So I spent New Year’s Day in Alibag with a few close friends. Ready to return, post the delicious alcohol and endless food (or is it the other way around?), we were told that the catamaran seats were all sold out and we had to take the local ferry. Now unlike Shashi Tharoor, I have no qualms about travelling with my fellow locals. But I do have a problem with the sorry state of the jetties at both Alibag and the Gateway of India.
You see, over the last 20 years, the number of private pools in Alibag has jumped from ten to about two hundred and fifty. There’s more Balinese landscaping in Alibag than in all of Indonesia. And the traffic problems from Pedder Road have spilled out onto the Arabian Sea as powerboats are the new accessory for the well-heeled. After all, what’s the point of owning an Omega Seamaster if you don’t have a yacht to wear it with?
Now sadly, over the last 20 years, as more Balinese homes were being built, the jetty has continued to fall apart like Djakarta. There are no safety measures at the jetty. To get on or off a boat, you need to leap across with your bags tightly wrapped around your arms and your shit firmly clenched between your butt cheeks. Then you have to repeat it as you may need to jump across two or more boats to reach the moss-covered pier with those same barnacles that gave Captain Haddock blisters.
The state of the pier is really despicable. And I wonder why the upscale residents of Alibag, with all their influence and wealth, can’t come up with a plan to build a safe jetty. If not for the local people, at least for the sake of their suede Gucci loafers.