Tuesday, January 3
Hawah Beach, 18:15
We asked Anib if we could have a paper delivered and, as a result, we get The Hindu thrown into the yard early every morning. I read it from cover to cover every day. I like getting an Indian view of events in India, but I also like the language, with its unique mixture of hyperbole and pedanticism. My favourite headline so far appeared in large type on page 3 of this morning’s paper.
Pilgrims trip over rope, injured
The past few mornings have begun with cloud and mist which then slowly cleared. Today started with bright sun and got steadily hotter. We spent the morning at the house doing laundry, and playing with Elvis.
The dog learned to climb the steps from the garden to the house today. It appeared to learn in one jump. Yesterday it couldn’t do it. Today, when Naa ran into the house, it ran in after her without missing a beat.
At 15:00 we got Anil’s new rickshaw to Lighthouse Beach where Irma had a henna tattoo on her leg and Naa and I finally climbed the lighthouse. We could see for miles from the platform at the top, and we dutifully took lots of pictures of the beaches, the villages, and the ocean.
We walked to Leo and met Åke there. Leo had new waiters and an odd and unwelcoming atmosphere. The waiters not only refused to give Elvis any water, they forcefully stopped Naa giving it a drink from a tap used for washing hands. I paid for the lemon soda and Sprite we had had, and the three of us left.
We walked to Santana where the staff brought a bowl of milk for Elvis without us even asking. They then kept filling it up. One of the waiters picked him up, examined him, laughed gleefully, and declared him a girl.
I found Irma on her way to meet us at Leo, and then Michael arrived, looked at Elvis, and confirmed her girliness. We stayed for a celebratory beer and some chips to wash it down.
Waving goodbye to Åke, we walk along the seafront to the taxi-rank at Hawah Beach. On the way Irma points out a tiny fish lying on the pavement that I would otherwise have missed. Its position seems seems to invite me to frame it in an almost painterly way.
At home we will eat the last of Anib’s barbecued fish and play Mimiq, a card game that Irma bought for the trip. It involves pulling faces at each other.