Dentists, Waiters...and Sex Police?
Trip Start Jan 31, 1996
301Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Elenka and I rented a motorbike and went down the coast of Goa to investigate different beaches. We also wanted to see a fellow named Sanjay who had been our waiter the last time we were here in Benaulim staying at the Blue Corner.
Palolem Beach was far too busy. Patnem Beach, a little farther south is said by Lonely Planet to be smaller, quieter, but it seemed to in competition with Palolem. Agonda Beach, north of the other two is quieter. Will we move down to Agonda or stay in Benaulim? That's the big question
As it turned out, Rama Resort at Agonda – we'd done a little detective work prior to our journey – is where Sanjay works. I walked up and shook his hand. He smiled politely and asked who I was – it was because of my month of gray bearding it in Goa – but moments later he saw Elenka and all was clear. Sanjay was busy and had almost no time to talk, but he did have a moment to tell us why he had gone down the road. It was all about the money. The Blue Corner was paying him the equivalent of $2.00 a day. A waiter's day in Goa begins at sunrise and ends when the last person goes home at the end of the day. After their 16 or 17 hour shift, most of the waiters sleep on the floors where they've spent the day. They have no days off.
It seems that most of the restaurant staff in Goa come from the north; in Sanjay's case, 2,700 kilometres north, near the border of Nepal
Most of the cats, dogs and cows have a better go at it here. None of them seem particularly under-nourished; they of course don't work on anyone's time-clock; and they have sex whenever they choose. We did however come across one particularly vile experience outside our favourite Internet cafe where, two, probably eight or so week old motherless kittens reside. The kittens think a mangy old black and white Tom would be a good surrogate. Elenka was livid, spending a good part of the morning trying to prevent kitten rape. The Tom just gave her a stupid look and buggered off over a fence every-time Elenka came near; kittens following the letch. This kind of thing goes on full-time with humans in Thailand and Cambodia, maybe even in the Philippines. What these countries need – India just for the animals – is sex police. Elenka would be a good choice to head this mutli-national effort.
Enough about misery
I was having my teeth scaled back in Toronto when the dentist came in and looked at my chart. When she told me I needed four crowns I smiled; she'd made the decision for me. India it would be. Four crowns at home represents $4,000, give or take a buck. Elenka needed some work too. We booked our flights that night.
Dr Ranjeeta Alvenkar of the Dazzle Dental Clinic, who has five years of dental surgery experience, gave us prices of $104 per tooth. The following day she had us in her torture chair, grinding and burning away the bad. The doctor seemed more nervous than me. In Elenka's case it was the other way around. Monday, we go in for the newly made crowns.
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