23 Jun 2020  |   07:06am IST

Not “novel” anymore. Even paradise loses lustre for locked down Canacona tourists

 Tourists mainly from smaller European nations are stuck with no flights; Plain curry is on their staple locked down menu but many would rather be here than in Europe
Not “novel” anymore. Even paradise loses lustre for locked down Canacona tourists

ABEL BARRETTO

Canacona: With novel Coronavirus throwing air traffic out of gear worldwide, there are at least a few hundred foreign tourists still stuck in the various coastal villages in Canacona, stung with various issues, most are trying to live in the present, which otherwise is far worse than the fun and sun filled days of the season which abruptly ended in March.

Most of them are in Palolem, Patnem, Agonda and few at Galgibaga, Talpona and Rajbag. With the pockets empty, most of them are living on a tight budget and have to contend with Goan curry, with no fish in the market and other meat rates going through the roof.

Bane Vukojevicite from Belgrade, Serbia said that bigger countries like UK arranged repatriation flights paid or otherwise.  “But we belong to much smaller nations and that it’s a difficult time back home, so we don't demand our country to repatriate us back home,” said Bane. But they live in hope."If the situation worsens, our country will rise to the occasion, though I have my share of regular difficulties I am keeping myself relaxed here" Vukojevicite added.  

"During the lockdown period, I coordinated between tourists and local friends and helped those in distress by providing them food, advice and authentic information on their queries, I am used to living in similar circumstances but there were many who had got distressed and we reached out to them " the Serbian added.  

Most of the foreigners were of the similar opinion that being marooned on a tropical place hasn’t been without its frustrations. “But it’s equally true that, there’s nowhere else in the world they would rather be right now,” they opined. With the recent rains and thunderstorms, there is hardly anything these stranded foreigners can do here.

"Anxiety and stress levels have gone high and not being in your own country at these testing times is giving us sleepless nights" said a middle-aged foreigner and his female partner agreed. 

"While there is no confirmation yet on when the international flights will start operating, the hundreds of foreigners stuck here in Canacona have to learn to live with the monsoon rash, body irritation, mosquitoes, and the local law enforcement agencies who sometimes behave inhumanely with us even after knowing that we are stranded and stuck in a unfamiliar environment," he added. 

“The only positive is that there are familiar locals around whose friendly nature has time and again attracted us to visit this beautiful place, which would have become more beautiful if the law enforcement agencies could understand that we come here to spend and move the economy of this great nation of yours" said an elderly foreigner.

But all clouds have a silver lining, depending on how you look at life. For many a supply of curry, the monsoon sea, and a Goan village would be just what paradise is all about.

IDhar UDHAR

Iddhar Udhar