November 12th 10:05am - Scooter Gang

I awoke, vomited an intestine, and staggered twenty steps to Residensea's restaurant to join the heavy drinkers and demonic drunks that comprised our impending scooter gang: four Brits, two Aussies, two South Africans, and my solitary American self.
In America, four dollars could buy you some thread. In India, four dollars fetches a prostitute. Or a day-long scooter rental.
The saffron sun seared and the Indian jungle barreled by as we caravanned from Arambol in north Goa to Old Goa. We laced through pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and cars on the spiraling streets. I almost hit a cow.
We toured colonial Portugese architecture in the Basilica of Bom Jesus, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the chapel of St. Xavier, and the Se Cathedral. Outside St. Francis' church, a street peddler sold karma sutra books and cigarettes.
Our excursion terminated at a spice plantation. Ambrosial saffron, ginger, nutmeg and coriander violated our nostrils. The tour guide dribbled water down our backs.

Seven minutes into the return ride, the wind cuddled my face and the sun's rays stroked my shoulders. Harmonious nature echoed in my ears, enveloping me in bucolic song. That ended as rapidly as my spell as a religious guidance counselor. I believe in God as much as I do in cyclopses. A sound similar to fingernails scraping a blackboard combined with a baby shriek volleyed my eardrums. My scooter shuttered like a vibrator.
I perverted street-side and stopped. Two of our scooter gang pitched past me. The inferno of an exhaust pipe had cracked off and drug on the ground. After a scooter-gang-options-conference, we tied one of the Brit's shirts around the damaged goods, hoisting the exhaust pipe from the ground. Tarzan, the South African, offered to drive it back if I would take his girlfriend on the rear of his scooter. This was a good idea. If good meant ghastly. My track record with motorized mechanisms was as successful as the Vietnam War.
Normal people (Americans) drive on the right side of the street. Indians, under British rule from 1765-1947, drive on the left side of the street. I, Einstein, turned onto the right-hand side. Tarzan's girlfriend Jane sumo-wrestler-death-gripped me and I swung to avoid oncoming cars and cows. We careened towards a motorbike carrying a nine-month-old baby and it's father. He skewed to his left, I slue to mine, and we were on the correct side of the street again.
The scooter gang progressed down the highway when a car drove by, rolled down the window, and howled like a Satan-possessed being, "Your friend crashed! Your friend crashed!"
We arrested progress on the side of the freeway. The female Brit cried. A few of the males doubled back. Eight minutes later, Tarzan arrived, the scooter sputtering and stammering like a drunken whore.

A water truck had exuded a stream, Tarzan drove over a white painted speed bump, the water-slicked paint projected the scooter out from under him, he stoned his body off the bike and landed on his feet. The scooter's paint job and a sprained Tarzan ankle were the only casualties.
After negotiation with the owner, us saying he rented us a death trap, he saying we crashed it, Tarzan and I split the bill: two dollars each.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hahaha. gotta love india