• this is india four

This is India! (four)

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.

Writing I did Other than Werkenntwen:

  • an interview for Girls That Go, one of my favorite sites about female travel

This is India (four)

I’ve actually mentioned this in passing when I told you last year how hard it was learning to drive in India, but it’s story worth telling in full.

It was early monsoon last year and Ben, Stein our crazy kiwi friend, and Rishab our BFF in Goa, and I were in the good ol’ omni driving home from a quite boozy dinner.  We were about 3 minutes from home.

Goa is full of speed bumps and as I learned with driving there, you have to slow down a lot before you go over them, as Ben said to me “always shift to 2nd gear to know you’re slowing down enough- the car noises will tell you”. Luckily, that’s the case because the speed bump we were slowing down for wasn’t a speed bump.

It was a python.


omni, india, expat, driving in india, python

I am so afraid of snakes, I can’t even begin to explain how scared I was. There was actually so much pure shock, I couldn’t even cry. I had only been in Goa about 2 or 3 months at this point and was basically like, “What the fuck, Ben, you didn’t tell me there were pythons in our village!” I didn’t know there were pythons in Goa for that matter.

I had the exact same reaction when I found a big dead scorpion in the pool.

Of course, the boys got out and tried to get the snake to play with it (idiots) but it slithered away into the forest.

Another monsoon has come around and in the last year, we did see a couple more snakes. Some were outside in the wild, some were under our couch, on the walkway, or people’s pets they brought out to dinner and let slither on the table while they ate…

I have been told that in hot April, May, and early June the snakes come out looking for water. These are the months just before monsoon.

this is india four

Lord Shiva had a pet snake, so most Hindus won’t kill a snake, so I’ve been told. They think of them as “cool” and some even think it’s lucky to see pythons. My yoga teacher had a couple fall through cracks in her roof. Friends have told me they’ve seen larger ones fall from trees near Thalassa or on the Mapusa-Anjuna road stretched out, straight chillin’!

This is India!

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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Hope & Sugar June 27, 2014 at 1:59 am - Reply

    Every time I see a snake, it gives me the creeps. Thankfully for me those sightings have been few and far in between.

  2. Lindsey June 27, 2014 at 2:28 am - Reply

    I’m glad you didn’t run over it by accident, and I hope you’ve gotten over your fear a little – it sounds like creepy wildlife is something you see a lot in Goa! We had a python wriggle its way into our birds’ aviary once and eat one of them, which isn’t really funny in itself… until you hear the bird’s name was Monty.

  3. Anna Lamma June 27, 2014 at 8:28 am - Reply

    Ohhhhh goodness. I’m not afraid of snakes but I don’t think I’ve ever considered meeting one in their natural environment. That might freak me out! No zookeepers to reassure me that they’re harmless!

    • Rachel Jones June 28, 2014 at 4:26 am - Reply

      It definitely catches me off guard! But at the same time I am less scared because I haven’t heard of anyone getting bit.

  4. Rebekah June 27, 2014 at 9:20 am - Reply

    that python is Crazy! I would flip my shit. Will people in India get upset if you guys kill a snake?

    • Rachel Jones June 28, 2014 at 4:26 am - Reply

      I don’t think it’d be a huge problem- but they don’t kill them, they take them out to the jungle and release.

  5. Ashley June 27, 2014 at 10:46 am - Reply

    An 8 foot python- good lord! It also boggles my mind that people bring snakes out with them to dinner?!

    • Rachel Jones June 28, 2014 at 4:27 am - Reply

      yes, it’s a little odd. It’s usually babas or sadhus or such… they are “holy’

  6. Rika | Cubicle Throwdown June 27, 2014 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Hmmmmm….I can see some similarities between Roatan and Goa when it comes to creepy crawlies :)

  7. Joella J in Beijing June 29, 2014 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Eeek! But what is with the snakes falling through the cracks in the roof? I’ve heard that from a few people! I think one of them was actually in the UK where it was someone’s pet snake, but still. It would be terrifying!

    • Rachel Jones June 30, 2014 at 3:50 am - Reply

      ugh I cannot understand having pet snakes… it’s just the oddest creature how some people love them and keep them in their bedrooms and some are so terrified they can’t even see a photo! weird.

  8. Empty Rucksack June 29, 2014 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Ishwinder got over her snake fears by learning to play with the small ones, its the only way out.

  9. Karyn @ Not Done Journeyling June 30, 2014 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    I love snakes but they are so damned unpredictable, so they do put me on edge. I agree though, the best way is to get used to the little harmless ones and it really takes the edge off when you encounter a huge one.

    They used to fall out of trees in Thailand too, and they got into our orphanage’s hen house and ate all their eggs. Little buggers.

    • Rachel Jones July 1, 2014 at 1:27 am - Reply

      They are unpredictable and theyre little eyes just look evil! So sad about the eggs :(

  10. Elora July 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    I actually love snakes. I think they’re so fascinating! I would have gotten out too, but hardly to play with it. Python? HA! No thank you, I’ll take pictures…well maybe just poke it once…OH! Choke choke….” ;) There’s actually this picture my mom has of me when I was about three, and we were taking care of a friend’s python. It shows it draped over my shoulders, with me holding out my hand for it to rest its head in.

    But man–how scary for you! How long did it take for it to go away? And did it actually react to the guys? What did they do?

    My uncle, when fighting in Vietnam, had a python slither ever so slowly over him while he was going through the jungle. Didn’t even realize it was a python at first–now he’s terrified of snakes. Whereas my aunt really isn’t. It’s such a funny combination. I love listening to their stories.

    • Rachel Jones July 2, 2014 at 6:45 am - Reply

      omgsh i can’t imagine what happened to your uncle! i would FReAK out! and how funny about the holding a python as a kid, strangely enough I held one too, a burmese, because my firends’ dad bred them. I wasn’t scared back then- maybe because I didnt know what they could do!

  11. Christine @thetraveloguer July 3, 2014 at 8:30 am - Reply

    I love your This is India posts Rachel! I would definitely freak out if I saw a snake that size! I saw a couple in Goa but they were much smaller than your python! :)

    • Rachel Jones July 5, 2014 at 9:35 am - Reply

      Thanks! I’m glad people are liking the series :) The snakes are so scary!!

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