Last night, after visiting my neighbours to say hello and welcome them back for the season, I was greeted by the sonorous tones of chanted prayer from my landlady and her family who live below me -organised religion – see my last post!
My neighbours here, well the ones I visited last night anyway, have just returned from their lives in other parts of the globe – American male and German female who live in Mumbai and Tuscany when not here, he through his work as a teacher in Mumbai and she through tending their farm property in Tuscany.
So here is what today offered – if you want to observe bureaucracy come to India – here it has gone mad and although many say it is all a case of greed, bribery and corruption I personally feel that it has to do with all the form filling that they learnt many years ago probably as a result of working under British rule in the past.
Let me explain a little. I have held an Indian SIM card with the same number for the past 3 years I have been here. This year however, I am no longer the holder of the number and have had to get a new SIM. Not only that but I now have to wait three days for it to be activated!. Now in the past, when you arrived here you could straightaway go to a local shop, pay around 500/- and get a SIM whoich activated withion a few hours.
NOW – I had to go to Idea and aske them to reactivate my number = they couldn’t do this as I have been out the country for 6 months and the number has been reassigned)??)./ So I had to buy a new SIM – chose the number (which is still the same as before) and paid 20/- before filling in a form and getting my passport and visa copyied, then handing over a photo and , at this point am told it will now take 3 DAYS to activate!. My referee was Coniw Pacheco and luckily she was in when they range her to verify me! Not all done yet though as I will have to go back in 3 months with papers and a photo to ensure I didn’t lose the number!!!! WOW – anyway, I sorted it out. So tomorrow if the TATA day as my dongle also has been cut so I will need a new SIM for this now to be able to work with the internet. PHEW.
All these new rules and restrictions are crazy added to the changes they made previously to ban tourists from leaving the country and returning again within a 2 month period.
Personally, I really do wonder if it is as a result of greed or not wanting repeat foreigners in the country really. They seem happy to have new tourists but even that is crazy now as they are restricting so much on the beachfront side. My friends Sandra and Patrick who own a shack are being charged over the odds this year for the licence. In addition ALL shacks on public beaches are only allowed 5 sunbeds!!! So if you are a family of 6 one of you will need to sit on the sand (unless of course you are able to pay for them to turn the other way!!!
They have also been told that they will be charged VAT for the last 3 years – a guesstimate apparently but the way things are going the costs of setting up for the season are really so large that by the end of the season they will just have broken even perhaps. Even employing people to put up the shack cost 450/- per day per person (!), compared to 150/- per day a few years back.
Inflation is horrendous in Goa now =- it started with the silly price of taxis and now it is all prices generally. And it is not only the foreign tourists that cop it as Sandra actually had some Indian guests in the other day who told her that with the costs in Goa going up that although they have returned to Goa many times they will not come again as it is becoming expensive here now. So once again 2012 is proving to be the end of the world as several know it!