It was time to move from the northern beaches of Goa to those of the south which we were told were nicer. But first we sat in the lobby of Asterix Hostel listening to horror stories from the night before. The English “Indian Jew” was cut up all over his face and body from a motorcycle accident the night before that had knocked him unconscious on a curve where two people had died a few days earlier. Another guy was in the hospital because at the club he had decided he wanted to stop the fan…with his hand, and cut his finger open all the way to the bone. I am so glad I stayed in last night.
When traveling, stalking changes from a creepy activity to an acceptable way to maintain friendships. Or at least that’s how I’m justifying following the two English guys we met briefly, from Vagator to Colva to the same hotel. When we arrived the first thing we did after dropping our bags was head to the beach to see how the southern beaches compared. While it was no Tahiti there was substantial sand between the road and the water so I accepted it as an improvement over our initial beach experience in Vagator. Still wary of the not so subtle casual stroll by phone pic technique that had been frequently employed in the past, we walked a bit down the beach away from the locals (yes I know this is racist) and walked towards the first white people we saw (okay very racist)- which turned out to be 2 of the guys we had met at Asterix.
After the initial awkwardness of “Hey, what are you guys doing here?” “Oh we just followed you to this town, to the same hotel you’re in, and creepily put our towels next to yours at the beach,” we headed into the water for a quick dip. Although the beach was nicer than the rocky ones of Vagator, the weather was cooler so after a few minutes of playing in the waves I headed back to the beach and volunteered to watch everyone’s stuff. Even if it was a bit less warm, the sun was still out so I laid out on my blanket and took out my journal to catch up on a few days of writing. Periodically looking around to take in my surroundings, I relaxed at the idea that there wasn’t really anyone around and I was separated from the busy area of the beach by a boat. There was one guy standing around the other side of the boat but he just looked like some dude trying to get out of the sun so I paid him no mind.
A few minutes later I looked back at the boat and realized the guy was kind of staring at me so I figured great, another awkward starer, he’s probably going to whip out his camera and take a picture when I’m not looking. As it turns out, I wish he had whipped out his camera and taken a picture, since what he whipped out and started playing with instead was much less pleasant than a camera.
As he sat behind the boat I quickly put all my clothes on and started desperately looking around the beach for any police. Fortunately my friends chose that moment to come back from the water and the guy had disappeared by the time I told them about the boat. And while that wasn’t the first time someone had taken it out and started playing with it in public while staring at me (hello five unwanted NYC subway dicks I’ve seen before turning 18), I won’t lie, this one freaked me out more since there were not many people around and well, it was India.
As I cleared up my stuff to head back to the hotel, one of the English guys, came back and told us the girl they were traveling with was in a restaurant nearby because she had gotten freaked out by a guy staring at her and touching himself while she was sitting on the beach. Well, at least I’m not the only one. And while I’d like to say we bonded together, and got the guy arrested or hunted him down and castrated him, with no cops to be seen and no sharp knives to be had we were resigned to just accepting the fact that that creep is still out there somewhere.
Due to that lovely experience, the next 2 days of my stay in Colva were tainted by the my fear of boats and the beach in general. Fortunately, Le Ben, our hotel had a nice rooftop bar and awesome bartender and also the English folk for company. After a few days of drinking on the beach at night while wild dogs barked at us (still preferable to the daytime company) and drinking in local bars and on the rooftop it was off to Thailand. Goodbye India, it’s been…an experience.