The finishing touch is a session in the hair salon, crowded with local women sitting under plastic hoods, the design of which would be called "retro" in London. I have declined the the shampoo and rather ferocious set that seems to be all the rage here, and opted for a wash and blow dry. I brace myself for the usual questions about my private life, but Michelle has other ideas. She grew up in London and wants to talk about what's happening in the UK. We gabble on, ignoring the trellis of hanging wires and the shiny pale pink paint on the walls.
The best bit is still to come, however. I have been in Claudina's for about three hours, but my bill is less than a fiver - even with a tip. I float out into the hot, dusty street feeling like a millionairess. Claire Gervat
Charter flight operators to Goa include Inspirations (01293 822244) and Somak Holidays Direct (0181-422 9966).