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Asia » India » Goa » Palolem
March 10th 2011
Published: March 28th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

Okay, after the very depressive previous entry that sounded like the diaries of a suicidal fat kid imma cheer things up a bit with the magicalness of Palolem :)

After a near on 30 hour train journey from Varanasi to Mumbai, nearly missing a flight (got to check in with 7minutes to spare), being given VIP wheelchair service by the airlines (whack on a bandage round yer leg and they’re putty in your hands) and then a VERY long taxi ride in the dark we finally, finally made it to Palolem Beach, south of Goa, also referred to as Go Go Goa – the land of dreams.

Now the reason for this very apt name is because Goa literally has it all: amazing food, amazing shopping, amazing people, amazing beach, amazing bungalows by the amazing beach (2 quid each a night), amazing hammock at amazing bungalow by amazing beach …. you see my point. You can literally get the moon on a stick here and guaranteed its gonna cost you under a few quid :)

Within a few hours of waking up to the sound of the sea the next morning we were introduced and integrated into our little bungalow society hidden in the palm trees just off the beach, by one drunken girl from Manchester called Louise and her equally drunken boyfriend from Ireland called Shirwin. Lou came floating over in a vodka haze and said “alright love” – we loved her instantly for the accent alone. They then told us they’d come here to chill out for a few days but had ended up nearly staying for a month as the place was just so nice and they’d formed a bit of a community with all the other bungalows in our area. They were an awesome couple and completely hilarious. Lou had a cleaning fetish and was very typically northern and motherly which we all loved and Sherwin was very typically Irish…aka he liked to drink and play music – two things we also funnily enough seemed to enjoy! The combination between them worked really well and they were a wicked pair. They’d been living in Jersey together saving for their trip and were now making the most of it, which on some days involved some early afternoon starting sessions on the vodka. For the rest of the day (and into the night) they then proceeded to introduce us to the community members which consisted of 4 Irish boys, 2 French dudes, a Swedish guy and a few others and we sat and swapped stories over a few glasses of vodka (and water for me coz of the antibiotics) and a several packs of ciggys for the rest of the night. By the time we went to bed we had all agreed that we were NEVER leaving Palolem.

The next 2 weeks were spent basically lazing on the beach, eating A LOT of food and staying up late into the evenings singing along to various ipods and chatting with randoms that then became friends. It was the coolest little atmosphere and somewhere you can’t help but feel at home – how can you not when your days are spent on a beach and your nights are spent swinging in a hammock screaming out lyrics to Counting Crows and Barenaked Ladies – good times :) I obviously wasn’t so much on the vodka for the first week as I was still on the tablets and managed to get Goa Gut and sun stroke (despite wearing factor 30) all within the first two days of arriving. The Goa Gut was especially nice – I threw up on the beach after trying to force a Seafood Sizzler down my neck and a local stray dog came and ate my regurgitated stomach contents – fit. After that I was off food and booze for a good few days.

To be fair I didn’t really need to drink though, the atmosphere was so good and the people were so awesome I was happy toking away on my newly discovered Esses (very long, thin, elegant menthol cigarettes) and a bottle of coke - nothing like coke in a bottle. I did miss out on a few things as I was still Miss Hop-along for quite a while but one of the guys that owned the bungalows gave me some crutches he had lying around so I was able to hop about a fair bit and after a week was dancing at the Silent Disco with the best of them.

Around the silent disco was about the time we had formed a solid friendship with the Israelis. Israelis are awesome. And clearly because we met 3 we liked, this refers to all Israelis that ever existed, ever! They rocked up just as Sherwin and Lou were about to leave (which was a very sad occasion) and we ended up spending a few days on little boat trips and beach adventures around the area. The two girls were called Inbal and Shir, but we couldn’t say Shir as you have to roll your R’s which is actually a physical impossibility for the British so we decided Shelia was more suitable and introduced her to the song by Jamie T of the same name – she bummed it :) Inbal was the more level headed one of the two with lots of interesting stories about Israel and its culture and Sheila was…well just Sheila! A good few weeks on and we are still quoting her – the girl comes out with some classic one liners. Inbal also had her boyfriend (Dekel) out visiting her and he filled us in on some of the Army stuff – incase you don’t know Israel has a public service that everyone has to do for 2 years - that’s why most Israelis that you meet abroad are a bit older as they have to finish their service before they can do degrees or travel and wotnot. Think it makes them appreciate things a bit more though as they have had to work hard before doing it. Made mine Matt’s and Dodd’s little 7 month stint of 37 hour weeks seem a bit insignificant really! Working in an office and serving some dinner or getting up at 5 am to train every morning….well we all know which one I would pick! I couldn’t managed to get into work on time for 8.30 am for the last 5 months of my working life, let alone rock up in some training field at 5am to do some form of physical exercise! Eurgh! How disgusting! :p

Anyway, the Israelis were awesome and we spent our second week with them and a German guy called David who was basically a massive stoner. To the extent that he was drug smuggling across borders. Somehow, and I still don’t know how, he managed to get a massive sack of weed from Germany, to Istanbul to somewhere else I can’t remember the name and then into India, by tucking it into his pants and doing something with it in his clothes to avoid the x-ray machine. He then hired a moped and drove around Goa with a lot of weed and no license, paying off and running away from the police as he went. Most days we would come back and find him passed out in his hammock, beer in one hand, spliff in the other. Classic. When we went for our little island adventure, he suddenly came back from the restaurant with a crate of beer underarm and in his crazy little German accent went ‘okay let’s party everybody’. Turned out to be a good shout- sunbathing on an isolated beach on an island only accessible by boat, watching the surf with a cold beer in your hand was a pretty memorable occasion  L'chaim and Huctetausen! !

Unfortunately despite how awesome David was, his friends that rocked up a few days later were clearly not from the same neighborhood. For a start they were ancient. But not in a ‘hey you’re older and traveling - that’s pretty cool’ type way, more in an ‘okay granddad, put away the party pants’. They introduced themselves in Indian with lots of bowing to start with, which was just pretentious and then explained how they were ‘party boys’, as if we were supposed to be bowled over with impressiveness. Then when we were all hanging from the Silent Disco they whacked on some seriously shocking trance music at 10am which continued to play for what felt like 100 years (which was pretty much their combined ages) and I nearly had to crawl (literally) out of bed to smash up their ipod player. Instead the call for food overwhelmed me so we stumbled off in search of a breakfast alternative.

Now there’s something about Indian alcohol that really does give you an absolute SHITTER of a hangover. To be fair the vodka (called Rominoff) costs 2 whole English pounds for a large bottle and is about 44% and makes you smell like a petrol station - so what can you expect really?! I remember the first time I smelt it when I was still bed ridden and Dodds and Matt came in to check on me – I was like ‘WHAT have you been drinking, you smell like tramps?!” – Turns out they’d had a glass and a half each. The stuff just stinks that bad. Matt ended up slightly over indulging one night and passed out on the bathroom floor after puking through the mozzy net and down the side of the bed. Literally scared the shit out of me as his eyes were half open like a coma-tosed ant. Lou came in with her cleaning fluid and bustled about mopping up whilst Sherwin tried to get him in bed. Luckily one of the other side affects of Rominoff is you can suddenly get a new burst of life from it, like a second wave, so 20 minutes after putting him to bed he was up and dancing around the porch like a loon again.

That’s basically what happened at the silent disco – we just kept getting second waves and before we knew it, it was 4am and we were headbanging to the end of Rage Against the Machine. The headphones had three different lights on the front to show what station people were listening to and me and Matt commandeered a stage and refused to let anyone else on it without a green light (green was best). I say we, I mean Matt. He was literally going up and changing peoples stations then doing a ‘woooo’ arms in the air ‘see it’s better’ dance around some bemused individual that had dared / completely obliviously stepped onto our platform. I was just dancing like a grade one tit thinking I was the dogs bollocks because I was a foot and a half higher than every other person in the open aired pit. Christ knows what would have happened if we’d discovered a pole. Dodds sort of went the other way and fell into a very drunken, very slow, what I imagine (actually, know) she thinks is a sexy dance when she is far too inebriated. It sort of involves a smiley grin on her face with her eyes closed and lots of slow floaty movements with her running her hands from the top of her head downwards and then letting them drape at the sides. Bloody brilliant. Almost as good as my ‘oh I’m drunk I am clearly able to air guitar’ dance which normally ends with me falling on my arse like a demented bow-legged deer. Equally as sexy. Matt’s favorite is the one arm high in the air, thrashing around ferociously and letting out a big “WOOOOOOOOOO”, which is then repeated every ten seconds or so for affect. Also a dance floor classic.

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked, bottom line is Silent Disco was awesome, Israelis were doubly awesome and Palolem was mega mega awesome, with knobs on  Two weeks after arriving and we literally had to drag ourselves away. Can so see why people get stuck there now – the food alone makes it impossible to leave! Oh – Oh the food! Seriously best Nachos I have ever eaten hands down, and we also had some kick ass steak (yes – steak – in India)! and some amazing fish and pasta, and, well everything really. On the last day we finally went to the Israeli café that Sheila and Inbal had been banging on about and discovered the meaning of a stuffed croissant and mint lemonade. It was one of those moments when you are kicking yourself for not discovering it sooner – seriously I’ve had dreams about the food in Palolem. It was THAT good.

Along with food I also formed a solid relationship with cigarettes, that despite my best efforts to reign in has become virtually impossible. It’s a food relation thing – you eat, you smoke, you eat some more, you smoke some more….basically if I don’t get control of it I may well be a fatty that wheezes when she speaks in the next few months…no one likes a wheezy fatty….I’ll quit in Thailand I promise….
So, that children, was Go Go Goa. I highly recommend it to anyone that likes a) food b) fun and c) cheap alcohol. The shopping is also pretty kick-ass (Ali-Barbaar pants all around girlies) but that may just be my inability to say no. We’ll see how that works out at the next stop….I hear they have something called a Special Lassi….

Jasmina Asiapants, over and out.



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