29/02/2012: My long awaited 8th birthday!

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February 29th 2012
Published: March 10th 2012
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Four years ago we moved to London and celebrated my birthday and a house warming all together. The leap year is around and it was again time for my birthday – my 8th!

So after four years the 29th of February was back on the calendar! Which meant that after three years of two (or none at all) days for people to congratulate me I was finally looking forward to THE day! But it was not to be. My mum sent me an email two days earlier, on the 27th. At least from my mum I would expect it on the right day. But a day later it got even worse! Facebook, one of the biggest companies in the world, employing thousands upon thousand of geeks does not have a single person capable of figuring out leap year. It is very simple: every 4 years February has 29 days! That is it. But Facebook displayed my (and so many others'😉 birthday on the 28th?!?! And then again on the 29th. Such joy!

Even before the trip I decided I want to spend it in Goa, as Goa is supposed to be a party place. Well, I guess I was wrong. We arrived in Arambol which is supposed to be a happening place, but party wise there was absolutely nothing going on and I do mean nothing!

I was told Goa party times are a “has been” and the only time the place really gets alive is for New Years, but not on Leap Year – how unfair. Besides that, the elections in Goa were just around the corner on 3rd of March which meant that the politicians and the police made sure that everything was done by the law, including the 11PM closing time. A few places tried to stay open longer but when the police came they didn't just fine them, that would be to easy I suppose, instead they took their tables and chairs and left behind an empty space. Smart!

Arambol is yet another of those, could-be-anywhere-next-to-a-beach city. It is crowded with tourists, shops, restaurants and has a big beach where you can rent a sun bed, get food and drinks brought to you or buy crap from women and children selling just about anything you can think of. You can also get a massage or your ears cleaned. We did none of it, really. We found a nice hut only a stone throw away from the beach hidden enough to enjoy some peace and quite and well – everything else that goes along with relaxing.

The only real task I had was to buy a new pair of flip flops. Yes, I have to break the very, very said news that the flip-flops I brought with me 10 months ago and which served me so well finally gave up. So I lost a bit of “bitching power” towards Polona, but hey, she still used five pairs on this trip, while I only used two 😊.

On Sunday we were expecting three people to arrive and enjoy the “non-partying” atmosphere of Goa (to be fair, there are things happening, starting at 3PM and lasting till 10PM but they require moving away from out hut and other energy draining things – I am old after all). Where was I? Yes, 3 people coming. Well at the end only Brane came as Iva and Ivana (women you guessed it) booked the wrong tickets. Iva somehow expected to board a flight from Delhi to Goa before she even left Zagreb. But, with a day's delay, and a bit of extra expenses the girls arrived as well. They really were a breath of fresh air and unbelievably active. They went all in. Shopping non stop, going to the beach, talking to everybody and just having a good time, while the three of us, khmmmm, played cards. Old, right? When leaving Goa I was in a 5pt lead ahead of Brane, while Polona is out-of-play already. BTW: we are playing tarok.

My bday come and went by, nothing too special at all, but I was nicely surprised by a cake (I don't eat cakes, but still a nice gesture) with 8 candles. Iva bought me another candle in a shape of the number 8, uno cards and, birthday GIRL balloons. What is it with this lately? Polona already bought me a female wind-stopper in Sri Lanka and now this? I did cut my hair in case you failed to notice.

A day later, the girls flew to Mumbai while we, on Brane's wish, went to visit the spice plantation where you can ride elephants. Brane was excited like a small kid and he chose to go for “bathing the elephant”. It was a bit weird as the elephant just moves 5 meters away from where she is tied up, a guy fills up a bucket with water, Brane climbed up and the elephant sprayed him for about 5 minutes. Riding an elephant is not much better as they just walk around the parking area, but this is the only place in Goa where you can ride them and Brane never tried it before. Maybe not the best experience out there, but hey, he got his wish and it made us all happy.

Next on the list was visiting Old Goa, which was ruled by the Portugesse in the past and a number of colonial churches and building are still there. Nice enough place to visit but not much more to say about that.

We were off to Mumbai with a night bus later in the day. Few minutes after the departure we knew why the trains are so much better than buses. They are sleeper buses, with a double bed on one side and a single on the other but it was really hard to sleep as you get tossed around all the time and if you sleep on the upper bunk like Brane did you have to be very aware not to fall out of your bed. We arrived in Mumbai two hours before schedule at 7 AM.

Till next time...happy bday to me, happy bday to me...really hope that in four years I will still be up for a good party 😊.

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