Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Goan Odyssey : Part 3

Paradise Lost?


Let's get it straight - There's something terribly wrong with Goa and it's people. I know this may have come as a shock to many of you, but sadly, this is what i percieved during the last two days of my Goan Odyssey.


In Goa, most businesses thrive solely upon tourism. And most businessmen realize that its the fairer ones from the other side of the world, who bring in most of the moolah. At a restaurant, Indian customers are compelled to make-do with rickety plastic chairs, and a glass of water for them is dillydallied endlessly; while the foreigners enjoy an enviable view of the beach, seated on cusioned sofas, with waiters faking accents incessantly: "Anything aaelse ma'am?".
In the name of hospitality towards the foreigners, they end up being hostile towards the visitors from their own country. Did i hear anyone say 'Atithi-devo-bhava'!

The goras are entitled to a free entry in all the hippest clubs in Goa. But when we (poor, fellow Indians) asked the entry rate, the already sulking gatekeeper replied surlily, "Eight Hundred per person". A look at the well endowed (all at the wrong places!) bouncers, and we merrily restrained ourselves from arguing over the blatant partiality, else they would have kicked us right into the sea. And after that awful 'banana' experience (refer to Part 1), we were in no mood for anything remotely 'sea-waves'!

Shopping, we thought, would be a relaxing activity after all that excitement. But as we soon realized, 'relaxation' was almost a distant dream in this vacation!
We had to buy some souvenirs for friends back home, so we headed for street shopping in Calangute. "Hmm... these earrings are nice", my friend decided, "I think i'll buy this for my sis. How much?". Pat came the reply: "Only Rs. 550". And our jaws dropped open. We did expect exorbitant prices as the first quotes, but this was ROBBERY! "At a Delhi street shop, such earrings wont cost more than 50-70 bucks", we retaliated. "Jab lena hi nahi hai, to aate kyu ho! (When you won't buy, why do you even come!)", the vendor shut us up. There was no use bargaining, as we kept getting all kinds of derogatory remarks - "Disturb mat karo. Customers(read foreigners) se deal karne do"; "Wapis rakho usse... Rakhna bhi nai ata properly".
All the politeness and respect, was probably reserved for the foreigners only.

Call it attitude problem, or call it patronizing the west. But romanticizing the fair-skinned hominids, at the cost of the not-so fair ones, might drag us back into the imperial era.

27 comments:

Swarnadeep Chatterjee said...

At a restaurant, Indian customers are compelled to make-do with rickety plastic chairs, and a glass of water for them is dillydallied endlessly; while the foreigners enjoy an enviable view of the beach, seated on cusioned sofas, with waiters faking accents incessantly: "Anything aaelse ma'am?".


Nice one.

pearlie s said...

well...i guess...thts a taste of ur own medicine...isnt it ?? arnt we the ones patronizing the west in evrythng we buy...be it angrejji music...branded clothes...gadgets gizmos...wteva...we prefer the west more thn apna very own bharat...innit ???

pearlie s said...

bt nywyz...nice 1...n i probably realize nw the reason for goans patronizing me wen i went thre as a baby(wid ma n pa obviously)...i m told i ws sooooo gori gori n golu molu tht i ws provided free evrythng at Goa...!! they probably confused me wid an NRI kid i suppose..!! :P :D

Pranay said...

@pearlie..
thnx 4 sharing ur experience. I agree that we are the ones who are embracing the westernized way of living, we shud limit it to that...
its the fascination with the western people, than the western culture, that is more disturbing.. coz it just leads to unfair partiality and hostility towards fellow indians...

anks said...

Yeah... this is an obvious result of the foreigners splurging their moolah while us Indians watching the way we spend every hard earned paisa....

I remembered we were ripped off 800 bucks for a teeny weeny lobster that was served to us after an hour of waiting!!!

But then we can't really blame those guys for patronising the goras... the attitude can be polite though...

Pranay said...

@anks

that's exactly what i wish to convey... respect everyone..

Pranay said...

IMPORTANT
Have changed the sub-heading of The Goan Odyssey - Part 3, from 'White Man Burdens' to 'Paradise Lost?'
As an afterthought, i realized that some people may feel offended by the topic. My sincere apologies if anyone actually has felt so.

MishtiZaa said...

okay...you beat me now...
seriously man...we (indians) are only gonna take us down the drains... anywez thats how it is *SUPPOSED* to be...ryte? but you know what...why only the goan-vendors...if we look deeper we'll see that EVERYONE is actually doing like this...viz. the politicians

p.s.
but even then its our country n our ppl...so..chak de yaar!!!

Pranay said...

@mishtizaa
i know that we all are up in full force to 'woo' the west, but this was heiights. I havent seen such kind of behaviour anywhere i hv gone. Even kerela gets a lot of foreigners, but the keralites are very polite and well-behaved to indian tourists as well. But in goa, the shopkeepers literally yelled at us. Only we know how we managed to keep our calm!
But all said and done, as u said, its our own india yaar!

nomad said...

i was in goa myself a few weeks back, and i agree with you to a large extent. but i differ with you on the cause of the problem

* aren't we the people who turn up on the beach in office pants, cheap "goa beach" t-shirts and kolhapuris to ogle and pass lewd comments on bikini clad blondes?

* aren't we the people who don't think twice about throwing the chips packet wrapper, cigarette butts and beer bottles in the middle of the beach?

* aren't we the people who try the corniest pickup lines when we see a single firang babe in a bar? aren't we the ones who get drunk and get into brawls at the clubs?

* aren't we the people who've been dragging tourists into their cars in the night and raping them?

paisa for paisa, it's the firangs who contribute more to goa's economy than us indians. but it is us who are hell bent on destroying it?

think again....

Ron Lemon said...

loved your post... and come on, the whites come to goa once or twice in their lifetime.. let them sit on sofa and have the best view of the beach ;)

Setu said...

ah i see.. that sounds sad man.. i've always wanted to go to Goa.. i think i'll buy me a set of fair skin before i get there..

btw, thanks for ur comment..
cheers!

Pranay said...

@nomad..
your viewpoint is very correct, but the point i wished to raise is that why the goan people behave so partially?? Agreed that the foreigners are their biggest source for money, but that doesnt mean that they loose all respect for and mis-treat the indian tourists. And lemme tell u that the foreigners create a lot of brawls as much as the indians do when drunk.
but yes, after barbaric incidents of rapes and molestations of foreigners, this bit of news seems much relieving!

Jshree said...

That sounds pathetic. We had all the news channels go crazy for off the field cricket controversies, but i can't see a single voice against such "racism within the country"!

suar said...

never been to goa, but i agree a lil' bit with you.. not about goa but i have seen this happening at some places..
not so much.. but still..

-ciao..

Viraj said...

Well, i hav never been to Goa but wat you posted is so shocking. As far as the price of earrings is concerned, we can understand. after all they hav their items for sale and wud sell it at the cost they can easily fetch frm foreigners. but the way u wre treated by thm is certainly nt shocking.

interestingly I dint notice nething lke tht when i was in portugal last year. even though there wre not many individual shops thre and the shopkeepers know it well tht nt many people frm africa n asia dont buy costly items, they talk to u very friendly manner.

but ur post certainly provides some insight into d situation.

Pranay said...

@viraj...
u kno.. after hearing that 550 quote, we thot Ok.. this is getting too much.. but still we can bargain..
but sadly, the shopkeepers werent interested in us at all.. n they just looked the other direction, and if we tried to bargain, they passed some rude remark..
the attitude was the prime problem..

Rashi V said...

I read your post and realised this the same thing that happens at Colaba at Mumbai..If you enter a shop when there are foreigners there ..Forget getting decent price you wont even be looked at...
Hint : Next time you want to go shopping go during rains..Its cheaper then..Take it from a person who has been to Goa at least twice a year ..;)

Ajay Kumar said...

A much often experienced scene @ most of the tourist places in India, where foreigners frequent. Sad. Btw gud post with a nice flow of language.

"Anything aaelse ma'a,"

gud one dude!!

Net Esportes said...

People wanting to take vatagem and earn easy money has around the world, exploiting tourists then ..... Here near where live once closed some deserted beach, through private properties, then charged to enter, but the government discovered and opened a passage pata the public ..........

Pranay said...

@rashi.. nw u r making me jealous!!!

@ajay kumar..
i hv been to tourist hubs like rajasthan, kerela, andamans.. but the thing wasnt that serious there.. anyws.. thnx bro

@net esportes
thnx 4 ur comments.. good that the government took some action

~ the ugly coyote ~ said...

pretty neat work.. keep it up.. ;)

unpretentious_diva said...

Call it attitude problem, or call it patronizing the west.

wrong assumption. It is patronizing money.
They loots the foriegners, yet, they can't loot you by illuding hospitality.
You won't get in trap of alluding illusive hospitality, so they don't tries to trap you too. While the foriegners do comes in that trap and gets looted.
You are talking of Goa, its just same in thailand or malaysia too.
sho[pkeepers and vendors illudes them, whom they can loot, or who are ready to sprinkle money as for fun!

Pranay said...

@diva..
i think many have mistunderstood what i wished to convey...
ofcourse they are after money thats why they favour foreigners.. but that doesnt mean mistreating the indian tourists. does it?
this is the point i wish to spread light upon - how the businessmen, shopkeepers and vendors mistreat the indian visitors...

Anonymous said...

i think that for dat shopkeeper, even keeping a plastic face of mannerism and politeness was bit too expensive to do...dat wud hav costed him d foreigner customer wich he cud hav convinced for buying dose "550 tagged" ear-rings...
at dat time,u shud hav told d shopkeeper to recall d statement of "customer is always right"...
well dese r d things wich we can only be thought of,but not applied.

Dese issues sizes a mere drop in dis sea full of hypocrisy, corruption,racism and much more crappy things going on....wich is then sensationalised by our gr8 news channel(specially d hindi ones)

yaar, u shud hav made a video while doing bargaing wid dat shopkeeper and den send it to some news channel, by now it wud had been a breaking news.

italicsblogs said...

Very refreshing and cool take on Goa!

consider lengthening your posts, friend!

MY THOUGHTS!! said...

athithi goes to hell buddy!

its all abt money!


thank you for ur comment! i rather like writin casually! gives more freedom to express myself!

and finally some1 who like he template!