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Going, going, Goa

The Goa Express pulled into Madgaon station at about 7:15 this morning, only slightly late. I had no idea where I was going to stay, so, while on the platform, I retrieved my Lonely Planet from my backpack and found that it only recommends one hotel in the town (favouring, instead, the beach towns) – the Residency. So I went there, but it was full. The lady at reception (ladies on reception! This really is different from the north of India) directed me to another hotel just down the street: Hotel Saaj.

The room is possibly a bit pricy at 450 rupees (plus 25 rs tax), but it’s OK. The TV has the best range of channels yet – CNN, BBC World, Animal Planet, Discovery and National Geographic in English. I showered and shaved … no, in fact, I shaved and showered – the distinction is important. Went down for breakfast and the waiter singularly failed to understand anything I asked for. Eventually, with the help of another member of staff, he took my order and I received my cornflakes toast and omelette (I had to ask for my tea – the most important part of any meal – again). My omelette came with two spoons. I asked for a knife and fork, and he brought me two forks. I asked for a knife and he seemed to indicate that they didn’t have knives, but he went to his cupboard and brought me one anyway.

The two Americans I was hoping to hook up with while I was here had their train cancelled and couldn’t get another. Which is a bit of a disappointment, but at least their plans to come to Goa and invitation to hang out here made me make some intelligent plans for the rest of my stay. Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to do with my two days here.

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