VII: Bamboo Massage

Not so long ago I always stood up to bullies – it was a Lancashire principal instilled in me at a young age – hence me spending most of my chemistry lessons outside Mr Mansfield’s classroom. Anyhows, two months ago I was at a festival in East Lothian, stood up to the local steroid-addl’d bully of Haddington & got a smack in the puss to show for it. The festy owner decided to press charges on my behalf & I guess I should be in court as a witness at some point in the future. I even got ‘victim of crime’ material thro’ the post. Unfortunately I’m now in India, which throws a bit of a spanner into the British wheels of justice – I guess they’ll have to wait ‘til I’m back.

So, I’m just about to leave Paradise Beach, when I go to check on my bill at Muli’s restaurant. Suddenly my two bottles of rum had turned into 4, I disputed the fact & on doing so was thrust into a hornet-swarm of threats, including bamboo massages & my severed hands being thrown about the beach. At first I stood up to him, saying ‘go on then & do your worst,’ kinda stuff – then remembered mi smack in the puss, the fact he’d just killed his wife & it was only £1.50 for god’s sake. So I paid up, which was good really, cos it means I can go back.

So, me & Charlie left Gokarna… he hadn’t gone down too well with the hippies & I’ve been urged to return without him soon – but fate has some strange twists for me & Charlie yet, I am sure. We caught a train to South Goa for the ridiculous price of 15 rupees, & all of a sudden, one & a half hours later, we were in the Palolem/Patnem area. Charlie immediately lost his phone on arrival, total nightmare for the lad & with it lost footage of my argument with Muli. To cheer Charlie up I took him to a certain chemist in Goa where I’d scored some K myself a couple of years back. The same folk still ran it & before you know it charlie was queuing for about an hour to buy a metal tin & some candles. The rest of the night’s a bit of a blur, but I did manage to swagger into this wicked beach bar, blag the owner Raj for a Saturday night set, play some dodgy disco (which went down very well) & afterwards going racing around in rickshaws with two 23-year-old English lassies, interspersed with dips in the sea – they’d jut arrived you see. The rest of the Goa-Glam set ladies frown’d on their straggly hair & lack of make-up, but I just found them cuter.

That was in Palolem, a mile-long chain of restaurants & bars which at night become one multi-coloured ribbon of neon light. 4K to the south is my beloved Patnem, a magic little beach where the days laze by & seem about 75 percent English. The waters, tho’ cloudy, are silkily dive-in-able; warm & wet 24 hours a day. On the beach, there’s a herd of about 20 cows. On the back road near the beach there’s another herd, haunting the rubbish dump for snacks. In my head the two herds are the Montagues & Capulets of Romeo & Juliet, & there are two star-crossed lovers in their midst – there’s gonna be a bloody goring I tell you that.

This morning I went to sort my hangover out, met this lass who looked proper rough – like I felt – & invited her for chai & ended up growing ‘close.’ Friendships bloom & blossom in an instant when ya traveling – especially in a place like Patnem. Anyhows, there’s a good chance she’ll make up the third party on this house I’ve discovered here – you can take a three bedroom pad – with kitchen – a wee stroll form the beach for nine pounds a night total – 600 rupees. When people pay about 750 for a simple beach hut, its a done deal really. So it looks like I’ll be in Goa for a month or so… could be fun



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