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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Many years later…

Day 97/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise. A sea day before Goa, India.

So about 17 or 18 years ago when Richard and me first met we signed up for a cooking class at the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) in Etobicoke, Ontario where Richard was living at the time. The cooking class was called “A Taste of Goa”. Now neither one of us really knew what Goa was all about, but the class date and time suited both of our busy schedules. We showed up at the LCBO one night after work at 6pm to learn about the food of Goa. The best part of signing up for this cooking demonstration class, besides getting to eat Goan food, was that it was a husband and wife duo who were actually from Goa, India and living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The wife was the chef and the husband was a Professor at my alma mater, The University of Toronto, teaching History. The evening unfolded with the wife leading us through a cooking demonstration of the appetizer, main course and dessert she was making for the evening and then the husband started talking in between her cooking demonstrations about the importance of Goa in the spice trade and how it was ruled for many years by Portugal until India annexed it in 1961. What really interested us was the Goan food, which of course we were going to experience for the first time at this cooking class, but the bonus of learning about the history, really was the cherry on top of this class! All these many years later we are finally going to visit Goa and we are both very excited - especially because we are going to visit a Spice Farm in Goa! Our spice farm visit will bring our learning about Goa full circle back to 17 or 18 years ago, where our interest in Goa all started with a cooking class at the local LCBO where we bought our wine and spirits.

Today was a rather busy sea day with trying to finish yesterday’s blog on Cochin while listening to a lecture on the de-colonization of India and Sri Lanka. Visiting all of these post colonial countries it really opens our minds to how far the reaches of the empires of Great Britain, Portugal, and the Dutch, really were, and to what extent these countries went to try and hang onto their colonies, even though they didn’t want to be hung onto!

We had a horrible showing at Team Trivia today. I mean we only got 4 points. That’s it! Yeesh. Who knows the names of all of the characters on The Fresh Prince of Belair anyway? I’ve never seen one episode of that show, and based on the average age of the people on this ship, I would be surprised if half of them had even heard of the show!

At Art Class today I was finally able to finish my beach painting using wax and a Matte medium from the class I missed while I was getting my hair done.

I added the matte medium to the shoreline and some into the sea to look like rolling waves. A little bit of matte medium was added to the rocks too.

I was not able to finish today’s art project in class or after class, with trying to finish yesterday’s blog and going to the gym, so the baby elephant will have to wait to be finished in a couple of days when we are leaving Mumbai.

I have to add in some more trees, leaves and grasses on the horizon. I may do some more work on the water and shoreline too. A work in progress but its a good start.

I did manage to make it to the gym for an hour this afternoon. It’s always great to spend some quality time at the gym. I went during the port talk on Mumbai, knowing that we could watch the port talk later on, because it is recorded and the gym was not busy either!

I had to bring my own refillable water bottle to the gym today since we are in Indian waters and India will not let Viking hand out any single use plastic water bottles to us onboard, even while in Indian waters. We have always had disposable water bottles at the gym on each machine when we arrive to workout. It is actually a good practise not to have the disposable water bottles, since at home we always refill our own water bottles from our filtered refrigerator water. Why create more plastic for the landfill? When we went on a Uniworld River Cruise about 9 or 10 years ago, we were given a logo’d metal Uniworld water bottle and told to refill our water bottle before we went out each day. Viking has now provided us with refillable water bottles for each stateroom to alleviate the need for us to take disposable water bottles with us in India, but they are not branded ‘Viking’. I think Viking should look into the practise of providing water refilling stations throughout the ship for filtered water so people get in the habit of refilling their water bottles before going to the gym and before heading out on shore excursions. Sustainability is important and adding piles of water bottles to the landfill is not a good practise!

We had dinner tonight in The Restaurant with Lyle and Linda, our pals from Florida, from the CANUKUS (snowman building) And Gokstad (ship building) contests. We have been talking about doing something with them for the latest contest which is an ‘Icon’ building contest. Let’s see what happens next!

After dinner we went up to Bruce’s Brain Busters and we had a respectable 3rd place finish, two off tying for the lead this evening. Gene and Margaret, Bill and Donna were all on our team this evening.

So as we head for Goa tomorrow we hope that the visuals we have in our mind about this historical place that played such a big role in the global spice trade, will be positively reinforced. Goa was one of the reasons we chose this World Cruise with Viking, because we really wanted to stop here. Let’s see how it goes in Goa! We have a late 10:45am start tomorrow morning so who knows? Maybe I will finish my elephant painting before we head out on our optional shore excursion to a Spice Farm where we also have a refreshment and then lunch too! The bus ride will not be fun of course at 1.5 hours each way, but how could we not visit a Spice Farm, given our history of learning about Goan cooking and spices???

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Apr 01, 2023

You have an artist's eye + talent as well. Perhaps a new career in retirement? Looking forward to hearing about your spice farm tour.


Allan Yoshimura
Allan Yoshimura
Mar 30, 2023

How exciting c;losing the loop in Goa. 17 or 18 years ago? You are still newly weds! Enjoy Goa!

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