The metallic scales of the luggage belt slowly pass where I am standing, contract at the corners to form a triangle and finally escape my field of vision carrying only a few lonely suitcases with them. My luggage should arrive any moment now. Next to me Yuanyuan is already waiting bag in hand to finally leave the airport.
„Hey“, somebody calls.
I struggle to take my eyes off the hypnotically rotating conveyor belt. A young man, about my age, with brown-blonde lazily locked hair smiles at us.
„Are you guys heading to Anjuna by any chance?”
I shake my head.
“Ah pity! I have this cab I could ave used some people to share it with. I’m Joe by the way.” We shake hands. “Where are you guys going?”
“Vagator”, I reply and pull my phone out of the pocket to see where Anjuna is again. Apparently on the way.
Joe’s and my backpack arrive almost simultaneously and embarrass us both to be just some more backpackers in Goa.
The ride turns out to be a lot of fun when Joe, a British recreational traveler, Yuanyuan, my travel companion, and me start talking about European and international politics. Just as we say our goodbyes at hostel, Joe remembers something:
„Hey listen, if you ever wanna go out together – I mean out-out – there is this party tonight apparently. The place is called Club Cubana.”
Outside darkness has already fallen. I nod.
“We’ll think about it. It’s already getting late and we had a long day…”
“Sure, yeah. Anyways, would love it if you can make it.”
We check in, shower and go for dinner in a South-Indian restaurant next door. While waiting for the bill Yuanyuan says
“You know what?I think I could still go for some light partying tonight.”
I think about it and am surprised to find that I, too, am finding the idea of ending the night on a not-too-silent note rather attractive.
„Ok, yeah. But let’s not put to much energy into it, in case it turns out to be too much of a hassle.“
Yuanyuan agrees and we actually manage to quickly find a reasonably cheap taxi as we step out of our dorm one hour later. We are only ten minutes into the ride when the driver stops at a turn and tells us that we have arrived.
The entrance is a simple gate, revealing its meaning only at a small illuminated sign reading “Club Cubana”. Two men in orange shirts and with “STAFF” in big letters on the back signal us to pass through and follow a dirty path that looses itself in the dark beyond the gate. We follow the way hesitantly.
About two-hundred meters on the path a second slightly friendlier looking gate appears guarded by even more orange wearing staff members. They nod in our direction as we pass and point towards a large parking space to the right, away from the main road that seems to go up the steep hill that rises dark and tall in front of us, specked by only some dim yellow lights between the green of the trees. I am imagining to hear a bass in the distance.
On the parking lot there are already some other visitors waiting and happily chatting away. Confused as to what they are waiting for we join them and just as we decide to ask somebody, a Jeep comes driving down the hill and halts in front of us. A staff in orange hurries to open the tailgate of the pickup and we board the car. The engine roars and up it goes into the dark and toward the top of the hill. There is a cue in front of yet another small gate that looks more like a door, but it takes us only three minutes to get to the front and lose the last of our worries as we receive the happy news: Five Euros entry fee, open bar all night.
Through the door we go, around a small corner, up a few steps – and our eyes grow wide. The first terrace is a big swimming pool, a vantage point with divans and a wood fired oven out of which orange staff members pull one pizza after the other. The second is an open-air dance floor, the DJane is wearing funny bows in her hair and dancing on a pedestal made of bamboo, all around there are deep seating areas like dry Jacuzzis. The third terrace one big bar, with countless small tables and sofas on the borders. Beyond arises a single colonial-looking two-story building where even more music seems to be playing.
Yuanyuan and I lose ourselves and each other in the trance that this place puts on us. When I finally find her again, a dripping wet Joe is standing next to her, grinning at me.
“There you are!”
Yep, there we were.