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IHateSprouts tells us they once avoided getting caught up in an IRA bomb attack by missing a train. Tell us how you've dodged the Grim Reaper, or simply avoided a bit of trouble.

(, Thu 19 Aug 2010, 12:31)
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Guns and dogs
2006. Me and my then girlfriend in India.
Our first three weeks bacpacking across India were quite possibly the most intense experiences of my life.

I could tell you about the road accidents, the suicidal bus drivers, the nutters high on crack trying to sell me dodgy drugs or the coconut that nearly killed me as it dropped a few feet in front of my head. But no... I'll tell you about one night in Gokarna.

Gokarna is a hindu town, very religious and generally peaceful if not a little poor. It has a beach and many temples aswell as a main street full of shops and guest houses.

We were there for a few days, exploring as you do, when we befriended a local shopkeeper called Latif. Latif seemed a very nice bloke, quite chatty, clever, funny and world-wise. We hung out with him a few times before accepting his offer to come to his house and eat with his family. Great we thought... This will be nice, a little cultural taste.

So we followed him as he shut shop and he took us down a maze of alleyways, past scruffy looking dogs sleeping in gutters, past beggars and eventually took his to his home.

We walked inside and noticed it had very little furniture, but this was just the way things were, and we tried to relax. He introduced me to his brother and his cousin and they both STARED at my girlfriend... They barely acknowledged me. This is where i should have realised something was wrong, but in the spirit of trying not to offend my host, i kept quiet...

Latif offered to make a joint for us to smoke, and he had a few tokes and passed it our way, and by god it was the strongest cannabis i had ever smoked in my life. It was Afghanistan Charas, and blew my socks off... I could hardly think straight and became instantly paranoid / wary, as i noticed the three guys were still staring at my girlfriend.

Eventually we made our excuses to leave, but he locked the door and urged us to stay longer. The brother and the cousin went into a different room and we were left with latif. He kept telling me how he had prepared for this moment, how he 'knew' that we would arrive at his shop and he kept mentioning how beautiful my girlfriend was...

My paranoid head was buzzing with thoughts, but i just tried to stay alert. He started acting weird, creepy and kept trying to touch her hair... and when i showed discomfort, he smiled at me... a genuinely creepy smile... i asked him to open the door, but he ignored me.

The next thing i know he tells me to come into the kitchen where he will show me how to make 'tea', so i comply, if nothing else but to be a barrier between him and my girl. Although i was constantly wary of the other two guys, i suspected he was 'up to something'... he walked towards a drawer in the kitchen and retrieved a metal object from the drawer whilst he had his back to me...

'Shit' i thought, 'he's gonna stab me'..

But it wasn't a knife, he pointed at me... A metallic, tubular object with a grip... a gun!

They say that your life flashes before your eyes when confronting death, but that's bullshit... the only thing that went through my head was... 'oh fuck!'

and then... then i realised something... I looked closely at the 'gun' and realised it wasn't a gun. It was a tubular oven lighter. He was trying to trick me! The bastard.

He had taken advantage of our cultural politeness and had harassed us after getting us out of our comfort zone, he had drugged us up and was just trying to scare me.

That was it. I stared him in the eyes and demanded he let us out of his house. Strangely he complied, he pulled the key out of his pocket and opened the door. He was laughing, but not in a jokey way... more in a manipulative way, still very creepy but i was no longer scared of him. Before we left, he grabbed my girlfriend and grabbed her in a BIG hug and she forced herself away from him, just before i could grab him and we ran out of the door into the now dark alleyways.

We ran around the corner and double checked that nobody was following us... and the we laughed and nearly cried. It was a horrible experience, but the relief was amazing, nervous, shaking relief...

I told her about my experience in the kitchen and how i called his bluff and we were just delighted to be out of his house.

Then we realised we had NO fucking idea as to how we would get back to the guesthouse. We were lost in a maze of alleyways in the bloody dark. So we walked and walked and walked and eventually made it back into the dimly lit main road and we found our barings.

We continued onwards, alone down the empty Indian road, roughly 2am, hardly any streetlights and just the pair of us.

After a while we realised we WERE being followed. But not by Latif or his family, but by a pack of about ten wild street dogs. Hungry looking street dogs!

Now the thing about Indian street dogs is that they are considered pests during the day, and predators during the night. Many stories can be heard about young children and luckless travellers getting torn to bits by slum dogs. And we had ten of the fuckers slowly snapping at our heels, feeding on our fear.

I told my girlfriend to keep walking and to look for a rock or a stick or anything we could use as an improvised weapon, but we were in the only street in India that had neither stick nor stone.

As we walked onwards, the pack got braver, literally inches behidn us, sniffing us, snarling their rabid snarls and generally scaring the fuck out of us. We figured at least with Latif and his family we could have reasoned with them. But there's not reasoning with dogs.

Anyway to cut a long story short, we walked and walked and the dogs got braver and braver and we thought we were going to die. When suddenly a flash of white light and a loud shattering crack interrupted our thoughts and the pack scattered.

Dumstruck, we looked to the source of the light and noticed a concerned looking Indian fellah staring at us, he had spotted us by chance from his window and had flicked on the security lights and thrown a wooden chair at the bastards and scared them off.

I have NEVER been so grateful in all my life. He had saved our lives. A few more minutes and we would have been dog food.

Good days.

Sorry for the length
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 18:40, 11 replies)
Now this is a proper story.
I daren't even defile it with sarcasm.

The massive drugs crew might though.
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 19:48, closed)
Mad dogs
This is not the first time I have thought that dogs should be given compulsory contraceptives, but it countries like India it is a necessity! Glad that you and your gf got out OK.
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 20:34, closed)
The chair bloke
he made up for the rape-the-girlfriend blokes.
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 20:40, closed)
absolutely he saved our lives
Don't get me wrong, India is a lovely place and as dangerous as it was to us i think it taught us a lot of lessons about life.

Indian people are very nice people too, one bad apple did not spoil the rest of the trip.
(, Tue 24 Aug 2010, 20:43, closed)
Great story, a real page turner. Did you report the creepy guy to the police? I know they can be very corrupt over there so don't blame if you didn't....Not much evidence I guess.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 12:52, closed)
But i posted a message up on the most popular Indian travel forum and made it quite clear who he was.

Apparantly other people have had 'trouble' with him too. :P
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 14:55, closed)
I've read this before, I'm sure of it.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 15:42, closed)
I think i may have mentioned part of this in another qotw
But technically not a proper pea. As the last story was about a scooter crash.
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 15:59, closed)
Is this it?
(, Wed 25 Aug 2010, 17:03, closed)
That's the one. How did you find that?
(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 0:16, closed)
i wrote that whilst i was still over there

(, Thu 26 Aug 2010, 0:19, closed)

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