AsiaIndia

It's not perfect, it is almost good

India Travel Blog

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Caution! ladies at work
I am actually doing this... am I insane? I thought to myself when I got rid of all my material belongings and my job, prior to my journey. I wanted the full experience when I am there in India, with as less as possible connections to my homeland. Turns out to be a great success, I am still living an “out of the bag life” and loving it.
Away with all the Junk en more of that juicy life we are all hoping to have someday. Anyhow...

The story is this: My dad being a carpenter for most of his life, and a regular visitor of India. Thought of a new way to construct houses and factory halls out of Bamboo. After some designing, he again went to India to set op a project were the local people are trained in the carpentry skills and have a paying job wile doing so. The constructions they learn to build, we sell.
the progress

So this is no cumbaya around a campfire project, cus we think that just giving money, the old fashion way is not going to solve anything. For more info on what we are doing, please visit www.vinja.org

So I put my remaining items in a bag and head off to this far away place...
After a long boring flight I arrive at Bangalore airport. A brand new airport and the first thing I notice, is that the ceiling lights are not mounted on the same level. So I figured I must be in the right place. Like we later used to say; India is not perfect, it’s almost good, just like the ceiling lights at the airport.

Outside my driver is supposed to be waiting for me, I have no idea who he is or what he looks like, but after some cardboard sign searching I see a fragile dude with a sign.
bamboo treatment
.. yup that’s me. He took my bags and escorted me to the car. On the way I nearly tripped over a guy with apparently no legs. He was part of the gang who came to pick me up. Ganghatter, Praveen and Kumar a colorful sleepy bunch, it is 5 am so ho can blame them ☺


At this point I have arrived at my apartment in Nelamangala. And I can write a book about all the characters; John de la hoyde the cranky English fart living there, the fat barber who makes a mess of my hair, the enormous fat guy who sells fruit, and so on. Now, I am not going to do that. For all you dutch readers out there who want to know more details, visit: http://projectvinja.hyves.nl/blog/

I will however highlight some of my experiences… Sind’s I have not been a tourist all the time, my story is a bit different from the regular backpack story.
the chef
Although I traveled for about a month, the most time was spent on setting up the above-mentioned business.

What I soon came to know is that the Indian people are very nice, but that is just the surface. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying they are bad people, but the fact that I am the only white guy in the village, does invite people to test how deep my wallet goes.
This old retired guy John, who is born in India and went back to England during the second world war, has now come back, to live his final days. He explains; ‘ reputation is all, if you let one shop owner fuck with ya, the whole village will now and you’re fucked!’

This was good practice, I just can’t afford to be “nice” and the difficult thing is, I am a nice guy. (So I like to think myself)
So now I am the star of my own play, I have to act being a jerk and curse and jell is someone fuck’s up.
boys and girls
And as later was proven over and over again, the moment I loosen up, they will probably cheat on you, as we had many of these situations with the trainees. So keep this in mind when you are planning to go to India, don’t be too nice, just assume everybody is out for your money, and let them prove first they are not.

On the other side, what is the problem I pay double the price to the rickshaw driver, the amounts I am talking about are like 50 cents. But finding trustworthy shops owners, who don’t make a mess, keep appointments and don’t raise the price because you’re a regular customer, took me 6 months ☺

Actually India has some pretty sides and some ugly, as far as I can tell don’s come to India when you are:

- the cleanest person on earth
- can’t say no
- can’t stand peppers
- phobia for large groups of people
- weak longs
- having a drug problem
- afraid of bugs, scorpions and snakes
- don’t want to tell a 1000 time a day where you’re from and what you eat
- allergic for bollywood
- unable to deal with animal or human suffering.
bamboo cocnut book shelf


However, do come to India when you like to have ignore the rules for a change, see the most beautiful landscapes and sky’s, see things you will never see anywhere else on this planet, eat the most extraordinary meals, be a super star even though you didn’t do anything, shop till you drop and so on.

In the end, India is great. After spending time in a farmhouse in the middle of fucking nowhere with only a dirty black dog to keep me company I found myself. The time I spent in the village, I was a super star just for buying eggs around the corner. In a city like Bangalore I have was just a dot in a group of millions of people. And on my trip to goa I was the tourist. Taking al these sensations with seeing the craziest way to transport 1000 bananas on a bike, I really want to go back.
prt. 2

Not just that, I started something, this project. And I am not done yet. Seeing our trainees grow and start loving what they do, it never becomes boring.

So if you are in the neighborhood please come visit and have a home cooked lunch!


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Caution! ladies at work
Caution! ladies at work
the progress
the progress
bamboo treatment
bamboo treatment
the chef
the chef
boys and girls
boys and girls
bamboo cocnut book shelf
bamboo cocnut book shelf
prt. 2
prt. 2
finished!
finished!
the helmet speaks for itself ;)
the helmet speaks for itself ;)
not perfect almost good
not perfect almost good
my first and true love (the one on…
my first and true love (the one o…
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