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This is India! 154

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal of my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Hippie in Heels.

What I was up to other than here:

  • I’m reading The Japanese Lover. Like one I shared last month Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, this is a love story in the USA during WWII when many Japanese were sent to concentration camps. This is a great book; almost finished.
  • I left on Sunday and spent the week in Singapore/Indonesia on an island kind of between the two – more to come but you can check my Insta and FB for photos!
  • Ben has a friend coming to town this weekend and there is a reggae festival, Sunsplash, at Riva so I’ll be there for sure!

Now your story,

This is just a quick little story today! I was driving back from Ashwem beach to my house, which is about a 30-minute drive. As I left Ashwem there was an old man by a round-about trying to hitchhike, which is actually really common here. Ben and I pick up hitchhikers but typically it’s old ladies who are headed to the shop or for me, it’s little girls who beg in Anjuna and I take them to a new place (they are happy to go wherever I’m going).

Goa’s actually a really safe place and although it’s pretty irresponsible to tell you guys to hitchhike here, it probably would be fine. Taxis are expensive here because they don’t use the meter thanks to the “taxi mafia”.

Local buses are okay, but not always on top, so locals help each other out by giving them lifts where they need to go.

But, the reason I wanted to share about this is that I feel like only in India would the hitchhikers act like they do – entitled! lol

Basically, I have given people lifts a lot and never ever had someone say thank you. They always act like I’m a taxi driver. Now, at first, I thought this was because I literally drove a taxi (above) but me being a white girl is a pretty clear sign I’m not actually a taxi driver. Plus, the rates are written in the car with white paint on the glove compartment but no one offered to pay, lol, so they know I’m not! Joking aside, they just hop in and don’t say a WORD most of the time.

But this time it was different. I was driving the other car, the Bolero (white jeep in the image below).smoking mackerel in Goa

The old guy was maybe 70? He was pretty frail looking and I watched everyone turn him down so felt bad and pulled over. There was a fair bit of traffic so he ran to the car and hopped in. I wasn’t even in second gear pulling back onto the road when he said “It’s too much AC. Off.”

I’m literally holding in laughs because it’s just SO INDIAN to say something. Americans would say “omg, thank you soooo much” and would not complain about something. Indians, in general, are known to be a little demanding, so anyway I’m sort of laughing but turn it down and tell him to close his vents.

So I’m jamming out to Sam Smith’s new album and within two minutes he’s like: “the music is too much”. So, I turn it down.

Then he says, “let’s do windows only”. I’m like lol, okay dude – AC off!

Then he’s asking me what I do, and telling me that foreigners have ruined Goa and now there is traffic because of us. I was in a good mood so I’m just going along with it but felt like sharing this story because it’s just really such an Indian thing, in my opinion, to be so outspoken and say exactly what you think/feel even bluntly.

When I’m in a taxi in Goa and they are blasting trance music or I’ve paid for A/C but they won’t turn it on (trying to save money), I’m still too polite to ask them to change something. I feel bad because they are driving me – even though I’m paying them.

So, anyway, the way this car ride went wasn’t unusual at all and is just something too Indian that I had to share! I took him all the way to Assagao and then he said: “can you take me to Mapusa”. I’m like, no, get out! lol. That’s another 10 minutes there and 10 minutes back.

Actually, every time I pick up ladies from Assagao to Mapusa, and I get to the parking area, they are like “take me to ____” and treat me like a real taxi! It’s a hoot, you should try it!

This is India!


About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Susan R January 13, 2018 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Your story made me laugh – I never dare say anything to London cabbies who drive with the window open in freezing cold weather and with music blasting out!

    • Rachel Jones January 14, 2018 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      Hahah I probably wouldn’t either! I hate to say anything :O I need to be a bit more Indian!

      • Ajay June 6, 2018 at 8:56 pm - Reply

        Hello Rachel, the piece of article you wrote was hilarious and true. Most of the geriatrics always seem to be less thankful in the outskirts which even I as an Indian do feel uncalled for. Another one that touches a lot of the experiences are the hypocrites. Anything that you would like to share would be appreciated. Thank you.

  2. About Creativity January 20, 2018 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    reggae festival, Sunsplash, at Riva so I’ll be there for sure! – Very good. – I do not know what all this is but, for sure want to go. Thanks for writing.

  3. Tim Blight January 25, 2018 at 6:32 am - Reply

    Hahahaha… new career path, perhaps? :p

  4. Vinod Ponnan January 25, 2018 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel, loved your article on indians hitch hiking in Goa. Coming from the south, (kerala) I think its more of a Goan thing than an Indian thing. Down south, we certainly do say thank you and please all the time. I come to Goa once a month, cause i am a contractor for the Govt of Goa for the next 2 years. Can you give me your cell no and your address and we could catch up for a beer and talk . I live in Trivandrum Kerala, and you are welcome to visit anytime

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