If you’re a die-hard outlaw and in a fictional bike gang called The Road Dog’s, like we are, then this article could save you from the clutches of the Goan Five-O’s. Peace braa. Kriminalz!
Pony-haired, yogic, London plumber, Tom pre-warned us about Goan cops pulling over tourists to extort them for cash. No helmet. Wrong helmet. No license. Too fast. No paperwork. Drugs. Booze. No ID. Easy pickings. Over a Kingfisher in Fort Cochin, some time before we headed to Goa, Tom showed us videos taken from a Go Pro attached to his bike. He was beckoned to the side of the road by a few cops. There was nothing legitimate about the interactions at all. Proper shady. The cops were targeting tourists and they wanted cash. Sadly for Tom, he got done a number of times and for a good few rupees ‘n’ all.
Fast forward three weeks. Goa. We’re flying down a hot, back-road on our little rocket. This twenty-year-old, rust-bucket, hair-dryer scooter has only one working brake and has never even ridden within twenty cows-arses of a garage. No helmets. We ‘rented’ the scooter from a bent-fingered, toothless man we’d met by the pub for two hundred rupees-a-day. Paperwork? Hardly. I’m actually banned from driving. So as we neared the Goan Police road block we were grateful for the discussion we’d had the night before.
“Babe, if cops try and stop us, we just fuck ‘em right off, OK?”
“Agreed. No eye contact. Pretend we’ve not seen ‘em and keep drivin.”
“We’re in it together.”
Thelma and Louise eat your fucking hearts out…
The cops have clocked us. Collette is doing her best to be overly-interested in a nearby field. One of the cops has his whistle out. I am squinting. Ultimate faux concentration on both our parts.
Even if there was a police man in the road, Mr Officer, there would be no way I could see him as I am one hundred percent focused on nothing but the road ahead. I don’t even know what a Goan Police Officer looks like, Mr Officer. They aren’t the same uniforms that we have in the UK, Mr Officer.
He’s blowing the whistle. Now we are both doing our best to look deaf. His arm is out for us. I steer to the right. It’s now or never for the cop. What is he going to do? I hold my breath. Collette stairs thoughtfully, as a deaf person does, at her field. Jaws tense. Hearts pounding. Time frozen…
Long low exhalation. And inhale.
“Remember, babe. Don’t look back.”
The next couple of hundred metres down the road is a bit hand-in-mouth. We’re basically fugitives. On the run. Bonnie and Clyde.
This was the first time in Goa that we broke from the law like true-felon, Road Dog’s. We dodged the cops half a dozen times like this and we felt mega-cool every time. We started to accessorise our cop-dodging with shades. Later we became more technically stream-lined: positioning ourselves outside of other vehicles, using the vehicle as a cop-shield. We’re not just outlaws. We’re pro’s. If anyone needs any advice on being a hardened outlaw, just let us know.
p.s. though we had initially rented a scooter informally from an unknown, toothless man we met outside the pub, we did later embark upon a more legitimate scooter rental arrangement for the latter part of our stay in Goa, via a live chicken peddler in Chapora.
Thanks for reading.
crossing the bridge to Maharashtra. Cops miles behind at this point with dust and fumes in their eyes. Road Dogs Don’t Care!