costa del goa: feedback
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Aah, India - land of a thousand temples, a country of a billion faces and a place of contrasts. The majesty of the hills, the teeming drama of the cities, the romance of the desert...or should that be a place filled with arseachingly boring 'travellers' (= tourists) braiding each others hair, enjoying slum voyeurism and talking ill-informed bollocks about the state of the things around them?
I'm told that Goa and surrounding areas are completely fucked over by Western resort hotels needing 150 litres of water per couple per day and that vast areas of land that was previously open to all has been fenced off so that European tourists - that is, probably people like you and me - can enjoy their cocktails in peace.
It's said that the whole country seems to be infested with other people from developed countries desperate to get more off the beaten track than you (I understand there's a Dutch boy in a cave in the Punjab who's surviving by eating his baggy trousers - little does he know there's a Nomadic Travellers' Planet Explorers Trailblazer net cafe just opened at the cave's mouth).
Is there any point in visiting India - or are the social, environmental and economic consequences of tourism irreconcilably negative? Are tourists always going to pollute, commit crime, inflate prices and generally patronise "the natives" (and each other)?
"Quick, Tarquin - let's get along to this underground exclusive local bar that's mentioned in the Rough Guide!"
Comment from: JohnW on the bulletin boards
Yes, I understand what you're saying, and it's always tempting to despise people who discover a place you were at years ago when it was unspoilt/better/cheaper/more peaceful/ less corrupt etc.
But Goa was never really like that. I can't remember when I first went there - the 80's anyway. The police were corrupt about drugs then, we just hadn't invented raves for them to capitalise on.
There were always the unconfirmed stories of white slavery perpetrated on unwary female travellers.
And of course the cops were always making up spot fines for people who had hired bikes but had no Indian licence - nice little earner!
You are, regrettably right that we make very bad cultural decisions about habits and dress in some countries and Goa sure ain't Ibiza or a Greek Island. I saw some real twat English females with their tits out on Colva Beach 1n 1995 wondering why they were surrounded by bug-eyed Indian men.
You can still have fun in out of the way places though. There is that stunning overgrown (British?)fort north of Tiracol a couple of miles inside Maharashtra which has been used for secret raves for a while.
The last time I was there with Guru the Taxi man from Baga(Goa goers will know him) the whole place was done up in day-glo 60's style graffiti from a rave.The maharashtra government is not so understanding as the Goa one, but it's worth finding.
comment from: derek firstname.lastname@example.org
I have never written to anything like this before, but I felt I had to write and comment on your article about Goa.
I spent Xmas and the New Year there and it was heaven. We had been to India before but we had been to Kerela and we were trying Goa to compare the two states.
I totally agree with what you had written, and you put it across so well. We didn't see any of the raves as such but what we did see was the shoddy posters and the recovering ravers the next day. We spent the entire flight over to India sat in front of some lad's going to Goa for the party season, and it truly wasn't pleasant.
If people want to do what they do back home why do they stay at home and let the rest of us truly enjoy the rest of the world. I don't expect for one minuet that these ravers saw anything of the country's beauty and the wonderful people and culture.
It is a shame that there is no way to stop people like this spoiling it for the locals and tourists who want to see the country. Thank you it is nice to know there are others who feel like we do.
Comment from Karen and Michael
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