Museum Treasures 

Feeling cultured.

After our naps Matt and I headed out for dinner. We wanted to go to Viva Panjim, which is one of the most recommended places in the area. It’s only 5 minutes from the hostel, just a house that has been transformed into a small restaurant. We arrived, and there were people sat and stood outside queuing. 

Looking inside there were only 4 tables and then 3 outside. There were at least 5 tables worth of people waiting, but the waiter said it would only be 10 minutes wait. Although hungry, we agreed to wait the 10 minutes until 9pm as it was such a popular place.

It got to 9.05pm and no one had been shown to a table so we knew the 10 minutes was an Indian 10 minutes which can sometimes be 2 hours! 

As the food had been so tasty and cheap earlier, we returned to the small restaurant where we had lunch. 

We shared a vegetable noodles, dal fry and rice. It was very good food and such a good price.

Back at the hostel we sat outside with Divya for a bit, and then I headed to bed. When I entered the dorm, the new girl was in bed with a headtorch on reading. I said hi and she ignored me! I went back out and used the bathroom and then when I returned the room was in darkness. It’s the first time I have had someone not chat, it felt quite weird.

I got into bed and settled down to read and chat on messenger. The bed suddenly moved! There was someone else in the room on the top bunk!

I finally fell asleep about 1am, it’s difficult with the time difference as when chatting to people it’s only early evening for them but it’s late for me. Still chatting with G and C, still no difference and getting a bit bored now!

I woke to the girls banging around and chatting in what sounded like Dutch. They didn’t speak to me and so I stayed in bed. 

I decided today I would do something cultural. I had been on the beach a lot and then spent the past few days exploring the city.

I had breakfast and chilled upstairs in the cold hostel common area. There was no sign of Matt so I decided to go solo to the Goa State Museum. I programmed it into Google Maps, only a 15 minute walk and off I went.

The museum was interesting. A little strange. I entered, and the guy of the desk pointed me in the direction of where to start. 

The first room was stone sculptures from Goan history. There was no one else in there and it felt a bit spooky in the large empty room and all these stone figures.

The sculitres were from as early as 700AD but mostly from the 14th centre onwards.

The next room was a Christian room, with lots of Portuguese influences. These were more colourful and from later, 14th centre and onwards. Some where of know popes or saints, some were just labelled unknown. 

I then climbed upstairs and there was an empty room with lots of small square pictures around the wall of women in sarees. I think it used to have models dressed in them, but they had been removed.

Once upstairs, I was followed room to room by a security guard. He stoof outside the door of each room and watched me. I don’t know if it was so that I didn’t steal anything, or take photos but it was a bit unnerving. 

There was a room all about the printing press and the beginnging of printing in Goa.

The items then started to get slightly random, with small clay animals and metal objects that had been found throughout Goa.

There was a coin room, where it had coins from all around the world in glass cabinets as well all Goan money through the ages.

Upstairs, the corridor was being used to show some items too that didn’t fit into any other room. There was a dentist chair from 19th century, a huge lottery ball machine which had 50,000 lotto balls and was used to share out the money to the land owners, a few chariots which were very impressive and heavy looking.

It then got all a bit strange! 

I was pointed to the next room by my escort security guard. It was dark and had jungle sounds playing. I entered a narrow room which had a low ceiling. They had made a tunnel with glass cabinets on either side and above a plastic sheet to make the low ceiling. Behind the glass was fake jungle trees and foliage, as well as a plastic leopard and deer. I guess it was to show the natural animals that Goa has living in the jungle, but it was a bit of a jump from the historic artifacts.

I went through the tunnel and then turned round the corner. This time it was an under the sea tunnel, with plastic sea snakes, fish and coral displayed.

The final upstairs room was showing the mining elements of Goa, with displays of diggers and mines for stone and metal.

I decended back to the ground floor and came into the final room which was the history of the Goa, and it’s fight for freedom from the Portuguese rule.

It was filled with large photos of soldiers and martyrs with their names and how and when they were killed.

There was a large display explaining the history of the fight for freedom. I read through it and was surprised at how recent it was that the Goan’s were still under Portuguese rule and were only given freedom in 1960’s after a 400 year fight.

Being in the Portuguese quarter, I thought the streets were quaint and pretty but now knowing the history and the amount of deaths the war took, it makes me feel a bit sad. It must be a constant reminder to those that were alive and lived through it.

I walked back towards the hostel, I was so hot as the museum had no air con and just no air! I was feeling a bit too hot and knew I needed to get a drink. I passed an art gallery and cafe and so popped in to ask if the cafe was open. They pointed to the other side of the street and I found a seat upstairs on a balcony. There were fans and I was in the shade which made me feel better from the heat. 

I was given a menu and ordered a coke and a honey pancake. I felt I needed a sugar hit!

I enjoyed the shade and managed to cool down a bit, relaxing with my book.

After an hour or so I left and thought I would go and chill in the hostel for a bit. As I came up to the hostel, I bumped into Matt who was heading for lunch. I joined him as he was giving Viva Panjim another shot. This time it easy even busier! So we went back to the same place! 

I just had a coke as I had only just eaten my pancake. It was hot and stuffy inside and I felt a bit ill.

Matt suggested we buy beer and drink t in the park again. I was not in the mood to sit on the grass as I was already uncomfortable plus I thought it was stupid to go back in case the same police man saw us. Instead we got some cans and sat upstairs at the hostel in the lovely cool air con!

We were chatting and also busy on our phones, but again we had reached that stage of being happy in silence together. 

James (Singaporean) came to join us, he had met Matt the previous night once I had gone to bed. He is very chatty and quite full on. 

He has done a lot of travelling and was excited to talk about Sri Lanka.

Once we had finished the beer, and a peanut butter cookie each, we thought we would give Viva Panjim one last try!  It was 7pm and so they had only just opened and we hoped we would be able to get a table.

James had eaten a sandwich from the coffee shop as he is fed up of Indian food and had disappeared so we just went the 2 of us. Matt and I, like with Lea, are very relaxed and easy people. The hyper attitude of James felt quote tiring!

We got a table outside and we ordered a cocktail each.  It was Matt’s last night as he had a flight at 8am to Delhi. Viva Panjim is know for its pork dishes, which is rare in India. I ordered a Goan chicken curry with rice and Matt tried a spicy sausage dish. We shared the food between us, both dishes delicious and slightly spicy.

On our travels we had seen a cute little bar that was not far and as Matt hadn’t been to a bar yet, he thought he couldn’t come to Goa and not go to one!

We went back to the hostel and picked up James who had just been lying on his bed watching a film. He was very pleased with he invite and we walked slowly to the bar.

It was busy, with basically the bar being someone’s porch that had a counter and a few stalls in, and then some plastic chairs lined the street outside. On the other side of the road, people sat on their scooters drinking.

They ordered a rum and coke each but I stuck with a beer. I had arranged to Skype mum and dad at 11.30pm so couldn’t get drunk!

We met Marie (Welsh) sat at the bar, and she joined us outside. She was on a holiday, having done a yoga retreat down south for a week and then had come up to Panjim for 4 nights, leaving the next day.

Marine was fun and had the British sense of humour and sarcasm.

James had been telling us stories of how he had been the fastest drinker in the hostels, stories of shot competitions where he had beaten British and Brazilian travellers (reminded me of Nellie!). 

However, after his second rum and coke he was quite obviously drunk and made a very awkward joke about disabled people that none of us laughed at. Matt suggested he helped him out with the third drink so that he didn’t get any worse.

James went to speak with the owner of the bar and Marie said he was quite the character. I explained I had only met him that afternoon!

We decided it was best to got back to the hostel, it was nearly 11pm and I needed to be back to speak with mum and dad.

Back at the hostel, James became quite emotional and explained he had a 6 year old daughter and was divorced. They had only married because of the pregnancy and he felt it was all a mistake. It was quite the declaration and I felt awful for him, he said he felt his daughter was a burden to him as it meant he had to be responsible for him own life so that she did not grow up without a father. I didn’t know what to say, and I hope that he never tells his daughter these feelings.

I left Matt and James chatting outside and went in to skype my parents. Mum text to say they were having problems with akyoe and so we just whats app called instead.

This was the first time I had spoken live to them since leaving. I had been in contact everyday with mum through whats app, but not yet spoken. If I’m being honest, I had been putting it off. I didn’t want to speak to them until I felt a bit more settled as I didn’t want to become homesick.

It was lovely you hear their voices, and mum had lots of questions, such as did I for get anything or had I got rid of anything as I didn’t need it? Details about the hostels and people I had met. They didn’t have any news to share, but it was just nice to hear them.

I think if it had been on video chat it would have been a bit more emotional, and so I’m glad for the first time it was just voices!

After speaking with them, I called B too. We had just a quick 10 minute catch up and then she had diner to cook. It was weird hearing about normal day to day life, I could just imagine her pottering in the kitchen and I had a small pang of longing to her be sat chattering with her as she cooked.

I went back outside and sat with the boys for a bit before disappearing to bed. Matt gave me a big hug goodbye and said I was a really cool chick which made me smile. 

I had a bit of a headache, I think from getting so hot earlier in the day and then the afternoon beers. The girls in the dorm were already asleep so I crept in.

I have had communication with him and I haven’t yet cried…progress?! When I was in the hostel in the afternoon, he was online at the same time as I was so I just asked having fun?

We had a chat about falling off scooters and him meeting his friends tomorrow. Weirdly, he said he was nervous about joining them as they are a couple. I said that I thought he would be fine, but jokingly said he should have his answer ready if they asked him to actually join them in bed. Again, it was just normal chat that we would have had before. 

I’m hoping that being with a couple will make him realise how fun it would have been and show him what he is missing out on.

We ended the chat with him going out for a beer, to which I said enjoy and thought the conversation would stop.

At 5am, he text again carrying on the conversation about beer. I know I can’t read anything into this, he’s just chatting because he was awake. Annoyingly I was as well because it was so hot! But it’s just so difficult because I miss him when I don’t speak to him but then I feel hopeful when I do.

In exciting news, I have booked my next flight onward from Sri Lanka.  I am off to Malaysia on the 2nd June! Jungles, cities and beaches! Need to sort out where I’m going and what I’m doing but just another piece of the plan conformed.

Another possible country for Sazzle to appear.

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