Goa: Seeing in the New Year with fireworks, groping and disco drugs
I don’t actually know why I decided to go to Goa. I think I’d just heard it was a nice beach area with a bit of a party scene, which is ludicrous because the word ‘party’ usually entices me as much as the word ‘mucous’ does. But I suppose it was going to be New Year’s Eve and I was going to be by myself, so I was open to a little mucous if the opportunity reared its slimy festive head.
I don’t really research the destinations I travel to before I go (with the exception of Kabul where I genuinely feared for my life). I normally just arrive and if I don’t meet locals or travellers who let me latch on to their plans, I just walk and eat and write, which usually suits me just fine.
So the first time I started to get a sense of what type of place Goa was – or at least the area of Goa I was staying in – was when I checked in on Facebook and my most hippy friends liked the update. But the real verification happened when I got out of the taxi at my hostel and a stoned Indian salesman offered me some quality hash.
After a few weeks of madness in different parts of India, it was refreshing to be somewhere where I felt okay to stroll aimlessly and wear shorts. Daytime Goa is pretty chilled out with a real old-school hippy vibe to the area. The locals are awesome, the ocean refreshing, the food options vegan. Everything you need is accessible, particularly if you need weed, scooters, shisha or hallucinogenics.
On New Year’s Eve, the coast comes alive – there’s something for everyone with different beaches playing different music to lure specific crowds.
The perfect beach party for me, for example, would have been the fun pop beats at Club Cubana in Arpora, with flowing vodka sodas and beach beds. The not-so-perfect place for me was the psychedelic trance hub that is a venue called Curlies, on Anjuna Beach, where I ended up dancing until 6am on the 1st of January 2016.
My new hostel friends and their eager approach to recreational drug taking had already concerned me a little. I had no intentions to take drugs because they’re not really my thing, they give me anxiety and don’t make me that skinny. We made it to the beach just in time for the midnight
amateur pyrotechnics display fireworks. I wasn’t really surprised that I was standing on the beach a few meters away from real-life fireworks that could shoot into my face at any moment – I was still in India after all – but I was concerned. There were children standing even closer to the danger than me, and I was constantly getting rained on by debris. It was like some sort of crazy circus act with the guys running in and out as they lit them up and waited for them to explode before running back in again. It was pretty unbelievable and entertaining.
After the display went on for half an hour too long everyone decided they had a whole night of narcotics to get on with, so we went into the dance party and commenced our bopping to the repetitive trance beats. I’ve literally never been to a dance party more drenched in testosterone.
I don’t want to talk about India’s creepy men problem too much because I did that in my last post and I don’t want to give people a bad impression of a country I adore, but groping and inappropriate grinding was rampant at that disco.
With the repetitive beats wearing on me and the effects of my earlier drinks wearing off, my patience was growing thin. It was about 1am and I guess one of my pals saw what was going on in my mind because suddenly my finger was scooping up a few rocks of MDMA and next thing I know it’s in my mouth heading to my stomach to digest and make its way into my blood stream.
MDMA is an illegal drug that acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energising effect, as well as distortions in time and perception and enhanced enjoyment from tactile experiences.
About an hour later I was carving up the dance floor like the other girls, with a circle of protective guys around us, stopping the naughty gropers from getting in and disturbing our tango. It was pretty surreal really. Fun and entertaining, but a bit uncomfortable because I had to constantly look around to ensure I could find a familiar face. I also felt bad because I felt like a total liability on the d-floor.
I didn’t have that much, but the stuff was strong so I psychedelic-ed through the night and when the sun threatened to rise that was my cue to leave. I didn’t want to be seen in the daylight.