On December 25th 1972 I was in Margao in Goa. I think we'd expected Christmas in Goa to be a matter of relaxation and swimming, but it turned into non-stop socialising.
Earlier in the week we were in Margao looking for car parts and were stopped in the street by a Finnish woman who noticed the SF sign painted on our roof-box. She was married to a Goan man and living in Margao and they kindly invited us to Christmas lunch. This turned out to be a most sumptuous affair, a roast suckling pig (possu) stuffed with all sorts of goodies and washed down with cashew fenny and wine. Our hosts had a son about eight years old; he spoke Finnish with his mother, Portuguese with his father, English with the two of them together, Konkani with the other kids around, and Marathi formally in school; he was also learning Hindi as the national language and had just started French as a first foreign language; he would start a sentence in one language, switch to another and then tail off into a third.
There was no question of going back to the spot between Baga Beach and Calangute where we'd been staying after all the food and alcohol, so we went out to a bar for more fenny before coming back to our friends to stay the night. The next day we made a quick visit to the then empty expanses of Colva beach, had another go at the possu for lunch, and then set off back north. The ferry across the river had a long queue so we took the scenic route through the hills, through Ponda and the Hindu villages and got to Mapusa around dusk, still in time for our next engagement.
One of the addresses we'd been given in Bombay turned out to be a judge and we were announced at his office earlier in the week as "two hippies to see you". He turned out to be charming, when he realised we had not been arrested, and invited us for Boxing Day supper. We were treated to vindaloos of prawns and duck as genuine as I am likely to find anywhere and an appearance by Father Christmas. We managed to drive back to our spot on the beach in the dark.
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