I stay in Palolem in South Goa which is apparently less hedonistic than the north but still has bars (I read: less 18 year old English, pissed dickheads and hippy tossers showing off their sweet fire poi skillz). It’s an absolute dream after the madness of Delhi and Jaipur. I hope I feel like that because it’s really beautiful and relaxed and not because it’s slightly more westernised and I feel safer when I see other Westerners… Probs a bit of both though I’m loathed to admit it.
I have my own room in this hostel too which, despite the damp and the mosquitos, literally feels like the height of luxury. I eat that night at a candlelit table in a nice beachfront restaurant surrounded by laughing couples and families. I’m the only one eating alone. Oh no wait, there’s a guy next to me, about 30 stone, 60 years old, gobbling what looks like a trifle. So apart from him, I am the only one. And so, given all of this, I feel a little sad but then I remember I can eat my squid and prawn chilli fry with greedy abandon, like my neighbour, with no interruptions and no judgement. So, every cloud.