The Shit Eating Pigs of Goa was the title of a chapter that I cut out of my first book, The Crooked Beat, during the editing process. The gist of The Crooked Beat centred around the ‘Freak Circuit’ in Thailand and India. So lemme explain wot the circuit was ….
…In the 60s a lot of hippies travelled to Thailand and India. The most common (and cheapest) route they took was to land by plane in Singapore, travel overland to Thailand and get a boat to Calcutta. Once in India they would travel by train to Delhi in the east then down to Goa in the south. Not surprisingly, this became known as ‘The Hippy Trail’ Bands played large concerts in Anjuna Beach, Goa and it became a party destination. Many hippies didn’t want to go home after the ‘high-season’ in Goa (Indian Winter) had finished, so they headed up to Manali in the north for the party high-season there (Indian Summer)
The Hippy Trail was still popular in the 70s, so much so that authorities in Singapore, who wanted to deter hippies from visiting, forced them to get haircuts at the airport under threat of deportation. Apparently this was an effective deterrent and many skipped Singapore to land in Bangkok.
With the advent of dance-house in the 80s, the live bands were replaced by DJs and the Hippy Trail became known as The Party Circuit. Koh-Pangan in south Thailand was added as a circuit destination because of its full moon shindigs in the late 80s and the parties continued 365 days of the year on the Circuit. Many westerners did the Circuit years on end, financing their travels by doing drug runs and dealing. Imported drugs such as LSD and MDMA were the most popular as weed, hash, opiates and over the counter speed could be picked up in abundance in Thailand and India.
The dedicated individuals who lived for the Circuit became known as ‘Freaks’ and the Circuit eventually became known as the Freak Circuit. I did the Circuit from ’88 to ’91, selling acid, shooting dope and drinking whisky.
It wasn’t all fun and games though; in fact it was what the hippies would once have called a ‘heavy scene.’ People permanently losing their minds, overdoses, gang-rapes, murder and lengthy jail terms were some of drawbacks. Add on top of this a massive police presence in Goa for the high season and you get some idea of why a young syruplover like me needed a break. So me and a bunch of my pommy mates fucked off outta Anjuna to a beach called Arambol. And that is where the missing chapter was set.
At first, it seemed like paradise, but like so much in India looks were deceiving. We met one of the locals, a Brit who had lived in India so long that he spoke Pidgin English. He lived in a mud hut on the hill (no shit, that is what it was, I saw it – a hut made out of….mud) All his front teeth were missing and he told us it was because Indian thieves would rob all the hut dwellers (there were about 30 of them plus another 20 sleeping on the beach) by creeping into their abodes at night and rifling through their belongings. They would hold a large rock above the victims face and if they awoke, they would smash their face in and escape.
The problem became so bad, that the self-proclaimed mayor of Arunbol declared war. He was a huge kraut who lived in a fort-like tree-house (I saw it, it was a large wooden fort like construction…in a tree) Drawing on his Prussian martial skills, he organised the Arunbolites into two groups. One group was given large flaming torches and formed a line to flush all the thieves from the jungle. They had whistles to alert the second group who waited in darkness on the beach armed with cricket bats. The thieves were given the thrashing of their lives and took off to easier targets – probably Anjuna beach.
But wait, it gets weirder…one day me and my Manc friend were on a heroic dose of LSD and floating on our backs in the freshwater pond that sat at the top of the beach. Things were going just swimmingly when I heard this grunting coming from the low hill next to the pond. We looked up to see three cave-men coming down the hill. No, we weren’t hallucinating, they were cave-men; dread-locked, naked, smeared with mud and carrying large bones as clubs, they lurched down the hill like Neanderthals. My friend and I were literally speechless; we had no words to communicate this latest monstrosity.
The cave-men swung their arms like apes and lurched down to a naked woman sunbathing on the beach. She was surrounded by leering Indian men who always pestered western women on the beach. One of the cave men threw the screaming woman over his shoulder as the other two cave-men made monkey noises and threatened the startled Indians with their bone clubs.
Then the cave men ran off up the hill with the still screaming woman. What did it all mean? It wasn’t until I related this story to the Kraut Mayor that he explained what had happened. Not surprisingly, he was the author of the whole thing. This is what happened; western women were sick of Indian men who would descend on the beach whenever they were sunbathing.
The men would take photos of them, grope them and generally do what Indian men do. The Mayor decided that something had to be done so he and some friends came up with the caveman plot to freak out the Indians enough so that they wouldn’t come back. And it worked!
But what has all this to do with shit eating pigs? I hear punters cry. Just setting the scene syruplovers. When we got to Arunbol, me and my friends stayed in a restaurant on the beach. On the first day there, we were all tripping our tits off and sitting around the restaurant drinking and listening to my Specials cassette. Suddenly I felt my guts lurch and knew that I had to get to a dunny. The others who had already been told me it was around the back.
I assumed it would be like other dunnies in Goa, that is a small outhouse perched over a pig sty(read my book The Crooked Beat for more on this) I couldn’t find any such building so I wandered into the jungle assuming that I would have to squat out in the bushes.
As I wandered out, a bunch of pigs materialized and started following me at a safe distance. Before long I had a veritable fucking entourage of pigs following me hoping to get some shit to eat. I figured my best bet was to squat in front of a tree trunk so that none of the little bastards could smear in behind me and snaffle up my shit from behind. I also picked up a small handful of rocks that I could use to keep the pigs at bay while I got down to business.
The diarrhoea that seeped out of my bunghole was bright orange for some reason (no-one does solid shits in India) and the smell of it mixed with the sight of a slowly advancing semi-circle of swine filled me with acidic anxiety. Whenever one of the little squirrelfuckers got too close I would whip a rock at its snout and it would squeal and back off. Soon, I ran out of rocks.
As I was wondering what to do, I noticed a commotion at the back of the pigs. It was an enormous alpha hog, barging its way to the front of the cue to get first dibs on my dias. It stood in front of me, sizing me up. Squatting down I wasn’t really much bigger than it, so he decided to move in for the kill. I determined that my best bet at survival was to wait until he was close enough and hook him in the head.
The acid in my head started to turn savagely against me – and I had visions of my dangling nutsack being ripped off by the hog. When I attacked I got a good hook right in his head – it was like punching a brick and I was thrown off balance. As I was only wearing a pair of jeans (which were around my ankles) when I fell back first into the orange slick of slimy shit it smeared all over my back. The pigs went crazy and moved in on their prize, the ones that missed out started suckling the shit smeared on my back. They were all grunting and it was a horrific experience.
I bolted from the jungle, past the restaurant where my friends called out to me and down to the Indian Ocean. I stayed in there for a good half hour until the acid had mellowed the fuck out then went back into the restaurant. When I told my mates what had happened, they all laughed and said, “You are supposed to climb a tree before you shit!”