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Thursday
Dec102009

Cops nab suspect......

I have spent quite some time now driving around Goa. When I say driving, I mean being driven by my taxi-man Jay. Jay is unique in that he has managed to convince me that he rips me off marginally less than other itinerant taxi drivers would. I am not that bothered, taxis are very cheap here. Without a lot of haggling, you can get a taxi all day for about 15 pounds. This means that you can get taken to where you want, stay as long as you like, go somewhere else, stay as long as you like, ad infinitum. Maybe I could get the same treatment for 13 pounds, but life is too short

Anyway, re driving. Any serious student of the theory of chaos, should have a visit to Indian traffic conditions as a compulsory sector of their course. There appears to be only one rule, and that is 'Use horn before you do anything', and provided that you do that, you are pretty well legal. Traffic is manically crowded. Look at an English traffic jam, invert the proportions of four wheeled vehicles and two wheeled, and then quadruple the total. That will represent a quiet day around Panaji or Margao. The reason that students of chaos should be interested is because it WORKS. Very stressful, even as a passenger, but you don't actually stand still for very long. Near misses aplenty, but the horn means 'I have seen you, and I am not stopping/letting you in' and, as I said, it works.

One of the delights of being here are the English language newspapers. The ability to speak English here signifies educated and the proportion of the population that qualify is impressive. The Times of India publish a Goan edition and there is the Goan Times, The Herald, and a number of others. They tend to be broadsheets, and are widely read. The delight is in the Beano type of dialogue that has made me smile a number of times. A subheading yesterday was literally 'Cops nab suspect'.

A selection of the newspapers available in Goa

I hit it quite lucky with my hotel. It is not luxury, by any standard, but everything works. The shower is warm, the loo flushes, and the ceiling fan circulates. Plus the fridge of course. I think, being here on my own, I have probably got one of the poorer rooms, but its fine to the extent that I would be happy to have it again. The lucky part is that the hotel is down a side road, off another side road. No traffic noise.

Beep beep

View of my hotel from the (small) approach road