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Published: January 14th 2010
Incidentally, Goa-way & Czec-it-out is possibly the best name for a Eastern European-ran travel agency in the history of the world. Genius. I was supposed to stay in Goa for three weeks with my mum, but aren't actually leaving until tomorrow, precisely double the amount of time I planned. I'm not sure why because a week is enough to know Goa inside out, but I would guess it's a combination of hangovers and laziness that's kept me here so long.
I flew into Cochin, in Kerala from Kuala Lumpur, which is chilled and dirty and has a lot of churches and goats and cows and nice people. I met a girl who'd being teaching in North India for three months, and hated me on sight because I was wearing a mini-skirt (everything else was dirty) and she thought it was terribly inappropriate. I thought eating very wet dahl with your hands when you're given a fork was inappropriate, and we spent 48 hours annoying each other. She compared everything, literally, EVERYTHING, to North India, and was very sensible. I was tired from the marathon journey from KL, so just put up with her. She was Cuban-American and was joining the Peace Corps. She also spoke Hindi; very useful. We went to see a Kathakali show (Chris- youtube it), which is a crazy Indian dance show with loud, loud drumming, crazy expressions and insane hand movements. The make-up takes about an hour, and the outfits are ace. Its a bit of an assault on the senses, but watching the eyes and the crazy hand gestures is cool, if slightly reminiscent of a deaf, epileptic, drag queen have a grand mal. I only had a few days there before meeting up with my Mum in Goa. I spent the time talking about Hinduism (cool stories) and Indian politics (corrupt as hell, easy way to make money; I'm contemplating getting involved in it, I could go for some easy cash). Bought a PAYG SIM card, and needed to register my address, passport and give them a photocopy of it, along with a passport photo. Got told to watch my head by a rickshaw driver, as I am "very long."
Got the overnight train up to Goa, which was totally fine, no quilts like on Chinese trains so I was freezing, but I got a massive chicken curry brought to me for 80p, and got hit on by the cha-walla (tea boy) each time he came round. This resulted in a few cups of free tea, which I dunked my biscuits into, and everyone laughed at me. An Indian guy tried to sit with me but I wouldn't let him, and was glad because he passed out on the seat he found, and the conductor had to steal his mobile, and throw it onto the platform so he would actually get off the train. He was so drunk, just waking him up took about twenty minutes, never mind getting his phone off him. Ha. I love drunk Indians. Met a middle aged hippie who was really very racist about Indians, but had been coming to Goa every year since the seventies. He did get me a cheap rickshaw to the airport though. (Which struggled uphill, what with me, my huge bag and the rather rotund driver too!)
Met my Mum off the plane, which cos she'd had a bad flight wasn't quite the emotional reunion I'd expected. Spent the next few days hanging out, catching up, finding good places to eat and drink and a nice beach shack to hang out at. Most of the people in Goa have been five or six times before, which I don't really get, but whatever. I had a marriage proposal from a Kashmiri jewellery seller who was hot, and showed me his diamonds worth about five grand. He took me to the cinema to see a Bollywood movie, I LOVE BOLLYWOOD! It was a film about a guy with that disease where you age so fast, you die when you're about 13. The son was played by the real life Dad of the actor who was playing the Dad. It was sad, and even though it was 50% in Hindi, I cried a little bit at the end.
I read Indian Cosmopolitan which is all about wedding saris and how to please your husband (no extra marital sex confessions here, although a lot of the stuff was directly lifted from Auzzie Cosmo, which I'd read a few weeks earlier. I'm starting to think there is one girl leaving them everywhere I go) Went to a market to buy material to make a Chuddidar (Indian top) and small girls begged by getting down on their knees in front of me and touching my feet. I didn't really like them touching me, but ignored them. My Mum came pretty close to kicking them in the face. Bananas are very cheap here. Got absolutely hammered on Xmas Eve, and danced Bollywood with three waiters in a packed restaurant. Also danced to some gooood reggaeton with the owner. Felt like death on Xmas day, and so did my Mum. She missed her flight back to England because she had delhi belly.
There was a three day music festival about 3 minutes from my house with some famous people (Armin Van Buuren, Roger Sanchez, Sander Van Doorn and Gatecrasher; Apparently they're famous but I have no idea who these people are) Tons of Indians from all over India came down to Goa, and too many white people who are traveling around. It was packed, and I think almost all the Indians under the age of 25 were there, but the boys are cute (although they all have the same sunglasses) and the girls look the same as each other and so blended into one big mass. I was thinking of staying in Goa for the whole of January and learning Russian (I got a good grant from the UK to go to Uzbekistan and don't really want to go now) but changed my mind.
Spent New Years Eve on the beach in a shack, being the only female dance partner for 150 boys dancing Bollywood. I'll say it again: I LOVE BOLLYWOOD!!! Went out with one of Saleem's (the Kashmiri diamond dealer) cousins who is lovely but I think is gay, which isn't allowed when you're Muslim, and come from Kashmir. Felt really sorry for him, and am going to visit him in Bangalore (assuming his family haven't had him maimed) Got really ill, slept and watched TV for two days. Met an amazing German girl who is 33 but looks as younger than me, and speaks excellent Hindi, as well as several other Indian languages. She even does the wobbly head thing, and now speaks English with an Indian accent. It looks great coming from a white girl!!
Decided to move onto greener, less Kashmiri-playboy pastures and went out with a local boy to a club in town. Indian boys pay for drinks, snacks, and you get door to door service because you're a girl. (Like Enterprise-Rent-A-Car) Danced A LOT. Ditched the Goan boy for a hot, slightly gay (just enough) looking Indian boy from Rajastan called Lucky who was an amazing dancer, had a great car and could even salsa. Got home at 9am and slept ALL day. Went out with him again the next night, and each time he went outside to smoke, he would leave me with a chaperon to dance with. Met some other boys who would call me when Lucky left for Rajastan the next morning. Had Saleem make me some earrings, which I'm not too sure if they're real silver or not. Does anyone know how to tell? That night, went for cocktails with one of Lucky's friends. The bar menu had maybe 500 crazy cocktails on it, and he was paying so I had a different cocktail each time. We had a bit of a party at my place afterward (6am) and my neighbours complained about the noise. Landlady started to hate me.
Had drinks with a cool English guy from Leeds who had tattoos all over his body, which really confused the Indian people on the beach. Went for a Jamaican Coffee on the way home at a reggae bar. Went out to another club with another of Lucky's friends, who was from Afghanistan, but had spent some time in Turkey, Kazakhstan and Russia. If he wasn't such a royal drunk, I'd have assumed he was an international spy. But he could drink like a Russian, and had two vodkas for every beer. So, automatically, I had two rums for every beer too. I'd been half cut before I left the English bloke's place, so I got battered. This club has a bakery attatched, which personally, I think is genius. We went and had a party at my place again, and the landlady continued to hate me.
Last Day in Candolim (I'd been in one beach this whole time, Margarita replay? I think so.) the owner of the shack we'd spent all our time at made me a lot of free cocktails and tried to teach me how to play darts. Told Saleem I didn't think his earrings were real silver and got some money back off him. Went with Leo to a casino they have here. I think gambling is illegal, so the casinos have to be on boats in the middle of the river, and you get a connector boat from the dock out to them. Leo gave me 5000 rupees to play with, and I played 4000 of my own money, about 120 pounds i think. I came home, and realised i still had 2000R chips in my bag, so hadn't lost everything. This is why I shouldn't go to casinos, drunkenly, I forget I can't spend the chips in shops and take them away with me, and really they're useless. I met a cool Nepalese man who had three bodyguards and wanted to keep my chip level stocked up by giving me free chips all night. I don't think I took them, but he said I can stay in his hotel when I go to Nepal. Proceeded to sell the 2000R chips back to my friend, even though he'd been the one to buy them for me. Who says I don't have business sense??
It started to rain really heavily, like Monsoon rain, which is unheard of in Goa, in January. The next day, I finally left Paloloem at midday, still drunk, escaping from my angry landlady (I was too drunk to tidy up and left the room a mess). I have come to a place called Paloloem which is in South Goa, and everyone has raved about. I think it's a bit quiet and boring, but tonight there's a silent disco. There's a lot of travelers and too many Israelis, but that also means there is hummus, which I have a craving for. Not that I can taste it, getting caught in the rain on Monday means I have a really, really bad cold. (I don't think I'll ever acclimatise back to English weather) I'm ordering my curry Indian-spicy, but I still can't taste it. I had a lot of local liquor made from Cashew nuts last night, and some hot whisky, but I still feel like shit and am hungover to boot! Ha! I have a train tomorrow at 6am to goa-way from Goa.
Overall, I think Goa is okay for two weeks, and Indians are lovely. Kashmiris are players, but are the best looking of all the Indians I think (and if I had to get married to 30, and only get any action for six months a year, I'd be a player too). Goans are very Western and learning their language would be easy because it's similar in some ways to Portuguese. I think maybe if I can find a flight from Auzzie back to India for three months in June/July, I'll go visit the North & Kashmir (read: Lucky & Saleem). I do love a war torn region!
I like Portuguese colonies and the food here is great, I think maybe I should put Cape Verde on my itinerary, the Portuguese knew what they were doing. My language skills are terrible, and I've only learned how to say: two kingfishers, gayboy, crazy (but i learned that in two languages!) and tiger.
My plan now is to go to Hampi tomorrow for a few days, then to Bangalore, then to Chennai, Pondicherry and Auroville before my flight from Tiruchippallli (That's not spelled right, at all) but I only have three weeks, and think I will see a lot less than I plan. Again!
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