can imagine, and playing very awesome music. The place is jammed packed and you can spent hours there looking at crafty things and clothing and spices. They are opened until the late hours of the night. Thinking back, I regret not having bought more souvenirs! The next day, we flew to Bombay, spent a few hours there and finally headed on the long journey home. It was sad to say goodbye to our two new friends. They made this trip very memorable and if I could, I would do it all again! :)

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