Tuesday, January 9
Lighthouse Beach, 12:25
We woke early in a jolly mood. I took Bruno for a walk and then laid the table on the balcony for breakfast. I also straightened both of the mats that he had twisted into balls in the night.
After breakfast Anib came to say goodbye and present us with a traditional rice measuring pot, the Indian equivalent of the boxes Mika and Camilla use to measure potatoes at the summer market. He, Asha, and Paru had also gone to the flower festival yesterday, but they had gone in the morning before the sun had reached its zenith. They had found the pot there, in the one part of the venue we never reached.
Anib arranged a car to take us to the airport, and discussed times and dates for next time. Then we said goodbye for eleven months, and Anib got on his motorbike and drove off.
While we talked with Anib, Tangaray turned up – early. When Anib had gone he turned up again – at the right time. Naa and I leapt in and set off, leaving Irma with the solitude and space she needs to do the packing.
Naa and I walked from Temple Place and realised we would arrive too early for our massages. We go for a fifteen minute walk along the alley past Spice Village. We find the second-hand bookshop, which has opened too late for us, and discover where the man who sold cds has gone. He now sells cds and tea in the same alley as the bookshop.
I stop outside Leo and take a photograph of the beach before the sun moves into position and makes it impossible. Most of the tourists seem to have left. The beach feels quiet again.
At 12:30 we will have our full-body relaxation massages. Mine have felt different every time, probably because my body changes after each one. I will leave regretting that I didn’t start earlier and fit a lot more in.
Afterwards we will notice that we have an hour to kill before Tangaray returns to take us home. We will walk back to Leo and sit down to engage in banter with Kumar. Naa will have a mint lemon cooler and I will have a papaya lassi. We will decide we feel peckish and order a plate of onion pakora.
At 14:50 we will walk back and arrive at Temple Place at the same time as Tangaray. He will find this amusing, so we will too.
After showering off the massages oils, and drying ourselves on the balconies we will return to the beach to say our goodbyes. We will start with Christine at The Village, who will tell us her and Hari’s plans for next year. They want to consolidate everything in the Pink House Hari has bought: The Village, EB Beauty, the storage space, and Christine’s living space will all move there. Christine will laugh and shrug: maybe.
Next we will stop at Spice Village where we will find Ally, Chelsea, Anu and more, getting ready for the beach party where Kumar, who owns Spice Village, will dj. They will invite Naa.
We will not find Udaya, but we will finally track down Michael. We will stop at the Sunset for a beer and a chat. He will insist that next year we must all come for breakfast at his house, and we will agree.
We will end up at Leo waiting for Naa to return from the beach. She will arrive to say she will stay the night and sleep at Chelsea’s. We will head home.
At home we will have to finish the beer in the fridge. At some point we will find ourselves saying, “thank god there’s only one more left. Then we can go to bed”.