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Chapter 11 - Goa

Goa Travel Blog

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Ma' becomes unlikely entrant to India's 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!'

CHAPTER ELEVEN
Goa

Lascivious [luh-siv-ee-uhs] adjective 2. arousing sexual desire

Parting ways with Camille, I caught a morning bus in Kolhapur which eventually dropped me off somewhere in Goa a little after 9:30pm. Where in Goa exactly I wasn’t sure, nor cared cos my intentions were to hop immediately on another bus and get myself to Goa’s airport and kip the night in their arrival lounge. I had just arrived after all, if by bus. Only when I hopped off the ride I had several taxi drivers gloating to me that the busses had all stopped running for the night, despite it only being 9:30pm.

The Indian Army Officer felt the need to address the new recruits choice of camouflage...
Admittedly the bus station looked a little dormant, however if it’s one thing life has taught me it’s never to trust what a taxi driver tells me – especially if they’re from India. Or Eastern Europe for that matter. Offers to take me the 30km ride to the airport on the back of a motorbike were rejected as I made the preferred journey to a restaurant to grab a chicken vindaloo. Once Priority Number One was sorted, I waited at a busy part of a main road in the hope of catching a taxi that was dropping off a fare and was going to make their way back to the airport in search of more customers. My idea was to catch a bargain 200R ride back with them. Worst case scenario is I wait until the busses started running again at 6am.  Sat on my backpack under a street lamp reading a book I patiently waited for the opportunity to come to me.
Appears Ma' approves of the local smokes...
‘Hey!’ a dude shouts as he pulls his motorbike up next to me, ‘You shouldn’t hang around here, the police will get you’ Looking up to see a lad in his twenties followed by another similar ages mate on another bike, I asked him what he meant. ‘Waddya mean?’ was how it went. ‘The police come here’ he re-informed me. ‘And…’ encouraging him to elaborate on this piece of information. ‘And they get you’ was the dramatic conclusion. ‘What will they get me for? Am I doing something wrong right now’ I seemed innocent enough I reckoned. I’d been in much more compromising positions that sitting on the street reading a book.
Virgin Airways unveil their new Arachnid Boeing 747
Evil Kenevil tells me that the police will go through my bag and possibly confiscate my passport, thus leaving me fucked. ‘You know’ he says, struggling to choose the correct English words, ‘Sometimes police…’ he stammers. ‘You mean the police can be cunts’ I assisted with a wry smile. ‘Yeah, that’s right!’ he smiled. ‘And also this area is very bad. People will see you by yourself and forcibly take your bag.' Apparently I underestimated the worst case scenario when I thought all I had to do was hang about for a bus. ‘Okay’ I said. ‘I was just waiting here to see if I could catch a ride to the airport.’ Might as well test the waters hey? Venkey says he’ll call up a mate and see what he could do. 10 minutes later I’m speeding on the back of a motorbike taking me to the airport for a 300R. Rocking up at the airport I found I wasn’t allowed inside the building to make my bed until six the next morning, leaving me with not much else to do but find a quite spot to sit and write this lot up. Soon staring at the screen just like you lot are right now, I could see from the corner of my eye three Indians coming straight for me. There goes the peace, I thought. As per usual with Indians and other people’s laptops, namely mine, they stood to my side and began reading the screen before even acknowledging my existence. ‘May I help you?’ I kindly ask whilst closing the laptop. The tallest of the three lads, all in their twenties, asked if I had any women on my laptop whilst pointing to a very personal area on his body. The dirty dog was asking if he can see porn! From one dirty dog to another I said I did, though it would cost him. The guy hardly flinched as he pulled out his wallet and tried to hand over 30 rupees. ‘Nah dude!’ I said, ‘It’s gonna cost more than that’
‘How much?’
‘One hundred rupees’ I said. I only chose the figure as a way to get him to bugger off and leave me alone. However, when he handed me over a hundred note I was obliged to show him something. Initially going for a Japanese blue movie I for some reason have on my laptop, I suddenly remembered I had a really crap homemade Spanish porn film hidden in my music files somewhere. Retrieving it, I let them get on with watching one of the worst porn movies ever made. But! It had everything required to be a porn movie and somehow I didn’t think these lads had ever seen many a porn movie – they’d probably appreciate this garbage. It involves a very overweight, greasy haired Spaniard who for some reason is wearing novelty buck teeth and insists on screaming like a pig at irregular intervals. Half an hour later and once the money shot was completed, I casually told the lads I had to get on with the important task I was doing when they arrived, but the tall dude was having none of it. ‘Give me my money back’ he demanded. ‘We start work at 3am. You should show us movies up until then, otherwise give me my money back.’ My clock had only half past midnight. ‘Mate’ I said, ‘I’m not here to keep you entertained until 3am, no bloomin’ way. If you’re stuck for things to do before 3am, then don’t arrive to work so early. You wanted a movie, I showed you one. You want to see another one and I’m saying nah mate’ This didn’t cheer him up much and again he demanded his cash back. Now without sounding like a cunt, there was certainly a role reversal between me and India I was enjoying at this moment. ‘Look’ I reasoned, ‘I was writing a mail and you wanted to watch a movie. I didn’t want to watch a movie, but you practically insisted on watching one by handing over your money. So I let you and now it’s finished.’ Our conversation was going around in circles until he made the comment about me being English and posh with money. Clearly this was another Indian with stereotypical views on the Brits, thus giving me the proper excuse to end this conversation. ‘Posh?’ I said. ‘The only reason you said what you just said is cos I have white skin. What you said right now has really offended me.’ I told him. ‘Good’ he replied. ‘Good that you offended me?’ I asked. ‘Yeah’ he goads. Giving me the excuse I needed, I stood up to grab my bag and say ‘This conversation is over’ before relocating my ass to the canteen and spending one hundred rupees I recently acquired. At around 4am and safe in the knowledge the sex addicts were busy away working at whatever it is they do when they’re not paying backpackers to watch porn, I found a concrete slab to roll out my matt and get some hours kip. Four hours later I’m being awoken by a security guard telling me I could no longer sleep in such a public view. It was right between the international and domestic arrival exits I must admit. Hoping to get inside the arrivals lounge and find a big green plant I could hide behind and gain a few more sleeping hours, the security were insisting I paid 40R for an entry ticket. I decided my 40R would be better spent on coffee in a larger restaurant that had since opened from when I first arrived in the middle of the night. And it was in there I waited for several hours until my families flight arrived at 2pm. Coming from Delhi, the information relayed to me on the screens was telling me there were no flights coming from Delhi at 2pm, so I figured the flight was probably delayed and it was going to be either the 2:40pm or 2:45pm flights making their way. I just waited and waited, waited until they arrived and jumped in a taxi before giving me a chance to spot them. First I knew of it was when I received a text message from my Sis, Maz, telling me they were in a taxi on their way to the resort we were staying in. I was reading this outside of the arrivals exit thinking to myself, ‘That was a good trick, how’d you do it?’ I had no credit on my trombone to tell them to turn around and pick me up, and was just thinking to myself how I could have put the last 17 hours to better use when the letters ‘MUM’ displayed the identity of an incoming call. ‘I’m at the airport!’ I managed to shout before their taxi turned onto the motorway. And from that call I was reunited with my family for the first time in over two years.

Part Two
Touring the Source of My Diarrhoea

Displaced [dis-pleyst] adjective 2. moved or put out of the usual or proper place

It was great seeing them again and the cab journey to the resort gave us the chance to catch up on everything we’d being doing since we last chin wagged, which wasn’t all that much to be honest as we chin wag regularly enough as it is. Arriving at Goan Heritage Hotel I could immediately see why the place was given a three star rating, the place looked proper posh. Once past security, whose job for the day was to open the large double gates to allow vehicles in and out, my attention was turned to the bar beside a very blue pool. Surrounding the pool were three buildings where us guests stayed, each room having a balcony. The open side to the pool led to a green where weddings were held and beyond that was Calangute beach. Beyond Calangute beach is the Arabian Sea and beyond that even further is Oman. Not that any of that info is relevant. For the last week I was half joking with Camille and HJ that I was going to have trouble adapting to being in a resort, unfortunately I was paying little attention to the half serious side of me that triggered the joking in the first place – Del ain’t a fan of beaches and everything coming with it, including resorts. From the very first day it felt strange, not what I was used to at all. Upon the second day whilst sitting on a deck chair attempting to ignore the opposite view of four overweight, over aged westerners on a quest for skin cancer and trying to ignore the screams of children splashing in the nearby pool, I realised I was not enjoying any of this at all. Of course it was great being around my family again, but the place I found myself in at this moment was too stereotypical. It was like being on the set of the unfunny ITV comedy programme Benidorm. Admittedly from a point of view I was being ungrateful, as my mother and sister hadn’t had a chance to see me in two years and decided to use their holidays to come see me in India. Plus they were thus far refusing to let me put my hand in my pocket to pay for anything. That said, I couldn’t escape the fact I had been plucked out of my normal way of life and put into an environment I despise. Plus I get pissed off and offended when people pay my way, it makes me feel like shit. There was clearly a clash of cultures between me and my family. By the time day three was spent walking around the beach of main Calangute, its stalls and being harassed by Indian’s every few feet trying to sell jewellery, taxi rides, food, water sports, massages, handcrafts, rooms and drugs I realised I was desperately unhappy. With my moral plummeting I was at risk of isolating myself from my family and their friends, Indian Ashish and his pregnant wife Chandni along with Ashish’s sister Smita and her Irish partner Damian, who’s not pregnant. What’s more was it was starting to happen an all. Whilst the gang were happy to sit on the beach or by the bar and do nothing, inside I was going crazy cos there was nothing to do. Night wasn’t offering much improvement either as we went out to party at a nightclub called Havana or something. There’s only so much Lady Gaga and Rihanna I can listen to and I surpassed it by about three hours. If it wasn’t for the fact Ashish, Maz’s mate, paid my entry fee I would have turned around and left immediately instead of waiting until 3am before bidding farewell to everyone and walking the 3kms back to the resort. This was no good at all – I was coming across as a stubborn 14 year old boy who was unfortunately old enough to make his own opinions without getting told off or bribed with money for the arcade machines. Walking around Goa earlier that day taught me one essential lesson – I had to get the fuck out of here once my family were back on the plane. Somewhere decent, cultural, Indian and as far inland and away from Goa as possible. Step forward Hampi when the time comes.

As the days went by things gradually improved, mostly my attitude to things I guess as I adapted to beach life. I still despised watching my family pay inflated rates for bland restaurant, cab rides and handcrafts, however we were now visiting more places like Anjuna Market and the Tropical Spice Plantation. This is where all those spices that are responsible for me spending the majority of my first three weeks in India sitting on the khazi taking a watery shit are grown. To get to the plantation, besides the obvious transport, entry fee and the dozen of other things I could mention, you also have to walk across a long wooden bridge. It’s all very I’m A Celebrity, though we’re not celebrities. And even if we were the most we could expect is a small feature in OK! Magazine. Waiting on the far end of the bridge was a chick who was eyeing us with interested enthusiasm, all to be expected really cos there was fuck all anyone else here doing the tour. Reaching the chick she gives me a necklace made of binded flowers, the sort Mr T would wear if he one day became a homosexual. Then she dipped her index finger into some red power and prodded me right between the eyes leaving a red dot. I’m still in discussions with my lawyer about this, but apparently it doesn’t mean I just married her. And if I did then she’s obviously a Mormon cos she went and did the same thing to my Ma’ and Sister. Before going on the tour, we were sat down and given a lemon grass tea along with a menu of the various products available to buy, all of which contained spices grown at the plantation. These spices were amazing, they apparently could do anything they could as products included Memory Tea, Hair Loss Shampoo and a Viagra type herbal pill designed to put a bit of lead in your pencil. That last one works a treat an all, I bought my Ma’ a whole bottle telling her it was to aid digestion after meals and she’s since grown a penis bigger than mine. After waiting for more people to join us for the tour, namely one, we set off to discover exactly what it is that goes on behind the high barbed wire walls of a spice Plantation. Basically, they grow shit. I learnt the spices vanilla, cumin and coriander are the most expensive spices grown in India However don’t hold me to that as I was only half awake during the tour from a previous nights lack of sleep, so I’ve probably learnt all this shit wrong. Much more interesting than this though was the ant war I seen going on between and army of red and black ants. It was a full on riot this was, between the little pests and if they had the technology they surely would have been shooting tiny flare guns at each other. Watching with amazement, it soon became apparently that the larger red ants were kicking the blacks arse – if they have one. I’m not sure if they do you know. Going back to the ant war, the reds also vastly out numbered the blacks so they were probably practising Catholics, practising Catholics with a taste for meat as each black ant was between the jaws of at least three ants before, ‘Please, come on and follow me’ Ah yeah, the tour guide and the whole spice tour thing. Towards the end of the tour we were introduced to a guy called Jungle Man. It’s his job in the plantation to climb trees and using only a small rope wrapped around his ankles he bunny hopped his way up a round tree trunk at was at the top in a matter of seconds. Then Tarzan Boy starts swinging his body back and forth causing the tree to look like it’s being hit by a hurricane before coming into reach of another tree and deciding to hop onto that one. Very Impressive it was! ‘And how do you think Jungle Man gets down?’ our tour guide challenges us. ‘He falls down’ was my effort, before watching Jungle Man loosen the grip around his ankles and slide 10 metres down the tree trunk like he’s a member of the London Fire Brigade sliding down a pole to answer an emergency call of a stuck grandmother in a tree. Come to the end of the tour we saw the advantages of arriving at such an unearthly hour in the morning, around 10am. The plantation had since become packed with fellow tourists and more significantly, coming early allowed us first dibs on the food buffet they laid out for us.  

Part Three
Indian Scooter’s Have Shit Brakes

Culpable [kuhl-puh-buhl] adjective 1. deserving blame or censure; blameworthy

After a few more days of beach life it was time for my Ma’ an Sister to return to their lives on the other end of the world. Mine was continuing on the sunny side up and it was going to be joined with some great company, posted by Condor Airways and coming all the way from Germany. Carina is a chick I first met in Cairns, Australia about nine months earlier. She was the housemate of a mate of mine, Andrea, who I popped in to see and chat about the three month road trip across Kangarooland we had lined up. Deciding the trip sounded fun, Carina chucked in her job and chucked her belongings into my car Agent Zero and told us she was coming along. Needless to say this was my sort of girl. Over the next three months and 14,000 kilometres of Australian tarmac and dirt road, we bonded and a relationship came about. Come the end of August we were both at Perth Airport, she was destined for Germany, I was destined for Japan and the relationship was destined to be doomed. Or at least until we met again, which was a 4am in the fucking morning back outside Goa’s airport again. One of the great advantages on travel in India is everything is always delayed, it’s hardly Japan yo is it? So say you’re to meet your friend who’s leaving Europe and scheduled to arrive at Goa airport at 4am, you can rest assured you won’t have to arrive to greet her until 10am. At 10am I arrived at Goa airport to catch Carina who literally just walked out of the arrivals door. Okay, so the delays wasn’t all India’s fault as her plane leaving Germany had been grounded due to heavy snowfall, but I’m sure India somehow contributed to the six hour delay somehow. Either way, after all that time being stuck on a plane, Carina was going to need a break of some sort. Which is why I picked her up an absolute beast of a motorb…. sorry, scooter. I picked her up on a scooter and soon we were blasting our way towards Anjuna and the rear end bumper of a white car. ‘Oops!’ I said, as I collided with the car pushing its bumper in with my front wheel. Quickly I backed up in hope the driver didn’t notice. Something told me he did, unless he as urgently opening his car door to throw up. As we moved over to the side of the road I knew the accident was my own fault really as I never took into consideration the extra weight I was carrying, not that I was about to admit liability. Whilst Indians like to argue, I’ve learned they’re no good at ever winning them. Thankfully where the bumper had been pushed in, it had popped back out without causing any breakage or cracks. That’s Relief Number One then, alls I got to see to now was the black mark. Whilst observing it I had the driver, an Indian male dressed in a smart shirt shouting at me from above. ‘Hold on’ I reasoned, ‘Let’s have a look at the damage before you start barking’ Scratching the black marks with a nail and rubbing it afterwards with my shirt revealed Relief Number Two – the tyre marks could be washed off. In fact, the only damage to the bumper was a chipped piece of paintwork the same size as my finger nail. Much better than how it looked when my scooters tyre is pressed into it. The rest should have been straight forward, I pay for the damage and away we go, only I was dealing with a really rude piece of work. He was arguing and shouting about what I was going to do, and I was starting to get frustrated as he kept interrupting me as I explained what I was going to do. He kept saying, ‘You tell me, you tell me what to do’ and I’d say, ‘I keep trying to, but you keep interrupting me. Now, what will happen is…’
‘You tell me what to do! I have to get to work and you have to pay. I’m late, call police…’ blah blah blah, and so on. I was considering jumping on the bike and pissing off purely cos he kept interrupting me each time I spoke. Soon enough he was asking me for 1500R, something I thought was extortionate despite not really knowing how much 1500R really was. ‘You’re having a laugh ain’t you? I’ll give you a thousand and that’s being generous’ He barked about how the whole bumper will have to be redone and the body painters will have to match the colour. I told him the whole bumper wouldn’t have to be re-sprayed and that his car was white, so that’s another problem solved. As you can imagine, conversations like this can go on for some time. To cut an unnecessarily lengthy story short, argue with an Indian long enough and they’ll cave in. Soon after I was back on the scooter heading towards Anjuna and he was heading to his job he was so desperate to get to with 1000R in his pocket. That’s about twenty Aussie dollars, a bit of a result I reckon. Once in Goa there wasn’t all that much for Carina and me to do cos it’s Goa, besides walking a beach and being harassed at the markets leaving us with little else to do but get reacquainted back at the guesthouse. Goa didn’t seem all that bad now…

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photo by: chiyeh