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That time I took Acid in Goa

He worked for the postal service in Sweden, which is how he managed to buy German acid blotter off the internet without getting busted by the cops. Getting it from there to India was a simple matter of slipping a page into a book. The ease of this makes me wonder about all the things we get away with. What do we do when no one who will punish us is watching?

Well, some of us smuggle drugs into India.

I met The Postman through my roommate at the time, in Arambol Beach, Goa. She’d been talking about him for weeks, and a few days before he arrived showed me a picture he’d sent: a gorgeous selfie where his face was swollen beyond recognition. A side effect of dosing with ibogaine.

You see, The Postman was something of a psychonaut, eager to push his mental and spiritual—and apparently physical—boundaries for the sake of self-exploration. This aspect of his life had my friend, who was otherwise head over heels for him, pretty pissed off. She thought it was dangerous, unnecessary, fruitless. Which is why, when he asked me if I wanted to go take acid in the jungle, I hesitated. Well, that and the fact that just the night before a close friend and his employer had been arrested for selling acid and hashish out of their beachfront cafe. But, I digress.

Rewind to the previous summer. I’d just gotten divorced, and went to my Very First Music Festival. I took mushrooms and acid, and the next morning found God. I wouldn’t even be in India without that experience. So when I hesitated, it wasn’t for very long. Sometimes fear saves your life. Sometimes, it only cripples it.

The Postman, smudging my roommate a couple days before the jungle foray.
The Postman, smudging my roommate a couple days before the jungle foray.

The next morning, we headed to the jungle. Now, when I say jungle, I don’t want you to imagine some remote, lush environment full of monkeys and fragrant blooms. This jungle was peopled with babas and hippies and seekers who’d eschewed more conventional digs for the comfort of their hammocks and the company of the birds.

And the tourists.

We hiked out past the mud deposit and through a couple encampments redolent of ganja and chapatti until we found a sweet little spot by the river. Someone had recently camped there and left behind a flat rectangular area carefully marked off by trails of stones. I spread out a tapestry, and we began to unpack. A Bluetooth speaker. Crystals and stones and brass murtis of Shiva, Ganesha. Water. Some fruit.

Anyone who has a fair amount of experience with psychedelics will have some preference for the set and setting they prefer to dose in. Some people, like The Postman, will have very strong preferences. Primary among these was silence. We would exist, side by side, separated not only in body but also in mind. And, I felt, in spirit. Not a dynamic I was used to working with, but I was up to try something new.

We started our journeys by meditating next to one another for about twenty minutes, at which point The Postman handed me a single piece of blotter paper. I prayed, offered myself up to the spirit of LSD, then took my dose. We continued to meditate for a while before The Postman broke the silence not by speaking to me, but by queuing up Mooji’s Reggae Satsang on the stereo.

Describing an acid trip is a bit like describing a dream; it can have pockets of intense meaning, and a whole lot of strange, possibly amusing imagery. But ultimately, it tends to only be really interesting to the person who experienced it. Suffice to say, I spent the afternoon certain that I was on a boat in the ocean, lazily meandering my way through the waves.

(An eery side note: that very evening, not long after we left, the jungle was raided and several babas were arrested, following the suicide of a local politician’s son. At least, this is what I heard the next day. I can’t find any corroborating evidence and Googling Arambol suicide is a nasty way to spend an afternoon.)

We packed up and headed back to the village as the sun began to set. I spent an awkward hour in The Postman’s room listening to a poorly recorded meditation on cleaning energies before making my way back to the comfort of the beachfront cafe I mentioned earlier.

Only to be intercepted by my friend before I got inside. Maybe it was my dining plate pupils, maybe my swoopy loopy smile, that prompted her to order me to find some other place—any other place—to hang out. Damn good advice, considering the general state of unease gripping everyone who worked there, who hung out there. Their patriarch was gone, in the grips of the law on some pretty nasty charges, and here I was merrily prancing through, still pretty damn high. Sometimes, we have asshole moments, and that was definitely one of mine.

I spent the rest of the night coming back to earth with these two beauties
I spent the rest of the night coming back to earth with these two beauties

 

Because Arambol is made of magic, only minutes later I was snuggled in next to two of the most amazing people I have the fortune of knowing, in the best memo shop in all of Arambol, listening to Jump by Kross Kross.

It was one of those moments, so surreal, so oddly perfect, that I knew I would remember it forever. The scene crystalized in my mind: I am surrounded by people I love, in India, coming down off German LSD, listening to questionable 90s hip-hop.

Woah.

What a trip.

Written by Sarah Hirsch

Check out some of our other articles about India such as The Aram Bowl Effect, about travelling a Psychic Journey, an Experience in Delhi,  a new ‘free hostel‘ which has opened up in Goa, or a new way to touch base with your inner self in 108 Sun Salutations.

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