costa del goa
there's something nasty stirring in paradise...
The tourists bumble into town, their heads full of Toytown mysticism and intoxicated by the knowledge that by this country's standards, they're stinking rich. Safe in the understanding that their credit cards will keep them safe and warm and nicely cushioned from the surrounding poverty, these cod-crusties have come to Goa to have a good time. All the time. They've heard all about the amazing beach raves and cheap living and the E's and they're ready to party. Hard.
Completely oblivious to showing any form of respect for local customs and beliefs, these failed explorers act and dress in a manner that would normally be considered taboo to the locals, but that won't bother them - after all, they've got the cash, haven't they?
They've only been in the country for a few hours, but already a few of the party are getting annoyed at all the Indian beggars who keep hassling them in the street. Perhaps someone should tell them they've probably got more money in their pockets then a beggar is likely to earn in a year.
They check in to their nice new air conditioned hotel, feeling good that their stay is helping the local economy. What they don't realise is that virtually all the new development has been financed by foreign investment, which promptly creams the cash out of Goa, leaving the locals to fight for the corporate crumbs.
On the beach Tabatha is having some hassle. She's upset that Indian men keep staring at her as she tries to top up her all-over tan. She doesn't stop to think that most Indian men don't get to see naked Western women that often and that nudity is completely against their local culture.
Still, they've heard that there's a big rave on tonight and they're looking to score. Back home in Basildon, all their friends were talking about the amazing rave at Christmas where some big name DJ's flew into Goa for a huge party, and they've come to join in the party! They've heard that you can get all the latest drugs out here and they're cheap too!
But things aren't looking so good. Until recently the club organisers would pay off the local police to stay away, but now it seems they're getting 'greedy' and slapping hefty fines on tourists caught with drugs. Julian is irate: ' I mean, we're bringing all this money into their country and they won't ignore a few laws for us? Outrageous! They should be thankful for the cash we're bringing into this dump'.
Still, when they get to the rave it's just like they thought it would be! Bangin' techno, E's easily available, lots of good spliff and loads of Europeans getting drunk and drugged up. This is even better than the Ministry of $ound! The locals stare on at this alien vision, uninvited and excluded from this baffling and intimidating sight, pondering on the injustices of the world.
How would you like it it if your back yard was suddenly filled with strange people with a strange selfish culture treating your country like a rich things playground?
The irony naturally escapes the travellers that they've travelled thousands of miles to a beautiful land with an incredible depth of history and tradition and all they've done is brought their own vacuous culture with them. And they're hanging on to it, no matter what the locals think.
There's already been reports in the national Indian press about the bad influence these travellers are having on the country. But they bring in desperately needed money and many think that's a price worth paying. Who cares about history when there's mouths to feed?
Back in their air-conditioned hotel room, Camilla and her friends are smugly exchanging stories of who paid the least for their dinner and who managed to get the best drugs. Now Tarquin is moaning that 'the scene's' got all commercialised since he was here last year and the prices are going up. He thinks some of the locals are ripping him off but secretly enjoys bartering the already ridiculously low prices even lower.
He fails to understand that it is precisely because people like him have started coming here and demanding western style parties and comforts that the place is being destroyed, but that won't bother him - he'll just move on somewhere else, American Express in pocket, walkman in hand.
When they've finished trashing this place, they'll no doubt find some other unspoilt place to move on to.
I hear Vietnam might be opening up nicely...
.....as if the Americans weren't bad enough in 67.
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