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Goa Sucks, And How!


Gone are the days when you would cherish every moment spent in Goa. Today, the state has become so tourist unfriendly, costlier and weird that you would wish to forget your trip there. This is going to hurt its tourism business more and result into worsening economy for sure

 

On the Calangute beach, it was a beautiful evening and there were few boys playing football. The nets were created using rods. Just then, a lady requested her husband, “Come on, let us take one last selfie before we say goodbye to the place.”

“Okay!”

And the couple sitting in a sea facing shack started walking towards the water on the beach’s wet sand. It was a momentary thing and the couple would have left the place as soon as their purpose was solved. But, before we get done with their small wish, a couple of boys shouted at them, “Hey! Just go away. We are playing here. You cannot take a selfie here. Go, go elsewhere, or else, the ball will hit you.”

The couple obeyed as the guys were, ‘locals’, and there was no point in arguing with them. But before they reach a place little away from the boys’ so-called ground, one of the guys took an aim at the couple and… the ball indeed hit the woman hard!

Probably that was their way to say, “Welcome to Goa!”

This was not the only such incident of Goan’s arrogance we saw during our three days stay in the state. Goan’s arrogance starts the moment you land in the state, at the airport, or a railway station or a bus stand. Goa or its people were not like this few years ago. The state was actually so tourist friendly that one would feel visiting it time and again. Things have gone worse now. So is the cost of travelling the state.

We had stayed at the Calangute beach, in North Goa and one of the most popular places among tourists. During our stay, I observed few behavioural minuses of Goans that really worried me. Consider this:

·When relaxing in a shack, one cannot dare to go and use a washroom of any other shack. So what if you have an urgent nature’s call? That is your problem, and not of Goa’s or of Goan’s. If you dare to enter a washroom of a nearby shack, be sure that someone from that shack would come shouting at you and warn, “You are not allowed to use or washroom, understand?”

·Tourists usually ride a rented bike in Goa and I was not an exception. During one ride, I was to take a steep right turn and the road was very narrow, muddy and full of potholes. I could see what’s coming from the other end of the road. I saw on a car driving in my direction but, the speed of both the vehicles was very slow. So, instead of taking a right turn from the extreme left of the road, I rode my bike cautiously, from the extreme right. I also blew my horn and the car driver was able to see me, just like I was seeing you. Our vehicles crossed each other safely, yet, the car driver screamed and said abusive in the local language. That showed the local’s true characteristics today.

·There was a shop where we were considering buying some stuff. A newlywed couple too entered the shop then. They were Indians. The woman asked the shopkeeper if he had a beachwear of her size, which was as such hanging nearby. The shopkeeper looked at the woman from tip to toe and flatly said, “No. Go next shop.” Puzzled, the woman looked at her husband. The husband too was unsure why the shopkeeper was saying no, yet, staying cool, he asked, “Fine. Do you have one for me, some nice shorts or…” “No. Go next shop.” The shopkeeper said again, while we could see several shorts of many sizes displayed in the shop. The couple could not believe this attitude but left the shop quickly. And the shopkeeper, his eyes still following them with despise, said, “Bloody fools. They had just come to waste my time. Had no wish to buy anything. I mostly don’t entertain Indians as they are useless.” Look who was saying this! An Indian to an Indian for Indians!

·Nothing is Goa comes cheap. Be it local travel in cabs, or stay, or liquors or food. The costliest are shacks close to beaches. They charge a bomb for everything. And restaurants elsewhere are maybe 10% cheaper than shacks but still, they are costlier than fine hotels in metros. You can have a cheap stay only when you book a room from the same person who gets you a bike and you go for wine and dine in his shack.  This also reminds me of a statement by Vijai Sardesai, the state’s minister for agriculture and town and country planning. In 2018, he had said, Goa should rethink its tourism policy and target foreign tourists only. What’s more, he even said, “Goa should become so expensive that tourists should say that it is not worth coming to Goa. Which tourists … the Indian tourists”.  Check an article in The Times of India here: http://tiny.cc/th2o2y

·There are no visible tourist information centres, or officials to help you at most of the places. And locals are so rude that they don’t bother to help tourists, especially if they are Indians.

If you try seeking help from police officials, think twice. They are not at all helping. In fact, the Goa police achieved a weird feat in 2018 of fining a whopping 7.74 lakh people while the state has a population of only 15 lakh! So, who all were fined for one or the other stupid reason? Tourists, obviously.

It seems that this who cares attitude in Goans is developed thanks to its long-standing popularity among tourists. However, statistics confirm that the state is losing its charm quickly. The number of tourists in Goa is going down rapidly. In 2018, the dip was at high as 30% compared to the previous year. With unimaginable prices for everything, rudeness of Goans and tourists harassments by police officials, one cannot expect things to improve.

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