Arambol

Our Russian buddy from Hampi, Anton, was the one who recommended that we come up here for a night or two; he’d made Arambol his home base while he hung out in Goa for a month, so we decided to go for it.

Arambol is, in a nutshell, interesting.

The north beach is a looker, but, you know, its just hard to match the excitement of Varkalan bodysurfing in Kerala and the crystalline waters of South Goa’s Palolem Beach. Still, the interesting folks around more than make up for it.

All kinds of people from all walks of life seem to end up here, though it seems like the hippies, in particular, like to hang out here (when not in Anjuna for the flea market) for extended vacations.

Anyhoo, after a hour-long search, Xiker and I secured a coco hut, up on a hill, of questionable safety… I nearly fell through the floor that night, the floor was badly patched, but I told myself the rooftop beach view was worth it. And yes, it is a literal view of a rooftop and the beach.

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North Beach and her gliders
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Beer is cheap and easy to find, and since I could hear the bass from a club on the beach all the way from our hillside perch, I’d say the party scene here is rockin and rollin most nights. Saw a few places that promised live music every Tuesday or Thursday or whatever, and lord knows how many people we passed that had drums and string-plucking instruments slung over their shoulders.

Dining is mostly limited to tourist-catering restaurants with wifi of varying quality, with prices to match. We got lucky and came by a thatched mess hall for hippies somewhere off the beach: we were the only ones there with shampooed hair, I kid you not.

But hey, wherever hippies hang out, there must also be reasonably priced food, so yeah, we had some yummy egg sandwiches, onion pakodas and thali.

I quite enjoyed hanging out there, and inhaled deeply the delicious smoke that hung heavy in the air. The proprietor of the restaurant and the lone waiter obviously didn’t worry themselves none about the illegal activities going on around them, because nobody could’ve missed all the hash and cash that exchanged hands.

Arambol: cool in my book, but Palolem is dearer to my heart.

My favorite memory of this beach, actually, will be the time that Xiker totally fell for the ear cleaning scam.

I ignored the Betel-nut chewing dude following me, waving around a thin, silvery instrument, but when I looked back, he had it down Xiker’s ear and pulled out, triumphantly, a huge lump of amber wax. Now, its true Xiker doesn’t use q-tips, like, at all, but I was suspicious that one little scoop produced that much earwax. Xiker, on the other hand, was both fascinated and disgusted. He agreed to let the man clean his ears for 50 rupees. One dollar, he said to me.

The man ushered Xiker away from the beach, and another Indian decided to follow and watch, which heightened my suspicions.

Sure enough, when I looked at his hand I spotted a similar instrument with yellow wax already on top! I pointed it out to Xiker, and for a second he looked doubtful. But he decided to go ahead with it and tilted his head so that the ear cleaner could see clearly.

I crowed when I detected a telltale movement by the ear cleaner, and pulled one of his wrists away from Xiker’s ear. Sure enough, he had secreted a ball of wax in his fingers, intending to scoop away from this source as to confirm to Xiker that his ears had more wax than a thick candle from Pier One.

The ear dude, incredibly, still tried to talk his way through that, but I pulled Xiker away and left the two ear-wax cleaners standing together, discussing how to hone their wax-secreting techniques.

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