In this final entry for An Expat’s Guide To Goa, we’ll explore how you might interact with the world around you. Having already laid out the nuts and bolts of getting set up in Goa and discussing what attracts people to this tiny, free state, we move on to friendships, relationships, and encounters with both police and prospective employers.
Once you’ve arrived in Goa, it’s important to set up a local support system as fast as you can. So, let’s go!
Relationships: Where Cultures Truly Collide
Most visitors to Goa quickly realize how insular Goan society can be. If you do meet a Goan that shows interest in a romantic relationship, just know that he or she likely enjoys black sheep status among family members. So, don’t expect a warm welcome from all of the uncles, aunties, and cousins. And, you should know that even if you’ve lived in Goa with your Goan spouse for over 20 years, you will always remain an “outsider”. But, don’t worry, if dating a Goan doesn’t sound like your cup of chai, you can still hit the beaches and clubs to find singles from all around the world.
The Law: Make It Up As You Go
In Goa, you’d have to try pretty hard to get yourself into a legal snafu. Both the police and the locals practice a fair amount of tolerance. Based on a few choice anecdotes intimated to me by friends, the police seem to prefer settling any disputes on the scene, right then and there. Rather than escort you to the police station, register a complaint, and interview witnesses, the police will encourage all parties to talk it out and set things right, monetarily or otherwise. That said, the police take heinous crimes seriously and one can never be too careful to avoid committing minor offenses.
Friendships: Worth The Wait
Making friends with the locals takes time. First of all, most Goans assume that any foreigner they meet will fly back home within a week or two. Once you have convinced them that you plan on staying for a longer period of time, you must still exercise patience while trying to gain their trust. Decades of experience dealing with unscrupulous tourists has led many Goans to deal with all foreigners at arm’s length. But, just give it some time and you find that not only do Goans make for useful friends, they display quite a bit of loyalty as well.
Work: The Fabled Unicorn of Goa
For both foreigners and locals, finding any job at all in Goa proves difficult. And, landing a gig that will actually make ends meet could take a year or more. Ideally, you’d already have an online job in place before purchasing your ticket to India. Otherwise, you’ll need to make friends fast and hope you find a seasonal position at a resort or restaurant while you hunt for internet jobs. Depending on your desired lifestyle, you don’t need much money in Goa. Earn $20 a day and you can live more comfortably than most. I think you could probably even survive just by working for one of those crowdsourcing websites.
Hey! Got a question about life in Goa? Ask it in the comments below and I will answer it within 72 hours.