Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Law...

My bike was fully loaded with five tin cans and a backpack. Both my helmets were missing in action. One is in a restaurant in Goa and the owner went back to Bombay and the other was pretty much stolen ;) So the law in Goa states that in the city you do not require a helmet and on highways you do. Well I didn't load up my bike to galavant around town, I had to move down closer to the train station in Margao which was over an hour away. I was fortunate that I had Shree, a local who lives in Chappora, lend me a hand and drive down with me.

We both did not have helmets and decided to just go and go slowly. We made it about twenty minutes when Shree pulled over and then I asked what was going on and he pointed ahead. What lay ahead were five police officers stopping mostly motorcycles. It's a ticket of a nominal amount but still it's the hassle of the police. We turned around on a one way highway and hit the back roads. We avoided our first check stop and we knew there were two more ahead, you gotta love people who help you out ;) So we came upon our next one and we decided to wait for a bus and drive behind it and then beside it as we passed the check post ;) I know, I know... but it was such an exhilarating experience. It's nothing like what it would be if I were to try and duplicate that behaviour back home, that would not go over so well, it's not taken too seriously here

So we ended up getting a tip from another motorcyle rider and his wife and we followed him through some small villages and down sloping and winding hills to come up back on the highway after 10 kilometers of sight seeing. Sure enough five minutes after that we got waved in by the police and our engines were off. Good thing Shree was with me. It ended up being a small fine which could have been a lot worse since I was whining about unpacking all my stuff which would take half an hour to repack just so I could get them my registration. I didn't show them anything and they still wrote me up the ticket, that's just unheard of. Later Shree told me he knew one of the officers and was letting us off very easy. So we had tickets in our pockets and no longer any worries about police.

Like a pit crew at a race a couple more uniforms waved us in for a pit stop. Engines off. Hand in my back pocket to reach for my ticket to present to the officer. He looks at it up and down, looks at me up and down and motions to go along with he hand.

We finally reached Margao and headed to Colva Beach (6km away). Grabbed a guesthouse, dropped off my backpack and travel tin and the rest I rode off with to the train station. Packed the bike, paid for shipping and even had time for a bite to eat. It was a good day and with each new one getting better and better.

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