The Goa Experience in May 2009

My first post on Goa from Goa…

I’ve been here a week and despite the heat and humidity, it hasn’t been as bad as Gurgaon. Only one of the last 7 days, a storm took away electricity one night and returned it only around 10 in the morning. It’s otherwise gone for just 10-15 minutes in a day. Airconditioning has been effective day or night, and sitting by the sea in the evenings has been heavenly. Even under the fan with doors and windows open, and music flowing in the background, it’s been peaceful. Have to say that Rod Stewart or Shankar Mahadevan in the background has helped more than the sea breeze in accepting other irritants with openness. So, it’s great that Kishore thought of arranging speakers as soon as we got here!

Another contributory factor to an elevated mood has been my Chotu‘s keyboard under my fingers. There is a regular scuffle with Kishore for the only Netcard he is carrying as Airtel’s GPRS has been helpful only in checking IPL scores or our location on the roads using Googlemaps. Browsing has been ineffective using the Netcard but emailing has been possible. Not too bad if I can keep in touch with my mailing list feeds and manage some reading. Smoothens out some rough experiences.

On each of our visits since last July, Kishore and I’ve attempted to make our place here some more habitable. This time’s efforts have included arranging a set of speakers, some more small Kitchen implements, some colour to cover the bare walls and a cupboard+dining table. The last two came from our earlier tested and proven sources – CMM and Fabindia respectively. Both have been such efficient setups to interact with.

Then, I must record my confusion on figuring the locals and other temporary residents of Goa — if I’ve admired the interest and time given by Max (@ Ferriera Leathers) in helping know the lanes of Goa or Kishore’s LUG friends in meeting up over beer, I’ve been so disappointed to encounter the stoic attitude of many other locals. They connect briefly and superficially. They oblige with directions and some leads with guarded smiles and hasten to disconnect. I wonder if they’ve had an overdose of outsiders. But then I find them gushing reverence to foreigners. And suspiciously sizing up fellow brown skinners. I’d wondered if this was only with the Christian population of Goa as they found the Indian Hindu ways alien or beneath them. I find though that even the local Hindus aren’t happy seeing other Indians partaking Goa’s beauty. Interestingly, even long-standing foreigner residents have a smug demeanour about them where I’d thought that they’d willingly mix up, having been through travails of life away from home. But No. It’s a kind of take it or leave it aloofness among ranges of residents. Service providers too connect over assignments and then switch off. I find a little more connectedness among people in Gurgaon or Delhi. And, this is surprising because most non-Delhites lament an unfriendly Delhite.

I suppose I’ll just have to adapt to this confusion because of Goa’s inherent loveliness–its greenery, flowers, birds, waves, laterite architecture, white churches, field-hugging roads, food and more…

2 thoughts on “The Goa Experience in May 2009

  1. Stayed in naval base Dabolim for 3 years during the nineties. Had fab experience with the locals in south Goa. North Goa was foriegner subservient and brown skin phobic even during those days…..

    But on the positive side, it has the old age charm about it. The beaches are clean and waters blue. Fish curry and feni in a beach shack was our staple diet those days.


  2. Good to have a positive view of living in Goa. North Goa feels good because lots is in close periphery but it’s tourist oriented. Which is good at times but not for long stays. We do have Goans as neighbours outside of the complex, but they’re so lukewarm towards outsiders that I haven’t managed to establish links with anyone. I agree that beach shacks are good to settle for fish and Kings (in our case). That’s something to be happy about in North Goa — lots of choice in places between Candolim/Baga to settle and gaze at the sea.


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