Where do Goans go for holidays? (Letter from Goa)March 30th, 2011 - 11:52 am ICT by IANS
Cavelossim (Goa), March 30 (IANS) Goa is not a place. It is a state of mind. It is an unshakeable belief in the power of sun, sand and scotch to alleviate human suffering. It also poses a minor problem, if you happen to live there.
On his first trip to the state, and clearly overwhelmed by the picture-perfect beaches and blondes, the first question that struck this IANS correspondent was if you were lucky enough to live in Goa, then where do you head for holidays?
Peter Rufus burst out laughing when he heard this question.
Rufus, in his 40s, has the best job in the world. He owns a place called Sam’s Beach Shack on Mobor beach, south Goa. His daily routine consists of turning out in bermudas and serving vodka and orange juice to woozy American tipplers till late at night.
“Holiday….,” he drawled, “I went to see the Taj Mahal a few years back….that’s it. You can say I love my quiet life!”
Rufus, of course, doesn’t need a holiday. But what about the rest in this state of 1.4 million people?
“My holiday consists of going to Anjuna or Calangute (both north Goa beaches) when I’m bored. Why go anywhere else?” shrugged Narayan Ghondse, 65, a Margao resident.
He took particular delight in teasing this reporter about his Delhi roots.
“First time to the sea? Goa’s beaches are the best in the world. You’ll miss them when you return to your hot, dusty city,” he chuckled.
Ignoring the put-down, I took a walk around the quaint little area of Margao, which still retains its Portuguese roots. The houses are delightfully designed cottages and have exceptionally well-maintained gardens. And the shops have names like ‘Jesus Car Repair’ and ‘Rodriguez Restro Bar’.
Gearless bikes are the preferred mode of transport - easy, fun and no hassles. Much like the people living there.
Marketplaces are lined with shops selling knick knacks like imitation jewellery, Ganesha statues and wall hangings. If you want to bargain, don’t haggle with the shop owner - just flash a smile. It’ll get many tasks done here.
Back at my hotel, I head out to the beach after dinner. Where I meet Rufus again.
“I told my mom about your question,” he told me. “And she said that being Goans, we’re the hosts. If the hosts leave their homes, where will the world come to party?”
Well said, Mrs. Rufus.
(Abhishek Mukherjee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Tags: car repair, daily routine, first trip, goa cavelossim, human suffering, imitation jewellery, knick knacks, margao, marketplaces, night holiday, north goa beaches, portuguese roots, preferred mode, quiet life, south goa, sun sand, tipplers, unshakeable belief, vodka and orange juice, wall hangings