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tuktuk bangbang

Tuktuk bangbang

Goa the main stop of this trip. I wanted to arrive here by train, but after seven tries to book a ticket online with the Indian railwayline Igave up. So flight number three brings me to the former Portugees colony, which is – unlike most parts of India – Catholic and not Hindi. Here the streets aren’t dotted with temples, but with beautiful, white churches which form a big contrast with the decaying houses.

To compensate the ‘lack of Hindi’ my cap drives plays Hindi reggae music. As loud as his car radio is able to. It’s his job to bring me safely to my final destination: Fatima Guest House and Sampoorna school of Yoga. The cap isn’t a lot bigger than the tuktuk I was in this morning, but for some reason I do feel safer, although within no-time that feeling will change.

Where all ‘rich, white people’ take up their seat in the back I decide to step in up front, next to Shaikh Zamir, my driver. This way it’s easier to do come chitchat. The first sight of Goa remembers me of Curacao and Tonga: colorfull houses, palmtrees, green fields, people walking on the road, scooters and  cows on and next to the road everywhere. The traffic around me is one big chaos. It looks like there are no rules. A cap driver in front of us demonstrates it, by turning his truck180 degrees in the middle of the highway.Everybody is honking at him, but he doesn’t seem to care. Nobody actually seem to take notice of other people honking. Why sould they, honking has a lot of meanings: hello, goodbye, fuck off, he goodlooking, I’m going to take over, you can go first, is it safe to pass by? With so many meanings honking doesn’t mean a thing.

Precisely at the moment I find peace with all this chaos a little blue care drives up from the right. Zamir, my driver, honks as loudly as he can, but the blue car rolls on and drills its nose in the front of our cap. Both drivers immediately get out of their cars, look at the demage and start to argue. The other driver admits his falt, walks over to his car to get some money for my capdriver.. Instead of returning with the money he quickly jumps in his car and takes off. Zamir runs back to his seatr as well and goes after him. Speedlimits don’t seem to count anymore.

Kilometers go by, racing through fields, centers off small villages and over bumpy roads. Every kilometer we chase, we are gaining. When we enter a new town center and are only a few meters behind the little blue car the driver of that car hits the brake as hard as he can. Zamir reacts too slow and hits the car from behind. Again both drivers get out of the car. This time the perpetrator feels like he is the victim.

More cars stop. More curious people gather around. Most off them haven’t seen the second collision and certainly haven’t seen the first, but they all seem to have an opinion and don’t only start to argue with both drivers, but also with each other. The driver of the little blue car walks away again. This time he’s coming over to the taxi cab and start talking to me; spitting fumes of alcohol in my face. He begs for my help, pleaing him free from the first accident. I don’t feel like getting involved in this. I’m only six hours in India and now already the center of attention of a car accident. I tell him to sort it out with my driver.

He shakes his head, full of sorrow and walks back to his car, but this time escaping is not possible. His car is surrounded by the crowd. He gets some money out of his wallet and pays my driver five thousend roepies. Zamir takes the money and gets back in the cap. His face isn’t looking too happy. “The damage will cost me double this amount. But it’s my own stupid fault,.I shouldn’t have hit his car as well.” His sorrow onlly last a minute, than he smiles again and reaches for the radio: “Time for happy music.” And that’s the end of the story for him.

I lean back in my chair. Only 75 kilometers more to go. Curious what they will bring….

An oldie of 2010; finally translated and published.
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