Back on the road, my first port of call was Chapora – a narrow cowboy-style frontier town with folk riding in on mopeds. It’s mellow by the day, but at night it comes into its own, with the bars knotty with half-cut travellers drinking beer & smoking chillumgees. The clientele all seem to be something out of Camden – lots of neo-punks & tattoos. There are some major long-termers here, whom on asking where they’re from, despite their thick Austrian accent, reply ‘I am from nowhere’ – bloody hippies. The nicest part was the harbour, calm with chilling fishermen & a few stray dogs, but pungent with the smell of fish. There are about twenty multicolour’d fishing boats all flying the flag of India, & among them I shook the hand of Raj, his skin as rough as treebark, & I soon found the reason why, as I helped him haul in a boat using thinnish rope, ripped my hands to shreds in the process!
Spent the evening very stoned – when in Rome, & all that, & Chapora does actually have some very fucking strong weed. I’ was chilluming the stuff in Bee’s Bar, named after Brixton Bob who used to manage the Stray Cats. A cool guy.
I’ve just reached Arambol & its plethora of market stalls. The quality of goods is great, & there are a few places which specialise in sending your buys home via air & sea. The theme is generally arty throes & bedsheets. At first, I was a bit miffed about the vibes, but I’ve just spent the evening by a gorgeous pinkness of sunlight setting into the sea, dancing with about a hundred folk to a load of bongo players on the beach, & even jammed along on this guy’s guitar – very good for the soul. I’ve got a well plush pad, perched between a tai-chi school & a yoga centre, for 6 quid a night. Our neighbour is the lovely Helen from Stevenage, a married woman out her on her own. There was definitely chemistry, however, & a theme is developing to this trip, I think. QPR bird, BBC bird & now stoner bird, who passed me a charas joint at hers which induced my first sick-surf whitey in a long time, swiftly rushing from her pad to fall asleep in the road – the irony is I was only ten seconds from my own house.
Also here is my mate Kern from Aberdeen. I bump’d into him quite randomly at the sunset jam & we went from there to an open-mic night at a place call’d the Surf Club, hosted by Phil, the 60-year old owner, & a right old raver, who used to supply pills in 250,000 consignments to Bristol. There were some great acts on – it was like this quality international jamboree –; Russians, Africans, Americans & me singing ‘Ye Jacobites By Name’ on guitar with Kern accompanying on trumpet. We were so good the owner, Phil, offer’d us a gig, introducing us to this mad Russian bird called Katia who will play drums. Also on board was Dirk, a sound German who will lend me his bass guitar.
Arambol is great – full of Russians & hippies, & seems to be a drug-filled, fun-heavy festival of a place. The night life is buzzing & there’s some beautiful coastal walks to tranquil beaches. I’ve also been taking out my landlord’s very handsome black dog. I can’t bear to see it on a chain all day, so I’ve been struttin’ the beach with him, disturbing all the strays who hang about for free food. Then, when we’re strutting the main shopping street, for once I don’t get disturbed at all by the cowering shopkeepers – trust me, this dog is that big. It also made me look cool when I approached the Coco Loco, a beach bar, & blagg’d a DJ gig later in the week when my mates from Scotland arrive – they said sure, why not, & so my career as a top Goan Dj continues.
Arambol should also be known as the place where I invented a new adverb – Stevenaged, – an experience not for the faint-hearted, believe you me. This entails meeting a mad group of birds from Stevenage who get you high, laugh a lot reyt loudly, drink you under the table, & then… you know the rest. Helen was not impress’d, however, when after all her inner turmoil about flirting with me & being married, I was ‘intercepted’ by her mate & taken back to a beach hut for carnal adventures. I then get a phone call from Helen who invited me to hers for a smoke, where I’m currently typing up this after she seduced the fuck out of me. I’d love to go on, but this black acrobat guy from Kenya’s just dropped off some crack & Helen has fixed up a bloody mary, ‘I Am The Ressurection’ has just come on the stereo, & so for the second time this year, after visiting my mate Charlie in Brixton & that mad night with Ketamine Karen – I’m thinking it’ll be too rude not to toot.
Waking up in Helen’s bed I decided it was not the best time to become a crack head, & swiftly decamped on an 8k scooter-ride north to the island-like Kerim, at the northernmost tip of Goa; one side of which faces a river estuary, one side the Arabian Sea, & the other side crown’d by a long, wall-like hill which paragliders chuck themselves off thro’ the day. There’s only one road in – by the river – or it’s possible to walk here along the hazardous, overgrown coastal paths up to Arambol.
On route I got chatting to this Irish guy in a restaurant, who mentioned there was a place for rent near his mate’s house in Keri. His name is Martin & only has one leg – bitten off by a shark he told me. A funny guy tho’, we’ve swapp’d numbers & will hook up soon.
So I got to my Keri & found Martin’s mate, who led me to this like a four roomed bungalow divided into two, with a toilet at the back of each half. There’s a kitchen, a lovely porch where you can set up a mattress, & stairs up to the roof for a sun-bathe – & my half of the house is costing only £2 a night. For another £2 a day I’ve got a sexy yellow pussy-wagon of a new scooter from a local lad.
Keri village itself is quite widely dispersed, with a few ex-pat English gangsters avoiding cops at home & the Russian imperial venture at Arambol. The places possesses a gorgeously vast & tranquil beach, & a ferry that takes you across the river to the next state of Maharashtra.
Back in Arambol, the Surf Club gig was wicked – we got paid in money, beautiful tandoori & a free bar – which of course I availed myself of wholeheartedly. I also met Albina, a tall & very hot Russian lass from beside the Black Sea & after the gig I drove her back to Keri where she is currently snoozing off our lovemaking in what appears to be a curious dialect of Russian.
This morning with a ‘goodbye sweetie’ Albina went off to work at an international nursery school & I thought I’d drive the 35 k south to Anjuna, pausing every now & then to watch a bit of the cricket. On the way back, I stopped off at the Mango Tree for a beer, & met two cute 20-odd year teachers from England, fresh off the plane from where they work in Dubai, & looking for a rave. After informing them that Arambol was wicked, they promptly said they’d come up that night. Which they did, & after scoring some quality MDMA in the back room of a dodgy shop, we proceeded to have one of those classic Goan experiences; dancing to trance, partying on the beach, etc. It was funny as, I mean they really were hot girls & I went round telling everyone they were my wives – a little bit of kudos for the new-boy in town. Come the early hours, the girls were ready to go home, so I sorted them out a taxi & watched them sail off into the distance, before hopping on my scooter & driving to a bar. There a 25 year-old Pakistani lass call’d Simi was DJing & we soon got chatting, I gave her a dab, she let me play some tunes. Her idea of disco & my idea of disco were very differeent things, however once off we went back to her pad we were definitely playing the same kind of music. My mojo is proper rampant at the moment, you wouldn’t believe!
My guitarist pal from Edinburgh, Al Roberts, turn’d up today, with his guitar slung over his shoulders, along with George & Shady – two lads from Galloway. Their plan is to buy bikes & drive around India like madheads. Cue beers & drugs & jamming on Al’s rooftop with all & sundry including Kern & Martin, with the latter almost falling off the roof after trying to stand up drunk on his fake leg.
Then, in the afternoon a Scottish lassie I know turned up; my ubercool DJ pal ‘Needle Sista’ Teri, along with Cornish Stella & Glaswegian Lorraine, who were both in India for the first time. So, I tells them about Keri & we all agreed to go & get dinner down there & catch the last of their first day’s sunshine, where I penn’d the following sonnet.
I watch’d the reaching out of Dawn’s arms red,
Both wrapp’d about the beach on which I led,
Saw little twitters skip the zenith crest
Of waves flung shorewards, falling foam abreast;
Ahead, the full moon gave the waves good gold,
Behind, deep-banded amber branding bold,
When starry rays made way for planets three,
They, too, into the blue illume did flee.
As round the moon rose-fingers floating meet,
Morn’s cyan-curtain’d opening complete,
As fishermen & dogs began day’s dance
Still on the sands I lay, a man entranc’d,
For as full moon thro’ blinking cloud distills,
What flaming sun-chink winks out from the hills!
That evening Albina turns up wanting to see ‘her Damo,’ with her sister on the book of their scooter visiting from Russia. By now most of the group had gone back to Arambol – Ttere was just me, Martin & his mate. Albina’s sister took an immediate shine to Martin ‘I looovveee him’ – she drawl’d, & they ended up driving off to Arambol, while of course Albina stay’d at mine.
It turns out Albina wants a baby with me. It’s definitely time to leave Arambol for that & two other reasons. The first is the banging night put on by me, Teri & Al at the Coco Loco – we called it Tinky Disco & was a blend of DJing & live guitar, all proper good fun & the punters were loving it including our massive posse. Mission accomplish’d. The other reason is a bit fucking dark. Earlier in the day, after leaving Albina’s sister’s place, Martin had an argument with some Indians in a bar who ended up battering him with his own fake leg. He must have been well piss’d off because not long after he’d gotten into another argument with this Swedish guy he was living with in Arambol, hit him over the head with the Swedish guy’s own drum & actually fucking killed him. The police caught up with him about 40 k away & that’s him fuck’d, for what’s gonna be a very long, long time. Totally mental! I didn’t find out about this until quite late on at the Casa Loco, but the vibe of Arambol has suddenly alter’d drastically. Goa has its highs, but also clearly has its lows. Too much drugs, too much sunshine, & when the fun flips to fuck’d up, all hell breaks loose!