What was Goa like when you first came here?
been coming here since the 60s, but I have been living here since
1988. It used to be the pure essence of paradise. It was much
quieter, there was less construction, the environment seemed more
natural and the locals were very relaxed about us being here.
During the 60s, the people of Goa were not used to foreigners
so the atmosphere was not as intense as it is now. Since then,
it has turned into a complete tourist resort, instead of a peaceful
environment where a few of us foreigners could hang out with the
locals and be a part of the community. It feels much more impersonal.
We used to have fantastic friendly parties and a feeling of total
There was a sense that you could totally
be yourself and nobody would judge you. The police were much more
relaxed than they are now too. It definitely had the old relaxed
hippy vibe, instead of the serious all night raving you find now.
We never aggravated anybody, like many of the tourists do these
days. You could go anywhere and talk to anybody. But in the early
days, it was mainly French and Italians who came to Goa, the English
were in the minority and there were not any Israelis. As you can
see now, most of the people who visit Goa now are from Israel.
There are still people here who have
been in Goa for 30 years, but it is only in the last 7/8 that
tourists have been flooding in from all over the world. It is
good for my business though para-gliding but it's
not so good for the music. The music all over Anjuna is now psychedelic
trance, which does not have much soul to it."
Has Goa totally lost its old spirit?
"Yes it has, it is overcrowded and it gets worse every year.
Originally the scene was brilliant, with the right formula , a
nice scene and a good ambience. I still have a good lifestyle
here with the people who hang out in this bar, but we are confined
to just a few places now. But the Indian people who run the bar
still make me feel like part of the family. I had a bad season
a couple of years ago I didn't make much money to live
on through the para-gliding but the owners of this bar
allowed me to live on credit and agreed for me to pay them the
following year. That is the sort of generosity and trusting spirit
of Goa kindness which still exists in the minority."
What made you decide to set up a Para-gliding business in
"Well I have been para-gliding now for 9 years. Before then,
I used to be a motorbike mechanic. One day, I fixed a local's
bike and he offered to pay me by taking me on a tandem para-gliding
flight. I agreed to it, and ever since then, I have been addicted
to the sport."
How do you enjoy your life now in Goa?
"I love flying, being by the beach, eating fresh fish, coconuts,
fresh fruit and veg and generally enjoying a healthy lifestyle.
I get huge satisfaction out of taking people flying. Most people
find it to be a very thrilling experience. Their excitement makes
me feel fantastic too, so I never get bored. It's a hit that builds
up slowly but lasts."
last thoughts on how Goa has changed?
"It used to be a much more close-knit community, but now
it is too big and distant. Everybody used to be on the same high,
but now everybody is on different highs, so they can't communicate
as well. That's the main problem. If we could all be on the same
high, then it wouldn't be so bad."