Drunken Invasion

Jan 04, 2008 in

In whole Gujarat, locals are not allowed to drink any alcohol unless a doctor approved that they suffer from some kind of illness and will die if they are not allowed to.1
But this is not too bad, I mean, like in Rajasthan, they have smoke. The only bad thing is, that there is an exception rule for Diu. In Diu, it is allowed to drink alcohol. So – where to go for a cool New Years party? Right. Half Gujarat comes to Diu.2
In other states of India, it is not forbidden but usually too expensive for most of the people.

So, on the 31st, loads and loads of drunken Indian tourists were in the town, young people like us but they never saw white people before and never drank alcohol before (it seems). And of course, they could speak as much English as most Indians do (“What is your country name”,…). They wanted to shake hands, know your name and country but basically just have an excuse to glare at you. We were the main attraction – it was a bit like at the wedding. And hour after hour, there came more into the town. The police set up barriers to control the traffic, blocked the town center. And of course, the Indian tourists couldn’t handle the alcohol – oddly enough, Indians already get drunk after half a bottle or so. It was not horrifying, it was just ridiculous.
Later I talked with the Diu policeman Sonu about this. I met Sonu at a beach where I stayed overnight, he joined us at our campfire for some time. He told me, that the police was very busy that evening.
Most western backpackers were now on the church for this was the only place that was more or less fair-priced. A part of the former priests quarters plus the roof belonged to a small hotel. They organized a small party next to the church. So in the evening, there were a dozen backpackers or so.
While we were talking, chatting and drinking, we were surrounded by more and more Indian tourists who would stand in some distance, forming a circle. They wouldn’t even try to mix with us, didn’t talk much either but just quietly stand there and glare at us. Some made photos. Like an audience. When I asked Babu (the Indian backpacker) how he feels, he said “I feel like in a zoo.”. It didn’t bother me so much for I was playing Go (a Chinese boardgame) I made out of cardboard and shells of different colors. However, when it was getting more extreme and they piled up in already three lines, we decided to join the catholic mess in the other church at midnight.

Phew, the first and possibly the last time I celebrated the holy mess. It was utterly boring, though, because it was Indian, funny. The hymns which were apparently recorded earlier, sounded like “Happy dance music” – a nine-year-old playing and singing with some kind of synth-keyboard. It was hard to contain myself to not burst into laughter. Between the hymns, the priest would speak. But it made no sense, not even in a didactic manner. It was like
“…and if all the families here are as peaceful as us, this town is peaceful and if all families are peaceful, the world is peaceful – look at Bhutto, she is like Maria but look now at Pakistan, all this bloodshed that is going on there – and abortion too. Ambitios people…”
and so boring that I constantly blended in and out of what he was saying. Well, we left earlier and were followed by some old man who seemed to be rather busy during the mess. He was running around here and there, going out, coming in etc. I assumed that he is somehow organizing it and was therefor a bit in an unrest. So when we came out, he asked us “You have smoke? I search for smoke the whole day but can’t find!”. I wonder why he searched in the church. So I replied “No, we don’t have, but certainly you’ll find something in the church. Keep looking!”.

On the way back, we saw sleeping wasted Indians lying around everywhere. We joined in a bit on the party of the backpackers which was now on the roof of the church and went to our beach afterwards to sleep at 4 AM.

1 So Gujarat is possibly the country with the highest percentage of population that suffers from a kind of strange alcohol illness.

2 Probably the other half to Daman, the other former Portuguese enclave ;)

View from the roof of the church
Dutch girls at sundown
The small location before the invasion
Intelligent people play go with shells as gamestones :)
The small location during the invasion. We sat in that one corner. Later on, some Westerners used the free space between the shy Gujarati Tourists as a stage :)


Dear West Nord Ost:
You often mention that you don’t get any comments on this blog so I am making one here, just so you know that there ARE people who are interested. I think its great. I’m Senana’s friend from the States (Miami). I don’t know your name, but I always just refer to you in conversation as “west nord ost”. I like it that way.
Furthur…......... :)

Peter · Jan 19, 02:48 PM · #

Hey Peter.
“West Nord Ost” is “West North East” in English. I find it funny how people react to this name even though most don’t see the contradiction. Perhaps they are not familiar with that kind of orientation anymore, some even wonder about this …“compass” thing in my bunch of keys.
Thank you for writing here, I really appreciate that!
I wouldn’t have expected that you know me (even though not by name). To be honest, it places a discomforting feeling in my heart if people know about me without me knowing it. I guess I have to get used to it when I post on a public blog ;)
Anyway, my (nick)name revealed, you can call me Newton – or West Nord Ost – as you like. Nice to … meet you :)

Newton · Jan 20, 03:24 PM · #

Textile help