Archive for November, 2011

Us? terrorists?

November 3, 2011

The previous blog mentioned a search for premises. What is needed is somewhere suitable for healthcare clinic rooms. Our partner rapidly found a place that was fit for purpose and better. Martin was unsure why he was required to meet the landlord and inspect the premises and was none the wiser after going round and doing the needful. The landlord was pleasant, everything felt good about the place

All was explained next day, when our partner called and said that during a second visit to said premises he met a ‘cousin’ of the landlord, who loudly professed his belief that our partner and his manager were terrorists planning to use the premises for bomb-making. It was a dead deal for reasons of racism and Islamophobia. Our partner comes from Gujarat and is a Muslim.

It’s not the first time that have come across anti-Islamic and Gujerati (and other Indian states) sentiments in Goa. An example of this racist outlook is that it is not wise to be a local and drive a car with out of state registration plates. A harmless elderly Goan couple were beaten up when they were turning into their driveway and they hindered the progress of a motorcyclist (overtaking too fast). They were on Gujarati plates.

We haven’t been involved personally with anti-Western feeling, but white foreigners are often targeted in the press for things that aren’t right in Goa.

The Scream

Sometimes the Goan dream is a nightmare of seething dark and unpleasant undercurrents.



November 3, 2011

The timing all went pear-shaped for our short break to the temple town of Murudeshwar at the start of this month. A business partner turned up unexpectedly for a series of meetings, another managed to have his lease agreement terminated, which instigated a search for new premises and an assortment of must do’s suddenly landed in our laps. All completed, nothing was going to stop our mini-break.

Martin had taken Hari Enfield (Bullet motorcycle) for service to his regular man complete with list of bits that needed attention. When he collected he was surprised that the bill was a modest Rs 500/- and this aroused his suspicions about what had and had not been done. It turned out that very little of the listed items had been attended to but that the engine had been partially stripped to get rid of an annoying but harmless rattle that’s been with the bike since soon after purchase 45 months and 25,000 miles ago. ‘The engine feels tight’ Martin said to the mechanic. ‘ No problem, will ease soon’.

Martin spent a couple of hours to the non-attended work and on Thursday morning we ventured forth on the 200 mile run to Murudeshwar. After 15 miles it was obvious that the bike was not pulling well, the engine still felt tight, after 20 miles the familiar rattle started, after 22 miles the familiar rattle started to worsen… a death rattle. And we turned back for home.

We’ve taken Hari Enfield to another mechanic, who rapidly pinpointed the trouble. To get rid of the rattle the service mechanic had over-tightened some component, which pressured the push-rods to destruction and no doubt caused other damage. Lucky to get back! The bike will be off the road for at least eight days and we will have to re-plan our little break.

Lessons to learn. 1) Conduct all dealings face to face. Written instructions don’t work. 2)Remember that the words ‘service’ and ‘maintenance’ have little meaning in India. i.e. Wait until whatever it is is broken before you give anything any attention.

End of the road