Goa needs no introduction. A hub of alternate culture, it’s infamous reputation as a psychedelic destination is heralded worldwide by a music genre with the same name. Goa trance. We went straight to Anjuna, known for it’s pumping seaside clubs, awesome weekly market and idylic palm lined beach.
Brushing my teeth that night, I wandered out onto the bamboo deck of our waterfront accomodation and gazed into the moons’ reflection on the Indian Ocean. The next day we climbed a high bluff to get a view over Anjuna and the neighboring beaches of Calangute, Ozran and Vagator. I met a swiss guy who offered to take me Paragliding. I watched him defeat gravity using only a 20 metre kite and a decent sea breeze. Gracefully riding the wind like a surfer rides the waves, sometimes aggressive and spectacular and other times thoughtfully slow. We went up…
We would follow the birds to find out where the best lifts were and with them ascend high up into the sky. The experience of flying like that was so exhilarating. I looked deep within myself and asked a stern question ‘why have I not spent the majority of my time parasailing? What have I been doing with my life!?’ I’ve moved on since then but it was a very compelling potential priority shift.
As if I couldn’t get any higher, I had a gig that night at the famous Anjuna nightclub, Curlies. Curlies was renown for playing a crucial part in cultivating the worldwide subculture of Psy-trance. Ironically, I was the only DJ on the lineup that did not play psy-trance (alternatively known as Goa Trance). This turned out to be a good thing though, cos when I started dropping some fat and funky beats people started coming out of the paintwork for a jive. Some high rollers from Bangalore decided I was ok and invited me into their posse, I made heaps of friends and had a damn good night.
Then an Indian couple offered to host us on couchsurfer. The directions we got were to a shop on the side of the road (like a dairy), when we arrived we realised that was their home and there was a spare bed out the back for us. Such a humbling experience to see life through the eyes of people we bought things from and interacted with every day.
India is full of these bad ass motorcycles called Royal Enfield. I’d love to be able to convey the words in an Indian accent for it truly conveys the glory of an Enfield. Kind of like the Harley Davidson, the Enfield was synonymous with the Indian version of the American Dream. Loud, fast and flash, the best way to show off how baller you are. Our hosts had a motorbike (not an Enfield), and it got me psyched up to get one. Tara didn’t let me get an Enfield so I had to settle for the Jap knock off. Alright. Might live to see another day if I go for the less grunty one anyway.
Cruising around Goa on a cruiser is a great memory for me, but a memory with a stain. Riding a sexy motorbike through what many consider the most gorgeous part of the world with my girl on the back. Dropping in on primo beaches and eating sumptuous food at groovy beach restaurants. Watching that beautiful land unfold beneath my tyres was like a fantasy movie. But every good story needs conflict. Before long we were lost down long plantation roads dotted with palms and smiling people. We came to a bridge that was blocked off with guys dancing to a grunty sound system set up in the middle of the road. Turned out Holi wasn’t finished. They swarmed our bikes with hands outstretched like technicolour zombies. Instead of wanting to eat our brains the undead goal was to cover us in their powdered paint of ecstatic holy joy. Surrounded by people trying to molest us with paint I assessed my exit strategy. Tara screamed from behind me and I sensed that holy joy hands were turning into creepy mob mentality hand in the presence of a beautiful white girl. I revved the engine and wave went through the crowd, toed it into first with the clutch out slightly and the bike kicked forward a bit. I saw fear in the eyes of the guys in front of me and I saw my chance to get out. I yelled and let the gears bite, sending the front wheel into the air. After more gropey hands, dramatic revving and tooting of the horn we broke free from the crowd. Tara was shaken up and I was too lost to calm her, every direction I drove there were more mobs of Holi zombies throwing paint at us and swarming the bike. I took to the fields to get out of our post apocalyptic rainbow fantasy horror movie and getting even more lost. Thankfully we knew the word for beach and an old lady pointed us in the right direction.