When The Postcard Hotel invited me to interview a taxi driver for our series, I agreed and awaited a name and phone number. Nanu Taxi was shared with me, a contact I have been sent at least a dozen times, and have saved on my phone in many different, confidence-inspiring ways:
GOA TAXI, NANU BEST TAXI, GOA BEST DRIVER and so on. Nanu has been my go-to, and the go-to of so many friends of mine who live in Goa, for too many reasons: aside from being inspiringly punctual and respectful, he’s got a love for Goa that you can feel from the moment he picks you up and takes you into town. This is probably because he’s been dedicated to his profession since 2007, the year he took over from his father, who is famous for his Aldona-based transportation service that’s been around
since 1975. He wants you to know, as soon as you are done texting on your phone, that your journey is a story. With him, you’re not just in safe hands. You’re in a mini class on Goa, and part of an always engaging dialogue that papers over all the bumps on the road.
How do you distinguish a “real” Goan taxi driver from a pseudo one?
There are “real” Goan drivers, like my father, who everyone calls Shiri. For me, the real drivers always respect their passengers, are punctual, and honest. I’ve been taught that customers are more important than money. Honestly, many of the new breed are super greedy. They don’t even care to explain the journey and the roads to customers.
How is all the development you see around you changing Goa?
In simple words, it’s becoming the next big concrete jungle.
What is your favourite thing about living in Goa? Least favourite thing?
Favourite: the fact that we celebrate so many festivals here is quite remarkable. Whether it is Easter, Christmas, Eid, or Ganesh Chaturthi— we celebrate with enthusiasm.
Least Favourite: the destruction of nature, and the iron ore mining, thanks to greedy politicians. Sometimes I feel like this place is becoming the next big concrete jungle.
What comes to your mind when we say:
Goa Monsoon: Green fields, farming, waterfalls and trekking
South Goa: Portuguese houses and clean beaches
Best food: Fish curry rice (said like that, in one breath, without punctuation).
Favourite Local Businesses (besides yours!): Farming, fishing, bakery
Christmas and New Years: Rush, celebrations, and traffic.
How do you really feel about so many people moving to Goa?
As a taxi driver, it's been a benefit, as people use my services more. But, I do hope that the people who are moving here help us to preserve our beautiful environment and culture.