How to pick up chicks on Baga Beach (Goa)

It would seem that ‘The Game’ has not yet made its way through India- pervading the mind and sense of every man like it has done in Engerland. Evidence for this can be seen splurging out of the brains and mouths of some of the Goans I came across (so to speak) in my week there. There are numerous ways to attempt to woo the laydeez and they work with varying success:

1. Shout across the beach “Madam, madam, will you marry me?”

Critique: While this is clearly displaying that you’re not a commitment-o-phobe, something feared by many women (and men) I know in the west, it may be advisable to seek the middle ground and retain some dignity. You know, keep some cards close to your chest.

2. Walk past target repeatedly, staring unblinkingly at them. When they finally cease pretending not to notice you, smile inanely. Be sure to have a crazed look in your eyes.

Critique: There is a chance that this will the adverse effect and, instead of warming target to you, will creep them out. A small chance, but it’s there nonetheless. You have been warned.

3. Keep walking past until target in engrossed in their book, then quick-fire questions at them, ignoring their attempt to go back to their book.

Critique: If they look like they haven’t noticed you the first four or so times you walk past – give it up. Just cut your losses.

4.  Sit by them at a bar and ask for ‘chit-chat’ with your selling point being that you are very talkative and like to find out about different cultures and their views on India. When they have agreed to spend some time with you, drop the pretense of being sociable and make them do all the work in the conversation. When they give up then remark “you’re not very chatty are you?”

Critique: While a polite request to join someone goes a long way, bear in mind that they might want to sit on their own for a reason. Honesty is an admirable trait, but usually one keeps up the pretense of being interesting for at least 3 minutes.

5. While handing them flyers from your motorcycle to a ladies night, ask questions about where they are from. Use your international knowledge to claim that you are also from said place and then back this up by sqawking chat-up lines  associated with that place (for example ‘I’m from Essex too: Sit on my love machine’), thus proving that, although you might not really be from there, there is a chance that you have, at least, met someone from Essex.

Critique: Extra points for  ‘local knowledge’ and using the right phrases in context. Just make sure that you really know what the phrase means (e.g ‘love machine’ does not mean motorcycle). Oh yeah, and extra points for the motorcycle.

6. Sit very near target play music you think she’ll like, such as the entire U2 back-catalogue, while waiting for a train that has been delayed for an hour and a half. If you like, sing along.

Critique: This is a real hit or miss technique. If you can’t sing, don’t, but playing someone music is always a nice treat. U2 would seem like a safe choice for many and it would seem like bad luck for the PUA that target hated U2. (If he’d thought about it, the fact that U2 are shit might have been an indication, but there’s no accounting for taste).



I have faith .

I do not believe in gravity. I have faith that if I jump from a building I will float up into space and never been seen again.

Because of my faith, and the very definition of the word faith itself, I do not require proof that I am right or wrong I just believe.

“You’re wrong” I suppose you want to shout at me. “Of course gravity exists, you loon.”

I, of course, do not believe you because I have my faith. Every time someone jumps off a building in my sight I close my eyes because I do not need proof either way. For all my years I have got by without needing proof. Whenever anyone tries to tell me otherwise, or asks me pertinent questions such as ‘Why do we stay on the ground then?’ I close my eyes and ears and smile to myself, knowing that if I were to jump I will float up into the sky. Therefore I never jump.

None of this is true. Obviously, I believe in gravity (a belief that came in handy when hurtling towards Grantham at terminal velocity, attached to the crotch of a stranger).

But if I lived my life that way, I never would have gone up in that plane and had one of the most exhilarating experiences imaginable. I wouldn’t have gone up in any plane, for that matter. Nor would I have experienced the soft landing provided by my classmates at school during the trust exercise where you face away and let yourself fall, placing your trust in the unruly 12 year olds. They catch you because they are catching themselves. You cannot have altruism without self-interest.

If you do bad things, you lose part of your humanity. You are your creator and you alone can judge yourself.

‘God’ means many things to many people but, as a universal concept, is a method of control based on fear: not altruism, not self-interest, but fear.

My belief: (in real life)

1. God can not be an exogenous being.

2. Nor is God an aggregate of all people’s spirituality.

3. God is a word not a name.

4. God as a name is irrelevant.

5. God as a word has lost all meaning.

Constantine decided that Jesus was the Son of God, after centuries of deliberation and fighting. Constatine was a man so could not know the inside of a supreme being’s mind either way. That is blasphemous.

Christianity is Blasphemous.

I got my hair cut and, boy, was it an Experience…

Everyone has their own technique when completing a ‘hair-cut’ task. Mine, I have recently discovered, is a bit haphazard. After traipsing round Spitalfields Market one rainy Sunday for 2 hours; short ‘one appointment’ and long ‘suede shoes’ (now wet) I could not understand why, when I wanted my hair cut immediately, every single hair-dresser was suggesting times next week.

Several times repeating the same scenario (ending in me not getting a hair cut) left me despondent and alone in the rain; my split ends weighing heavy in my heart. As I started the journey home, a sole beacon of light appeared on the horizon. A mirage. It looked like a bar, but was called ‘Taylor Taylor’. Being a big fan of puns, I put 2 and 2 together… Could it be…?

It was. I entered and, for the hundredth time that day asked the soul-searching question: “Can someone cut my hair please, like, now?” Military-style negotiations resulted in a ten minute wait, which would, I was about to find out, work in my favour.

The receptionist made his way over to the bar in the centre of the foyer and nodded at me.

Would I like a drink?


Would I like a champagne cocktail?

Hell, yes.

Booze grasped tightly in my hands, I peered out of the window at the passers by in the rain and waited for my cue.

I was summoned by a stranger to come over to the stairs. I could sense it was about to begin. Nic* was my hairdresser. Lovely, handsome, Italian Nic. We descended to the basement, away from prying eyes, and he sat me down gently. Nic looked (via the mirror) deep into my eyes, and asked:

“How would you like it done?”

Overwhelmed, I broke our gaze and mumbled something about perhaps a fringe, stuttering that he was the professional so I was at his mercy, meanwhile wondering if I was flexible enough kick myself in the back of the head and, if so, would that be the right action to take.

He lightly touched my hair, stroking it and letting in run through his fingers. I could feel myself relax as he lifted up a section of my hair and draped it over my face in an attempt to emulate a fringe.

“Yeah, that should be fine” he murmured in his lilting voice.

At this point I was nervous: I could feel the butterflies in my stomach; the jolt of electricity every time his fingers brushed lightly against my cheek. Sparks were flying. The apprehension was almost too much. We were about to throw all caution to the wind and embark on the journey together. Was it sensible? I mean, I hardly knew this guy (lovely, handsome, Italian Nic). Was it the right thing to do? Not least of the worries currently nagging in my mind was the thought that his fringe impersonation, perhaps, looked a bit shit.

The champagne part of my brain drowned out my attempts to be all British and, safe in the company of Nic, I bravely said:

“Yeah, let’s do it. What’s the worst that could happen?”

Committed to this now, in body and in soul, I walked over to the sinks and took my place in the golden room with dim lights and relaxing music. I couldn’t take my mind of Nic and what he was going to do. I could barely concentrate on the polite holiday conversation going on around me.

With clean hair and dressed only in a towel-turban (in addition to the outfit I was wearing before), I bashfully stepped back into the salon. Catching Nic’s eye, I made my way over to the chair. He slowly sat my down and reached into his belt for his tool.

The pair of scissors made their first cut. My eyes were transfixed on them, snipping faster than I thought I could handle.. Nic was gentle but firm. Nothing came in between us and, in that moment, I felt safe with him. He had the demeanour of a man that had done this a thousand times before, but rather than feeling like I was paying for his service, he made me feel special. I could see in his eyes he enjoyed it as much as I did.

I was in agreement with Nic’s suggestion of a climactic blow-dry and by the time we had reached the end of it I was exhilarated. Nic asked me if I was satisfied. Speechless, I nodded, much to his enjoyment. He smiled, not breaking eye contact (through the mirror) he stroked my hair again, almost as if he were admiring his handiwork. I wasn’t ready to move so I remained seated and enjoyed being in the moment listening to Nic whisper into my ear phrases such as:

“You have really swingy hair”


“Do you want to buy any product”

Eventually it was time to leave. I collected my belongings and slowly made my way to the door, sipping on the remaining champagne and making small talk. As I ascended the stairs I knew the memories of this would stay with me for a very long time. In a dream-like state I paid the receptionist and thanked him for his help.

Just as I was leaving I heard someone call “Sara”

I looked round expectantly and saw Nic approaching me. He slipped his card into my hand and said to me:

“Please come back in 6 weeks for a trim”

I knew what he meant. When you share something like that together it creates a deep, lasting bond and he didn’t need to say out loud what I knew he felt in his heart.


*(names have been changed to protect the innocent).