28-Feb-2009

Hither and thither

The cool thing I discovered about Bombay last weekend was the number of resorts within a one to two hour driving distance. The obvious choices are of course Matheran and Alibaug. But even tiny beaches like Manori, Utan, Gorai have something to offer and in no time, I had picked out one, paid for the rooms and we were on our way to the place.

Things to remember about family resorts

1. People love listening to music on a holiday. If it involves playing your car stereo loud enough for people in neighbouring rooms to hear, so be it.
2. When the pool says ‘only lycra swinwear’ what it actually means is that men can wear Bermudas displaying their ample paunches and women can wear swim wear on top of tights/track pants and t-shirts.
3. Children in a swimming pool love to scream whether they are having fun or are scared.
4. The best way to communicate with your family visiting the pool at one end of the resort is to scream from your room at the other end of the resort

These are however generic features of all family resorts and should not be held against U-Tan which was very reasonably priced, had well maintained premises, small but warm rooms and a friendly staff. Infact, after the day trippers had left, it was absolutely beautiful to sit by the swimming pool and watch the sun set into the sea.

To balance out all the fun from saving on travel time during this holiday, work travel reared its ugly head this week, complete with early morning flights and late night returns. Which became not so ugly once I realized that I would have a couple of hours to spare for a quick sightseeing trip close by.

The advantages of visiting a fairly large company located in a semi-urban town are several. The company sends a nice car to pick you up. You are taken to their guest house where you can have another go at breakfast despite hogging on airline food. Then you can nap a bit. Eventually you land up for the eleven thirty meeting and spend the rest of the day cooped up in office. Which ranks higher than traveling two hours from town to the suburbs in Bombay for an eleven thirty meeting and spending the rest of the day cooped up in office.

Or atleast this was the plan. Turns out the driver meant to pick us up had no clue where the guesthouse was. He spent quite some time asking vendors for ‘O.S.S. Colony’. The piece of paper he carried gave clear enough directions ‘near petrol pump. Opposite Reliance Fresh’ including the road name and so on. But mysteriously enough for a small town, no one had heard of the place. The driver gave up after five minutes and seemed quite content to spend the whole day searching for El Dorado. After a good forty five minutes of circling around the same place like a devout pilgrim, we were overhead by a stranger at the petrol pump. He kindly led the way and there we were at our destination

In big bright letters it said ‘The Oasis’

No time for breakfast or nap. But colleague and I had a good long (and I suspect hysterical) laugh.