No I have’nt read Douglas Adams.
As we embarked on our journey to our hotel, It struck upon me that either Vasco Da Gama was a complete boozard, or he was a paedofile , one of the 2 cause beautiful goa has one alcohol shop in every 2 shops. What’s more some of the local pharmacies sell alcohol as well . It seems like every shop first and foremost sells alcohol which is the staple diet and everything else say medicines for instance, are sold for a supplementary income. With so many alcohol signboards around, One can be forgiven for thinking that the ruling party here is a party called “King fisher”.
Another popular bill board is one which reads
which actually again does’nt make too much sense, cause its not like the kids they are attacking can't see what they are doing.
When we finally embarked onto our hotel, We were greeted by a smiling “Tabassum”, yes that's her name,The goan ladies really do have some intresting names, from “Tabassum” to “Blossom” to “Bussom”(ok that’s pushing it!) but you get the picture, and most of them are actually quite pretty. Its funny how most people in goa or most coastal places for that matter are so laid back and relaxed, that you begin to wonder what actually if anything will ever stress them out. The men go out to the sea, bring back the fish, the women cook the fish, produce beautiful kids, and they all(except for the paedophiles of course) get drunk together in the evening.
Life is well, beautifully simple aint it..
I by then had realized that apart from the food, the alcohol was on the house as well. One hour later, I was 3 whisky’s down and quite unexplainably was introducing the bartender to my dad. The magnaminous bar tender in turn proceeded to ask my dad, whether he wanted the same drink his son was relishing. The rest as they say in the classics is that… and I remember spending the rest of the evening completely knocked out in my room. ( thanks to the scotch ofcourse , No my dad didn't knock me out) The evening party proceeded with little blogworthy, though the plans were all set and entrenched for the next day.
Like Goncalo Alvares , Gabriel. Paulo and Vasco Da Gama (thank u google) , me , my brother and a friend of ours planned to venture out like three portugese backpackers into the mainland of Goa. Let me warn you, distances in
Parasailing is something, someone must do atleast once in goa, mine took off from the beach, and there I was atleast 100 feet up in the air, with literally a bird’s eye view of the coastline. The Speed boat ride was next, and we slowly realized why the boatman was insistent that we got into our swimming costumes for it, The ride was fantastic, or actually I really can’t say cause there were continous waves of water running into my face, drenching me throughout.
We ,the Portugese, then checked their resources, times had changed, prices had gone up and if were to eat our eagerly awaited Sea Food Lunch, at the much talked about “Britto’s” , We would have to well..save money on transport. PUBLIC TRANSPORT, the last alternative and 15 mins later Bus Conductor “Balthazar”, welcomed us on board and benevolently informed us that we would need 3 buses and a 15 min auto ride to get to our destination.
Colva to Panjim, Panjim to Margao and then finally Margao to calungute, and we felt like we were writing our own lonely planet travelling guide, A shot of “Raging bull” (Red bull with vodka) later, I was completely rejuvenated and we entered the Calungute beach , Apparently to get to “Britto’s” now, we had 2 options. A shorter walk on the road , of around 20 mins, And a much longer beach along the coastline, but the incentive of maybe spotting some scenery on the beach. Well, the Europeans have always known to be promiscuous, and soon enough we were walking along the coastline.
Some critical precautionary advice to all viewers :
- Sun Glasses are essential for the aforementioned activity, You don't want to get into a fight with some overgrown German , now do you?
- Also just a precautionary warning , rather regretablly there is no age restriction as regards to the scenery on offer, So be prepared for anything. And believe me, I doubt there can be a more embarassing situation than a 60 yr old lady confronting you as to why you were staring at her.
That should help you on your way, Coming back to the walk, It seemingly seemed never ending , This was the Goan version of the Dandi march, only in this case instead of salt, We were marching all the way for Mr.Britto's legendary Sea Food.
We were now apparently only 5 mins away from “Britto’s” . Like our weather reports, most of our travelling guides are rather inaccurate as well, cause in their report,they failed to mention (with or without Jetpack), We the portugese finally ended up taking half an hour.
And then Redemption!
Finally, Mr. Mallya’s favourite restraunt in these parts, famous throughout the land and beautifully located just off Baga beach.The food now, took centre stage , as you can probably make out..
Needless to say, the food was unbelievable! I had quite obviously gorged myself on the food, and now was about as mobile as the modern day Yoko Zuna.
Baaga beach as they call it, is supposedly Goa’s trendiest beach, with a lot of Mumbai’s commercial influence. So much so, that even the beds on the beach are on hire.
The beds right next to the restaurant, is a great commercial tactic, after you gorge yourself on the Sea food, you have no option but to rent one. As we predicted the Jet Skiing here, was cheaper than at colva, My brother (who had obviously eaten less than I had ) went first and me with my 2 crabs, 3 prawns and half a dozen mackerel inside me went next. Its funny here, the rates were Rs 300 if you took the trainer along with you and Rs 500, if you wanted to go on your own. So in effect you were paying more, for not using their help which somehow did’nt quite make economic sense to me. Anyway, the Jet Ski ride across the waves, was reminiscent of a galloping horse and great fun all the same. Half way across the ride, I was wondering if I would have to pay Rs 100 more , If during my galloping adventure my trainer galloped of the bike as well.
Anyway, Now we the Portugese settlers were thoroughly exhausted, resulting in proftable times for the Arab Bed Keepers, After another half an hour on the bed side bed’s, I proceeded home.
Our hotel, was one of those well equipped ones with a golf course and a Casino in cue. I now had 2 choices for my evening entertainment, The Sangeeth, the highlight of most Punjabi wedding’s, or the most addictive of all those vices, The Casino.
Predictably, I chose the casino. A fully automated one, and started quite modestly with Rs 200. And before, I knew it thanks to a friendly Black Jack machine, and a friendlier Slot Machine, I was hoarding it in. When I finally exchanged my tokens , I was returned a “Gandhi”, I was Rs 300 up, whoever said “The House always won”, and you can never make any money in the casino.
I proceeded back to the sangeeth, showing off my earnings to my fellow settlers , revelling in my triumph.
It was now 1 o’ clock , The Casino closed at around 2, So 1 more hour I thought to add to my profits or maybe even double it.
What followed was a rather bizarre turn of events, cause all of a sudden my favourite slot machine had become decidedly unfriendly , and quite strangely my cards in black jack , when summed up always read “B-U-S-T".
Yes, My friends , I was caught in the Las Vegan trap, They make you win, in the beginning to make you feel happy about yourself, and then when you start losing you start playing more, cause you are by then desperate to make back what you have lost. Well, the catch here is you can’t play anymore if you have nothing left to play with. Not for the first time, I found out the hard way, and dejected as a wet hen , I proceeded back to the sangeeth.
Goa on the whole was fantastic, and a truly unforgettable experience. More than anything it helped me learn some fundamental truths.
The House does always win.
The Soul who loses will always comfort himself, saying this is the last time he will ever play.
He will play again.
Strange are the ways of the people who walk our planet.
Our planet though is beautiful.