A wind of change………………..

One of my main reasons for visiting Goa again this winter was to sell the apartment that I bought here in 2007/8; I have sold it back to the builder Ramiro Sales, and I must say that he has been very honourable and straightforward at all times during the protracted procedure of the sale

 

Everything that you try to do in India is hamstrung by bureaucracy, and here in Goa they specialize in making things as difficult as they possibly can; this, dovetailed with the “everybody wants a piece of the cake’ corruption, makes for near impossible situations……..so I am extremely grateful to Ramiro for his honesty and integrity, without which, the sale that has now been successfully concluded would not have been possible……….

India………..

they pencil in

they cancel out

they smile at you so sweet

they kiss your arse

they make you wait

they doctor the receipt……………

 

There is a wind of change blowing through Goa, this beautiful idyll is starting to fall victim to its burgeoning popularity; there have been several reports of thefts from visitors rented accommodation, prices have increased dramatically, over 20% in some restaurants………..I have just had my haircut in the same barbers that I use every year, and his price has increased from 50 rupees to 100…………I must say that I got more scissor work for my money than usual, he obviously felt obliged to justify the price hike with a scalping, so I have consequently needed to exercise my editorial rights to deny this post any photographic evidence…………….

 

Okay, the rupee has fallen dramatically in the last year on the world currency markets and £1.00 now gets you 100 rupees or a tad more, and to the first time visitor from any European economy it will still seem very cheap here………….. this can be the only explanation for the increase in prices, but it is not a justification, because food prices have stabilized here, and an overproduction has seen the price of most vegetables fall, so if the rupee recovers to the levels of a year or so ago, it will no longer have the same appeal to long-stay visitors, many of which that I have spoken to are already eying up alternative destinations for next winter……….

 

……..and finally, the Russians are here; having been mostly restricting themselves to the north of Goa for many years, with the exception of a few in the exclusive hotels in the south……….they are here en masse………..all over the beach in Benaulim and Varca……..loud, rude, obnoxious, obese, beer swilling, cigarette smoking, totally style-less and manner-less oiks………….oh, and they have brought their men with them……….

 

……..the beach shack owners and workers are welcoming them from behind a painted smile, and you cannot blame them, it is easy to understand the dynamic……….I go there for the day and spend a couple of hundred rupees on a salad and a bottle of water, the Russians arrive ordering lobsters, fish too big for the cook to lift, bottles of rum and anything else the they can shovel down their enormous necks………….they spend thousands of rupees every day, and although they are as yet, still incapable of saying please or thank you, they are understandably given sun-bed and table priority over anyone else…………….the Brits and other Europeans are complaining incessantly to each other every day, but the flood gates are open…………………….time to move on

 

I have enjoyed some great times in Goa, but I am pleased to have sold my apartment here and look forward to the next steps on this unravelling highway………….. I leave here on Monday evening for my flight back to Bangkok, via Mumbai, arriving in Bangkok on Tuesday morning, 10th February………..

 

Above and below ……….some things don’t change……….the beach in the early morning, fishing nets strung out to dry in the sun

 

Above and below………..the beach cleaners at work

 

At Zumbri  beach shack…………………

Wonderful pomegranates now in season………..3 for100 rupees (£1.00)…….it usually takes me about 10 minutes to eat one, but time is not my enemy, don’t you know……….and you need to be very careful with any juice spillage, it is indelible, as one of my beach towels can now bear testament to………………

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