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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Will the real Goa please stand up?

“Looks like there’s no other place but Goa to go to for a holiday,” said Bruno with a big sigh. “Let’s go to Goa for a holiday.”

“You are a house dog; you are on a permanent holiday,” I told him, “And anyway we are in Goa. We live in Goa.”

“No we don’t,” he said. “The Goa they are talking about is a whole other place. It’s got beaches, and parties, and designer drugs and alcohol.”

“You don’t like to get your fur wet, you don’t like crowds and you know nothing about designer drugs and alcohol,” I said.

“Well natch, if you keep me a prisoner here in this flat, how will I know anything,” he said.

“The Goa they are advertising on TV is not a good place for you,” I said.

“Look they even talk of retiring in Goa and of starting Italian restaurants here,” he said.

“That’s the problem,” I said, “That’s why all the land is going to weird people and no one bothers about the CRZ rules anymore.”

“Why don’t we retire in a bungalow on the beach and start an Italian restaurant? I like Italian food – pasta and cheese and meatballs and ice cream,” he said,

“We have a perfectly good life here, in a flat in a nice part of town,” I said. “Why are you not happy here?”

“Yes, but everyone has a second and third home; we just have this one,” he said.

“One home is more than enough for us,” I said.

“I was listening to a European lady tourist who said she does not like this 11 pm music curfew and midnight closure of bars,” he said. “She said Europeans like to party till 2 in the morning.”

“Then she can go back to Europe and party until 2 in the morning,” I said.

“But then tourism will get ruined a retired Englishman said and he comes here for 6 months,” he said.

“Even if bars close at 5 in the evening, he will stay in Goa,” I said. “He knows which side his bread is buttered.”

“What you talkin’ ’bout butter? I’m talking of the death of tourism in Goa,” he said.

“Your Englishman comes to Goa as long as he is getting more than Rs 80 to the pound. £500 will get him Rs 40,000 worth of luxury while he has to scrimp and save in cold, wet Britain,” I said. “Never you worry, tourism won’t die. Why do you think one-third of our tourists come from Britain?”

“But there are other countries in the Far East which are cheaper than Goa, Tiger was telling me his owners go to Singapore for a holiday because it is so cheap there,” he said.

“But if you’re caught with drugs in Singapore, it’s the death penalty,” I said. “In Goa drugs are freely available and cheap.”

“If they cannot see foreigners sunbathing, all the Indian tourists will stop coming to Goa,” he said.

“And that will be the best news possible, land rates will come down and Goans will go back to traditional occupations and a respect for the land and each other,” I said.

“You are so boring. First chance I get, I’m heading for the beach,” he said. “It’s pathetic. We live in Goa and have never holidayed in the real Goa.”

“You call beaches, drugs and alcohol the real Goa?” I asked.

“That seems to be the new reality,” he said. “At least that’s what I see on TV and read in the papers.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is so true of the new Goa, and there is nothing anyone can do about it except Goans themselves