Tuesday, December 4, 2007

As the world turns...

Yesterday became the day of coincidences and helped me to like this beach paradise a bit more.

We moved from the town of Anjuna to Vagator, heart of the world famous Goa party scene. Unfortunately, for people who party, rave and dance (I do none of these), Goa died an abrupt death four years ago. Because of local complaints, the authorities created a strict 10PM noise curfew law to end the three day raves in the jungle and loud dance parties in the beach towns. Sometimes these parties do occur (with more frequency around the Christmas high season) as long as the cops get their large chunk of bakeesh (bribe/tip) but they can be hard to find even for people who have been settled here a few months or years.

However, I really liked this new town. It has more friendly young foreigners, families with cute naked kids and less intrusive sellers. We spent the first day on the beach next to a friendly man from California who gave up his lucrative job with a huge construction firm to work in Sri Lanka after the tsunami a year (approximately 200 US news cycles) ago. We had a fun day talking about Groucho Marx, life around the subcontinent and interesting future plans. We also met a nice guy from Sweden named Joel who introduced us to our favorite new beach shack with cheap food and a really friendly owner around our age. Then we walked over to the excellent Rainbow book shop because I have been running through books at breakneck speed. I picked up Papillon and then asked the owner if she knew a place to stay in someones house. She called the owner of her place and he to the book store on his scooter. We negotiated a price of 225 Rs (5 USD) for a room with its own shower. I am almost positive that he said that breakfast and dinner but apparently my ears or his mouth confused me.

We come back to the beach today and I decide to walk to the next beach to see the Buddah head that someone carved into the rocks. It turned out to be the beach I wanted was only a hundred yards away (i do not know how these two beaches have different names, nothing separates them besides a few rocks) but I thought I needed to walk around the point. I start walking along the water in my bare feet on the volcanic rocks that cut like razors. I turned it into a character test and tried to enjoy the time alone (a hard thing to find in this country). I walked for about an hour and half until I got to a sand beach. I walked along this for a few minutes before I looked around and realized that I had walked back to the town of Anjuna. I cursed a little but decided to walk back to Vagator on the road and incorporate this into my self imposed manliness test.

As I started walking, I saw two pretty girls and decided to play the pity card. Knowing full well my location, I asked them where I was so I could tell them how I got here. We talked for just a minute but they didn't seem interested so I let them continue on their way. I couldn't place them by their accents or dress, something I usually pride myself on. As I walked up the main crossroads in town, I see a guy by the side of the road with a few backpacks. Hells bells. It was our friend from the flight to Dehli, Mark Anthony. He might have been the last person in India I expected to see here. I knew he just had surgery in Dehli and assumed he started teaching at a school in the UP with the program that brought him here. Apparently, his wound got infected and he decided to head back to the States soon but wanted to travel a little bit before he skedaddled (great word, huh?). He told me that he came with two Italian girls who just finished the program that he never got the chance to start. He watched the stuff while they went to find a hotel. I told him I didn't like this town and that they should come stay in our nice little town at our cheap place. He agreed and I told him how I just finished hitting on his friends and would chase them down. He told me their names so I could surprise them and I ran back to the closest hotel to their last location. This also happened to be where we stayed when we there. I asked the man if two girls had just checked in. He said that they were upstairs in room 7. I knocked on the door and they asked how I had tracked them down. I yelled "Simonette, Georgia, Mark Anthony sent me. We decided you should come to our town." They agreed but seemed confused when I tried to get them moving. Then I noticed that the room looked lived in and they had backpacks. Overall, it took us a few minutes to work out that these were not the right girls. I laughed and laughed at myself and continued trying to impress them. Alas, Alak and Alaska. They simply stayed pleasant and disinterested. I remembered Mark waiting for me and took off for the crossroads again.

I found Mark with the correct two girls and I showed them where to hop the bus for my town. I have always traveled by bus and foot here unlike most people who rent motor scooters. This has led to some run-ins with suspicious cops who tend to be rude, especially because I usually start off pretty rude and get worse when they start searching me. The hotel owner just that morning had been encouraging me to tell friends to stay at his house but I never expected to bring anyone in because everyone already had a place. Lo and behold, that very day, I snag three people for him.

I go to the beach for a few more hours and on the way home, we run into Nuno and Vasco, our Portuguese friends from Amritsar. I love those two. We decide to meet at Nine Bar (recently reopened after the cops shut them down when they got behind on their bribe payment) for some dancing (them) and people watching (me). (I love parentheses). At nine, we get back to our place determined to get moving because the bar closed at ten. Instead, our key did not work (secret: I may have dropped it and picked up the wrong one) and I had to saw open the padlock with a metal saw blade. Also, our hotel owner, Lawrence, had friends in from around the country. I ran upstairs, always excited to meet new older people and I hit the jackpot. Many of them came from Bombay and they shower me with advice, offers of help and idle boasting. I felt a connection with two of the guys immediately and am looking forward to seeing them when I get back to the city. One man, Felex, who works for Apple computer in San Jose, really liked Tessa and offered us his home in Bombay for the four months that he will be staying in the country. Having a pretty sister becomes a liability and an asset. Once she gets the boob job she wants so bad, she will be more of both.

So Mark, the girls and I got a late start for Nine Bar and only had about 20 minutes of dancing. I do not like trance music anyway but this place had terrible terrible trance music. It did have a lot of interesting looking people but I didn't get to meet anyone because I got attacked immediately by a russian girl that I had met on the beach who really liked piercings. Tessa disappeared on some adventure with a Janis Joplin clone (both in rugged beauty and attitude). Thus ended a wonderfully productive and coincidental day.

Health report:
Feeling great and eating massive quantities of food from beautiful topless native girls while being fanned with giant palm leaves (although this only happens at night during my REM sleep). Otherwise, I have some scratches on my arms from the sharp volcanic rock lurking under the water and a large scrape of skin from my left bicep from climbing a palm tree, bear style, to get my first coconut in the country. I got my very first coconut in Haiti and tried to sneak my prize through the Miami airport, only to get caught at the fruit X-ray machine (a fruit x-ray machine? seriously? we inspect less than 0.1% of the shipping containers that come into the country which could be carrying nuclear material, dead bodies or even nuclear bodies but we have stringent fruit scanning procedures). I dropped down the largest nut and presented my baby as a gift to two Tibetan girls only to discover that the larger the coconut, the less taste. Today's life lesson: you cannot woo buddhists with large nuts

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Life lesson question: How would you know the size of their testicles prior to the wooing?
Aunt Patty

Lotz said...

Ha... "nuclear bodies". Lex, this is probably the most contact I've had with you in years. And all it took was you moving to India.

Alaina said...

Tessa would look great with a boob job! Haha! Then you'd get your own private penthouse in Bombay!