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FOREWORD

When you travel, the people you meet are special.

I firmly believe that.

I’ve traveled since I was about 25, and I have met hundreds of these special people. Most you meet, spend time with, share experiences and ideas, and leave, often never having contact again. Sometimes, remaining friends from a distance.

But now and again, you come across an individual who can only be discribed as enigmatic. Someone so out there that they leave a lasting impression on you.

And sometimes you meet them again.

This was the case with Odin Pang.

I met him first, the year before Aparteid ended, in South Africa, at a place called The Boulders on the Cape. We traveled together along the coast to Durban from Cape Town, and then up to Petermaritzburg and finally to Johannesburg. Five days in total. Then as traveling companions do, we parted. I headed back to Zimbabwe, he to India.

In 2007, I went to India to work on a conservation project. I spent 3 months there then traveled on, heading for Goa. I met him again, after all those years. As people do, we fell into each others company and travelled some more, before on Febuary 12th, 2008, he vanished.

The only thing that remained was a tattered Ozzy army backpack, a ball of string, a extremely well traveled copy of Moby Dick and his diary, which was so old, it was nothing more that a worn leather cover filled with loose leaves of paper covered in writing, magazine clippings and old 35mm pictures, held together with elastic bands. He hadnt said he was leaving. He was just gone.

Here I will put what I found in that diary, together with my own experiences of my time with the man.

It won’t mean much, or it might mean everything. It will be jumbled, chaotic and often as disturbing as life could be with such a companion. But it was never dull. maybe some of that feeling will translate through his writing. Maybe he’ll just come off as an idiot.

Odin I guess was both.

But, like I said, some people are enigmatic. Odin Pang certain was.

That naked guy just stole my fucking camera!’ the voice cried.

It took me a moment to realise that is was my voice. An instantaneous verbalisation before chillum-addled rational thought could kick in and start censoring things, dependent on the time, the place and condition of the speaker.

A girl in pink sunglasses next to me in the crowd giggled.

She looked about twelve if you managed to ignore the type of cleavage that would have been marked on GoogleEarth.

But the fact remained that my camera had been deftly snatched out of my hand by a skinny naked man as he rushed by, with two Indian coppers in hot pursuit.

Even in the tourist ghettos of Goa, nudity was frowned upon. Opportunistic camera theft, doubly so.

The capture would be embarrassing; the bribe would put true emphasis on the word obscene.

But the guy sure could run.

Odin was six five, skinny and topped with a huge bush of gravity defying curly copper coloured hair. He wore what he called half a tash, a long moustache, shaved in the middle. The hair was usually restrained by a typical Australian bush hat. If there was one man on this Earth proud to be Australian, it was Odin. In this case, despite the clothing being absent, the hat was firmly in place.

This event, narrated as far as my brain can manage to recall, was the first time I had seen Odin since South Africa in 1991.

The bribe was obscene. I know this because I paid it. He had my camera after all, so a visit to the police station went hand in hand with bailing him out. I arrived the following morning, firstly because I knew that Odin would be drunk. He was always drunk, and this did tend to make conversation difficult if not dangerous at times. Secondly, I was way too stoned to even attempt an exchange with the India authorities, and lastly, because me and about thirty other people paused to watch two recently discharged Israeli soldiers beating the crap out of each other on the beach. I remember thinking, ‘Here’s two young guys, off their tits on pills and beer, beating each other up. A few weeks before they were probably answering hails of Palestinian stones with gas grenades. Don’t people know how to have a holiday?’ Now here they were, pulling a crowd on some distant tropical beach in a brain fried brawl to celebrate their freedom from national service.

Springing Odin cost me 7000 rupees and a lecture in broken English about behaviour from a policeman no taller than Odin’s ribs. Odin on the other hand seemed far from surprised to see me, which made me think the bastard had spotted me days before and stealing my camera mid-streak was just his way of saying hello. We left quickly, with him mumbling obscenities at the policemen, while I tried hard to guide him through the door and down the street. He was not beyond aggression to authority figures, and I suspected the policemen were slightly relieved to get rid of him. He could be threatening when drunk, and tetchy when sober. There was only one thing to do. We headed back to the beach and to the nearest bar, crying out drinks orders as we entered.

Despite the charisma and excitement of such company, reacquainting yourself with someone as inherantly volatile Odin, has to be approached in simple stages.

Stage One.

Find somewhere with a liberal attitude to smoking dope and an unlimited (you hope) source of alcohol, and get hammered.

Stage Two.

Prepare yourself for any potential problems that might be the result of stage one.

The simple fact is that people like Odin don’t spend the vast portion of their lives in mundane pursuits, like 9-5 jobs, mortgages, caring for elderly relatives and bringing up children.

If they end up with children, rest assured that the little scamps will be mercifully saved from having to cope with the pure knife edge trauma of having that individual as a parent, because they will not be present, or at least not for long!

They’re not the type of limp wrested, traveller’s cheque seekers of enlightenment.

They don’t have return tickets and never book fortnight holidays in Spain. But rest assured that if they were ever confronted with a sun lounger that had been marked with someone’s towel, they would either steal it and sell it for beer money or simply set fire to it, the sun lounger and possibly the towels owner as well.

Odin used to say, ‘Why take a year out, when you can take them all out!

I tended to work for a few years, then sell everything and get a flight, not really having any plans about what I would do once I got to where I was going. Odin was smart enough to have made up some repetitive slur for my approach to travelling. One so contrary to the life he led. But I was excused this humiliation. He just called me a wanker! Odin didn’t have a career that he ever mentioned. He was a wanderer, a dabbler in everything things from urban piracy, to out and out theft, smuggling, bartering and blagging. When we were first travelling together, during a brief stay in Cape Town he sold all my underwear so he could try the local lobster. That was Odin. Calvin Klein simply meant he had more to barter with.

But despite all this, he survived and often lived very well off whatever enterprise he managed to get into. The only problem with this kind of life was that occasionally, and for someone who drank a lot, this could be quite often, he could bite off more than he could chew.

So, it was no more than three hours from being bailed out of police custody, and over a decade since we had last met and spent time together, that Odin decided to indirectly disclose the thing he was involved in at that moment in time.

We had left the restaurant by then, to the forced fond farewells and fixed smiles of the waiters, and had headed back to his hotel, a fairly nice place on the northern edge of Old Goa town, which he assured me was clean and had staff that looked the other way when he was around. My concerns were of course, why they might need to, but with the heat and beer joining forces to pummel my mind, this was only a passing concern.

We fell into his room, smacked the ceiling fan on and collapsed in various places, breathing heavily and knocking the furniture aside to find our resting places. There, we fell silent, each feeling the room spinning and thankful to get away from the Indian streets, with there menagerie of beggars, stray dogs, tourist touts and the smell of urine, fried food and incense.

‘Why’d ya bring a bowling ball to India?’ I asked after a few minutes of idly scanning the room, and noticing the bright red leather carrying case on his bedside table. I’d seen The Big Lebowski, so I counted myself an expert.

Odin, chuckled and lolled his head in its direction.

‘Ain’t got a bowling ball in it,’ he slurred.

‘What is it then, some ones head?’ I remember replying, though I instantly regretted my choice of retort. With Odin, you simply never knew!

‘Nah ya wanker!’ he replied, his words doing verbally what snails leave behind them when they move. ‘’Sa temple ball. Brought it down from Nepal, disguised like.’

I remember a feeling like ice water running down my legs, and instinctively looked down to make sure that in my intoxication, I hadn’t lost all control and wet myself. I recall a brief feeling of relief, when I realised I hadn’t, before the realisation set in.

If he was telling the truth, I was sitting in a room, with at least 14lbs of hashish mixed with quite possibly a generous amount of opium for added effect. In that moment, the added effect I was concerned with was 10 years to life!

Diary Extract – entitled ‘Oh bugger!’ (No date given)

Nepal, some shit hole hotel in Kathmandu.

I opened my eyes this morning, and like most days, regretted it. I opened them with survival slowness, even with the light in my room dim, with shadows still lingering, though bright cracks of white light clawed through the gaps and holes in the curtains sending scalpel shocks of pain, moving like road map railway tracks, jagged like lightning across the underside of my skull. Little filthy animal claws scraping over my forehead, poking the nerve endings behind my eye sockets.

Fucking hell!

What did I do?

Fuck it!

I’m so bloody used to blackouts that, I don’t even bother to ponder on them anymore.

It seemed ages before I got my eyes open, but I don’t remember being in a hurry, with the sunlight lessening it brightness, I watched through the haze as my field of vision came into focus.

Wall.

Peeling wallpaper.

Chair.

Bedside table.

Half empty bottle of Jack Daniels.

Spilt glass.

Pool of liquid. Vomit inducing smell. I found later that I nothing left in my gut anyway. Put my foot in it once I managed to crawl out of bed.

Sodden, ruined pack of cigarette papers.

Crap! Those things are like gold dust back in India. They cost what? 20, 30 rupees a pack from those little greedy, pig faced fuckers in the tourist shops. Ready to rip off us foreigners, regardless of nationality or reason for being in India. I haven’t even bothered looking here in Nepal. I stocked up like a madman before I even got to Chennai. Running dry in a country you don’t know is a fucking nightmare. You end up trying to roll with leaves like a bloody caveman.

My ashtray was brimming over with dog ends, with the business end of a lone surviving joint aimed temptingly in my direction. I took it and gripped it loosely between my lips, just letting it hang there. I didn’t have the energy to start looking for light.

Then I saw the ball.

A crack of light from the window had worked its way across the table and now touched it, showing its surface to be of almost polished perfection.

It was huge.

And for the life of me at that moment, I couldn’t understand what the fuck it was, or why it was there.

Think I lay there and stared at it for an hour, dunno how long really.

Finally, I got up and perched on the edge of the bed, joint still hanging like a floppy cock from my lips, and continued to stare.

It was, dunno, maybe 8 inches across, and perfectly round, and like I say, polished so the sunlight showed up the beautiful reds and brown tones that covered it surface.

It struck me as the oddest and the most beautiful thing I’d seen in Nepal since I’d fallen off the flying cattle wagon from India a month before.

Like I said, trying to remember what the fuck I do the night before I wake up feeling like shit, ain’t something I do, because it used to upsets me, or frighten me, or makes me feel like a tit. All of which is best removed by starting to drink again. But this morning, I felt that the dreadful journey was gunna be necessary. A room in exactly the same condition, or even worse wouldn’t have made to try to remember.

But the ball changed everything.

Its presence was like waking up to find a naked stranger in your bed.

It changed everything.

What the fuck had I done now?

The thing that struck me as I stared down at the huge, polished ball was that something wasn’t right. This peculiar item wasn’t the kinda thing you might pick up in the stalls and shops of Kathmandu, not matter how stoned or drunk you might be.

Something wasn’t right.

Something had happened.

Kathmandu.

Even then through the hangover haze that made my brain into some kind of mental blotting paper, picking up every stain, it might have the misfortune to soak up from the sordid, fetid air of my hotel room, I could hear the traffic outside and the general ruckus of humanity in the Nepalese capital.

Kathmandu, capital ‘through city’ of Nepal. The place you don’t linger in if you can help it. Ancient streets unchanged by the passing of the years, or the influx of modern traffic. If you want to experience Kathmandu at its pure human peak, venture out into the streets at around 4.30pm. And join the mass of humanity on foot, moped or in car, trying to negotiate streets that haven’t changed for a thousand years. The electricity will be undoubtedly out at this time, plunging the world into darkness, lit only by headlight, oil lamp and torch. The world will be a frenzy of shuffling feet, shoving taxi’s, buzzing motorbikes and mopeds, and hand carts and wagons being tugged through the streets by water buffalo. Everyone pressed close together, sharing breath as they try to get to where they’re going.

It is pure bliss.

Being that close to your fellow human, is only something you can comfortably experience in Asia. In Western cities people would get pissed off with that kinda thing, turning them into caged animals, all talons and spitting saliva. In the West everyone wants to be isolated from strangers, cos everyones scared shitless that the stranger might fuck you over, or rip you off, but in Nepal it’s a wondrous communal practice, an intimate experience, hundreds of people crammed into the streets, shoulder to shoulder shuffling forward and back. It’s like bloody line dancing. You can be in the same street for an hour waiting for a gap, but without a single person getting angry. This is a miracle is there ever was one. And a miracle that happens every single day in Kathmandu.

But there in my hotel room, with the ominous globe sitting on my bedside table I could only think that its presence had something to do with Nepal.

I concentrated.

Nepal.

Kathmandu.

Mountains.

Trekking.

Yaks.

Cold.

Temples.

Drugs.

Drugs. Temples?

A flash of recognition blinded me for a fleeting moment, making my mind recoil. I looked about, found my jacket and fumbled for the pocket.

Wallet!

All I found was an ATM reciept.

There was no fucking way I could have drunk 12000 NR worth of beer, even with a decent drug score on the side!

Or was the decent drug score at that moment staring back at me from the table?

A found myself laughing, nonsensically, my body shaking with a mix of the shock and the totally perverse realisation that yes, I might have somehow purchased the biggest Nepalese Temple Ball, that I for one, had ever seen.

The fact that if I were ever caught with such an item would guarantee that I wouldn’t see a pub till I was close to retirement age, didn’t occur to me at the time. All I could think of was……FUCK!  That is a HUGE ball of dope.

I contemplated getting rid of the evidence by smoking it.

But I doubted I had enough papers.

No.

I had to come up with another plan.

Did I have another plan?

Editors Note – This entry was followed by six pages covered in the word FUCK, scrawled in various sizes and styles, as if Odin was working through some inner angst, to the point that he seemed to have forgotten the reason why, and just appeared intent on experimenting with the word itself.

Diary Extract entitled – ‘Kathmanduyadodo?’ followed by a large smiley.

‘Welcome to Kathmandu!’ the young man said as I passed.

The irony of the situation was apparent all about me. It looked like pictures I’d seen from the war, of wide empty streets, littered with torn up and broken paving slabs, ruin and scorch marks, with the still smouldering remains of car tyres, making the air acrid and often painful to breath.

It looked like Berlin when the Russians and allies were sweeping up the last shitty bed sheet stains of Nazism. Crowds huddled on what passed as the sidewalk, though where you might have expected an air of tenseness, was only a feeling that something had happened, and now it was over, without either rage or lingering hatred.

I had walked for 30mins from the outskirts of the city, because the bus I’d caught from Pokhara was jammed into gridlock a couple of kilometres behind me. There had been protests and rioting because of India forcing the Nepalese government to put up petrol prices. The price rise actually lasted forty eight hours before the government relented and put it back down again, in the face of student protests, stone throwing and a little civil disorder.

I’d seen it before.

Two lines facing each other, police decked out in riot gear on one side, protesters on the other. But I’ve never seen something so apparently dangerous, yet so uniquely civil. There would be jostling and shouting, then a hail of stones flying across the no-man’s-land of pavement. The police surging forward, batons flailing for a moment and then drawing back.

Then it would go back to restless peace again, the two opposing forces facing each other. There would be laughter and shouting out at the police, insults or whatever, before it would start all over again.

One time, during a protest I witnessed, I got talking to a young Nepalese man about what was happening and what might happen? ‘It’s always like this when they try to put the petrol up,’ he said. Then he spotted something in the police lines, and he began waving frantically. ‘What is it, what is it?’ I asked.

‘Oh, that’s my brother over there,’ he said, pointing to one of the riot police, who was actually waving back!

I’ve seen riots and protests in many countries, but in Nepal it’s like a national pastime. Something to do in the afternoon, to break the monotony before going back to normal life. Those burning tyres aren’t burning tyres. They’re the Nepalese equivalent to afternoon barbeques.

And it works.

The thing with fuel in Nepal is that it affects everyone. The riot police, the politicians. If the price goes up, everyone loses out. The protests are just the part of the democratic process. A reason why you buy riot gear or have policemen in the first place. Not because you might need these things, but because as part of the democratic process you will need them. Because protests are like power cuts.

They’re inevitable.

So the crowds, the wrecked streets, the gas, stone throwing and baton charges, it’s like an act you have to go through as part of this process. No one gets seriously hurt, there’s no bestial animosity or a dark, bile driven urge to see someone’s blood on the tarmac, like we’ve witnessed so many times on the TV.

You got the idea that even the government is just playing along too. ‘Yeah, we put the fuel prices up, like we had to, but there’s rioting and civil disorder! Oh well, better put it back down again. At least we won’t be paying more for petrol eh?’

Editors Note  – Despite Odins rather subjective view of protests, this hasnt been the case with recent protests regarding the Free Tibit movement in Kathmandu. Tensions relating to Maoist’s and the freedom of the press in Nepal have also resulted in excessive action by the police and army including curfews and dozens of arrests. The situation seems to be getting worse, rather than better.

Diary Extract – entitled ‘Asia is a whore!  October 07’

I can’t wait for the Western world to fuck up.

The whole fucking, bile churning vomit inducing, shallowness of it all. We’ve become like the Roman Empire before it gave up all the juicy paganism and turned to being all holy, finally purifying its imperial arrogance into something more destructive, something more insidiously evil. We’ve become so habitually decadent that I still find it amazing that shit like rape, murder and kiddy-porn hasn’t become as openly acceptable as being gay, consensual buggery or spending $700 on a single meal.

I guess it involves an element of choice, or lack of it. Accept everything and finally the whole illusion of choice that makes us feel safe will finally dissolve away, leaving us with the cold reality that we are nothing but slaves. Maybe society has to have a line that people can see clearly in their minds. The line you cross and become a criminal or a deviant or not “normal”. A threat to all the good, clean living, law abiding sheep that make up the masses.

The problem is that the line, over passing decades, seems to have grown for some and become transparent for others.

People live for the tick-tick-tick of blind consumerism, a flesh stained doomsday clock counting down the day to day lives that we cling to for our four score and ten.

I can’t wait for it all to tear itself apart and end up as just wreckage, finally forcing us to start being human again, instead of greedy, frightened rodents, tottering on the edge of insanity. Humans aren’t human without suffering and adversity. We succumb to the worst things in our natures without it. Self interest becomes an unconscious all consuming passion, driving us on and on, our souls blackening with every passing year.

Take it all away!

Leave the squealing masses with nothing but the profound truth that all we have is each other.

With the West left shattered and sickly, it might stop the Asian world from continuing to sell itself. It’s like all those stories of Europeans turning up and buying tribal land for a handful of worthless trinkets all over again, but on a fucking huge scale.

The poor countries think we have it all, but the West has nothing but selfishness and greed to bolster up its ever growing sense of insecurity. All the stuff we take for granted, are all the things that the Third World feels it needs to make itself whole. But capitalism and consumerism is nothing but a house built on sand. One big, worldwide wave and it will all fall down.

The Western world has one message – Buy yourself something and you’ll feel better.  Feel fulfilled!

Forget all the crap that governments are doing behind your backs, while we sit huddled safe and warm, lost in some bullshit fantasy on the TV, a fantasy totally conceived, contrived, manipulated and aimed at distracting you, blinding you with pointless trivialities while freedom and independence and choice are brushed under the fucking carpet, along with what little dignity you might have left.

And the big joke is that the Third World thinks that what we have is worth a crap. While they’re buying into the same life we are so soon to lose. Maybe then, when they watch the West turn on itself bitching and biting, a festering boil being lanced at last. Only then, they might realise what they have, and the value of it.

Maybe then the Western world will lose its opportunity to rape and pillage the poorer countries of what the colonial powers had left behind when they turned tall and limped back to their own cesspools of so-called civility.

And when you make a stand for something they call it illegal.

Fuck! What hypocrisy.

That’s why I’m here in Nepal in the first place. But even here I see it all over again.

Tonight I was in a restaurant, knocking back a few beers and eating to the music in the back ground. Think it was Elton John, dunno for sure.

Then this big group turn up, a middle aged couple, a few kids and what looked like hired apes, big fuckers in suits with paving slab faces. They sat down and the husband, I guess, starts barking in Russian at his family. Suddenly the music changes to some Cossack balalaika crap. My evening meal had turned into something out of Doctor Zhivago.

This is the way Nepal is going, just like Thailand and India. Fucking Russian mafia, cleared out by Putin and setting up in Asia to continue their shitty trade in drugs, prostitution and fuck knows what else.

Make no mistake. I have no problem with drugs or hookers. When I was in Thailand I saw it as continuing colonial tradition to sleep with as many bargirls as possible, often two or three at a time, and fuck, I’ve smuggled drugs myself. But you get these sewer rat ruskies involved and before you know it, its kids selling themselves to fat tourists, crap coke mixed with scouring powder and hookers being gunned down on Pattaya beaches, young Russian girls brought over like hand luggage, left like bloodied driftwood on deckchairs for the newspapers to photograph.

The fuckers have brought huge chunks of land north of Goa and are building their own version of Las Vagas. Some kind of caviar-coated Sodom!

I walked out of the restaurant, growling at the waiter about mercury tainted vodka. This is what happens when you build a wall that keeps the sewerage in. You pull it down and everywhere gets covered in shit.

I was definitely in the mood for drinking by then, but I stopped at an internet place to check out a hotel in Kathmandu. But the machines were full of backpackers, all gibbering away at once into microphones in half a dozen languages, so I sat outside and waited for someone to finish. It was the annual paragliding festival, and the streets were packed with tables and stalls and hundreds and hundreds of people. So I just sat there for a while watching the masses, when another reminder hit me. Out of the crowd a young girl, about eight danced. She ran up to me and squatting down said ‘Hello sexy!’ I hadn’t been paying attention and refocused on her, as she crouched there in front of me, swivelling on the balls of her feet, her skinny knees bobbing left and right. ‘Hello sexy?’ she tried again.

The thing that fucking blew me away was that in her manner, there was something close to negotiation. Like someone trying to cut a deal. The words from her mouth had been learned. Someone had taught her this, as a way of approaching men.

My mind sprang back to the Russian couple and their bodyguards. Those soulless vice stained refugee criminals probably already had their dirty fat fingers in deep around here. Whether this girl was simply employing a new way of begging for cash or offering something far more grotesque didn’t matter. Nepal was selling itself, for Euros or dollars and pounds.

India was the same.

When I got back to the hotel, I felt as if every drop of alcohol in my bloodstream had evaporated, leaving me only frozen and empty and mad. I found my entry for Mahabalipuram, the reason why I was in Nepal.

Diary Extract – Sept 07

Mahabalipuram Sept 12, 07

Mahabalipuram, is a sewer sized shit house! Yesterday this local got talking to me while I was drinking. You know, just having a laugh. He brought me some drinks so I was happy. But he ended up saying I could take his sister off in a boat he owned. Take her off the coast and for 300 rupee’s I could do anything I wanted with her. It sounded a good deal after a few more beers and him sitting there praising her up, you know? Told him to go get her so I could have a look. So off he goes, saying he would meet me down the street in half hour. I had a few more drinks and headed off. There he is waiting with some girl who looked about fucking ten. His sister? Crap!

Told the cunt to fuck off and die. He tries to give me some shit, gibbering away in some language I don’t understand, so I back off the street. But the silly bastard follows me, still having a go. I remember looking back at the girl who was still stood in the street looking frightened. When we’re out of view of the people in the street, I fucking lumped him one and he goes down in the dirt. The girl starts crying, fuck knows why, so I walked off fast. Beating on the locals isn’t a good thing when you’re far from home, and in India, shit like that can be costly. But I think I was in shock, and totally pissed so decking the bastard made me feel better.

The problem was that this the morning I remembered it. And I didn’t feel so good. Oh, not about what I did, but about the fact that a smack in the face didn’t seem enough.

Sept 13, 07

I made my plans to leave as soon as I got out today, then started asking about, some locals with a few rupee’s thrown in, but other travellers mostly.It was a Scots guy called Mick who gave me the full run down. Seems the guy who I clocked had some kind of connection with one of orphanages around the town and basically pimps the kids out for cash, which probably gets split between him and the owners. Western men being his main customers.

Bit of a head fuck really, so 2000 rupee’s later I’d found orphanage that he used to get the kids, and where the guy lived.

Then I petrol bombed his house!

Whoosh!

Just sat back in a little ‘meals ready’ place nearby and watched it all go up. Nice food too!

Caught the night bus to Chennai, just now. No use hanging around. And I stood out like fuck round there. Think I’ll head north for a while.


When Odin travelled, he didn’t really live via the rules that you and I take for granted back home.

I’ve been to Australia and the law can be harsh. In New South Wales, even the train guards wear uniforms like US highway patrol cops.

But when he was away, which seemed to have been most of the last 15 years at least, he lived by a set of self developed rules, which often involved extremes of morality. If you think that Ozzies can be pretty down-to-earth, black and white types, then Odin was a pure example of that. On the flip side, Odin didn’t mind paying for sex, buying, selling and even smuggling drugs and starting fights, because I think he didn’t see them as important, just as a way of going through life with as much stimulus as possible. These acts weren’t going to change the world, and if they did he would try to make sure it was for the good, or at least what he saw as good.

Odin had a line and woe betide anyone who crossed it.

I first recognised this in Durban, South Africa, when a mugger tried to slash the strap of his side pouch, with the intent I guess to run off into the crowd while we were still in shock at the attack.

But it had been early and Odin was far from as wrecked as he might have been. I was suddenly aware of a sudden movement and looked around to see Odin grab a young black guys arm.

My first reaction was ‘Oh fuck! What is he doing?’, but as the action seemed to slow down, a saw the knife in the kid’s hand. Odin didn’t seem to notice. With the crowd around us on the busy sidewalk reacting at the same speed that I had, Odin twisted the kids arm, and with his free hand punched at the elbow. There was a crack that still makes me feel sick to this day. The kid screamed, the knife instantly dropping from his fingers, his knee’s buckling and sending him down hard on the pavement. Odin simply let him drop and walked on, the crowd seeming to swallow him, as it collected around the mugger. There were cries of anger from the witness’s, and as I rushed after him, I realised they were aimed at the mugger and not us. I moved away, as the crowd churned and spat, the kid’s painful cries still in my ears.

We didn’t stop or speak for about twenty minutes. When he finally stopped and turned to me, he was grinning.

‘Woe man! We would’ve been seriously fucked if that guy had had a gun eh?’

Diary Extract -January 7th 2008

My views of Goa tend to change depending on whether I’m on my way towards getting smashed, if I am smashed or if I’m waking up after getting smashed.

Such is the way of the world I guess.

Goa is a fairground ride of parties, bars, barely veiled lascivious savagery and twisted indulgence of every sort, regardless of preference and the surrounding cultural belief system.

The locals are merely bystanders to this crass circus of foreign fleshworks. Like rich American conservatives from the 60’s, ready to happily observe the backpackers strip themselves of any sense of morality, or simply to rip them off for every pound, dollar and shekel they might possess.

The fact that most of the foreign population at any given time is stoned, drunk or in some wretched state bordering on psychosis, simply aids this act, making them easier to rob, rape, blackmail and cajole.

Kashmiri gift shop owners lurk in the shadows of their doorways, barely controlling the saliva and sperm that boils up in their bodies as tender, young, bikini clad travellers stroll by, soaking up the sun and dust from the hundreds of motorbikes and mopeds that swarm through the streets like flies around a fresh, moist turd.

The police, once renowned for their sordid corruption are the worst perpetrators in this year round case of serial, almost ritualistic abuse of their fellow man.

The tourist has money.

Western women are whores.

This is their mantra.

I had once witnessed a Goa policeman grope a young French girl in a café where I spent my afternoons. I liked the place because it was shadowy, cool and had a good supply of home-grown at the weekends. On that day, this moonfaced little thug had followed the girl into the café and begun almost immediately laying it on thick about drug sales in the area. The fucker had no clue, only his own agenda. The rest of the patrons, myself included tried to melt into the shadows. We were all backpackers and all had something illegal on us. This copper fairly reeked of being after a bribe, we all knew the type, but instead of picking on us, he had chosen the girl, who looked too fresh to have been in the resort for long, let alone the fucking country. He started raising his voice, walking her backwards past the bar, his words still muffled by the traffic outside, but I could see her face and he had her rattled.

Then the vicious fucker casually reached out, and began to work his hand inside her bikini top.

She froze, lost in shock that seemed to paralyse her.

I had reached him in a single stride and brought my beer bottle hard and horizontal into the base of the fuckers skull, then as he groaned and dropped to the floor, I turned and with everyone else in the bar, the new girl included, ran like fuck, leaving him alone and I like to hope, in a pool of his own blood.

Tourists are easy game when they don’t care enough about their bodies or their minds to watch their backs.

If you think India is about temples, and ashrams, yoga and ancient spirituality, then stay away from the beaches of Goa. They team with tourists like their counterparts in Greece and Spain, with only the food being of better quality. While the foreigners tan themselves or sleep off the excesses of the night before, gangs of young Indian men loiter awkwardly like confused schoolboys amongst the tourist beach crowds, as the pale flesh is unveiled over and over again. Ready to speed back to the shadow of the palms and fumble for release, their minds filled with porn magazine fantasies, littered with pitiful misconceptions about Western women.

The thing I always find amusing is Western girls get upset or offended by the attention of young male Indians.

The simple fact is that Indian men don’t watch Indian porn. They can’t without all their culture and religion getting in the way, and unlike catholic priests, they can’t be sexually active and maintain their beliefs at the same time.

Their carnal education and the delusions it brings, come exclusively from the United States.

Besides the minority of Westernised Indian women, or whores, most Indian women do not engage in casual sex. Its something totally connected with marriage.

And even the aforementioned Indian girls, who have adopted wearing jeans and make up and listening to the latest hits from Europe or the US, would think twice about double penetration or ass to mouth.

So, young Indian men, brought up on a steady diet of US porn stars, all taking it from every angle, their faces dripping with jizz from that glorious money-shot at the end, don’t stand a chance of having any grasp on reality.

The average Indian man-child doesn’t see a porn star when he is watching this trash. He see’s a white girl!

So when confronted by the real thing they simply don’t have the emotional maturity or proper education to know what the fuck to do. They expect that by just being in the general vicinity will lead to one of these semi-naked fuck-bunnies jumping them and instantly sucking them dry!

White girls turning up and treating the beaches of Goa like they would any other beach from America to the Med, are simply fuelling the fantasy for these poor little, half crazed fuckers. And women who are suckers for the easy charms of the local sleaze merchants just fuel the fire with rumour and anecdote.

Why get offended? Organise a huge gangbang right there on the beach and let the frustrated little sods get some release rather than wet dream’s or tossing each other off for comfort.

Come on girls, you’re on holiday!

Besides nudity, substance abuse and the constant moral decline that permeates the very fabric of Goan tourist culture, is the unique experience to observe what happens to young minds who suffer the cultural abuse known as national service. In the case of Goa, its freshly freed Israeli conscripts, eager to shake off a childhood of indoctrination and the horror of conflict, for a chance to cut back and feel at last, possibly for the first time, free.

The most pathetic part of the Goa experience is the human wreckage that this leads to. Young men and women so mad for a taste of autonomy that they risk their already fragile sanities just to catch a glimpse of this most illusive of all sensations.

They will drink, and smoke, fight and fuck like rabid drooling, animals, desperate to feel it, and the setup in Goa has been tailor-made to cater to this.

Hell!

India is tailor-made for this! India has more Israeli settlements than the West Bank!

But a cultural exchange is not part of the deal in Goa, as they swarm like a biblical plague, desperate for drugs, booze and sun. Acid and other hallucinogens are easily available in Goa, and the Israeli’s will take it all, mouthful after mouthful, starting off as toned, young men, all muscle and rich, dark hair or olive skinned young women with deep, dreamy eyes and catlike bodies. Only to end up like lassi drinking lepers, with soiled clothes, their hollow faces set with frightened, fevered  eyes.

But in fact, cat-like is a good description of every foreigner in Goa, because like cats, they lounge and prowl and are absolutely fucking good for nothing! Cats aren’t pets, they’re social parasites. A dog is a companion, a friend for life. A cat is there as long as there’s something worth being there for. Goa seems to bring out the blood thirsty primate in people, all eager to trample others, and piss on their upturned faces as they lay in the dirt, the sandal prints still fresh on their bloodied faces.

Like I said. If its culture or substance you’re after in India, stay away from Goa.

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