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Travelling with an Indian, part 2…

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The day before departure, whereas the trip program is well tied up – and he was in copy of all the emails related to the organization – I get a call of him saying: “we should go there, and there, and there. Check it out!” I keep my cool, we will do things my way anyway!


Funnier: outside the airport. Me: I immediately take out the book guide and start going through (making sure that I will speak with nobody, I do not know people there!)… He: he starts speaking to everyone who comes in his way: the security guy, the taxi guy, the trolley guy. He asks them questions, they have no answer, they invent one, we keep running around…


And a small debate following a comment of the book guide: “since electricity has come in Batad, the backpackers (the real ones) find that the place has lost most of its charm”. Me: “yeah, Westerners are looking for the “authentic” stuff, getting back to the roots (where there was no electricity)”. He: “What bullshit! When it’s hot, you should have AC, or at least a fan”.

I think India will not have a Survivor programme so soon ;)


My Hindi teacher, part 2…

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I quickly noticed that my teacher of Hindi had a bad tendency to be indiscreet. And this is the least I can say... Anytime I would leave on a business trip and thus cancelled the class, he would ask me where I was going and I would answer him vaguely. I could feel he was not simply asking… So I was not really surprise when he spoke to me about one of his students, English, who was going on a week-end for the 2nd week-end in a row: “Imagine how much money she must earn to go on trips like this, one in Hyderabad and then in Jaipur?? You see, I cannot ask her how much she gets but I get clues from things like that…” Well done Sherlock!!

He also made twice the same comment about my very expensive children book (1.50€), enough to make me uncomfortable…


Another comment. He gives class to a French woman who lives with an Indian guy without being married to hum. My teacher anyway went to her and asked “why”. And the answer: “because I do not believe in marriage”. I think that he still digesting this remark that he labelled as a Western specificity.


Another comment. “I give class to people from Iran, Sudan, all these underdeveloped countries…” Huh?? And he goes on explaining to me why they are well underdeveloped – you know, the whole of Africa, while India is developing. Interesting… Anyway, for him, Norway is not a developed country and doesn’t have petrol so…


Back from the Philippines!!

 This trip, rather incredible, reconciled me with India!!

To live here taught me how to decipher a foreign “psychology” and I believe I was able to understand more quickly what the Filipinos actually meant when they said something than Shiv.


Ok, when I saw all the Indians in the waiting room in Singapore, I wouldn’t have minded going back to Philippines for a little while longer… But this is good to be back at home!!

We travelled like backpackers, and I felt rejuvenated!! Buses, jeepneys, tricycles, no Internet (with great surprise, the majority of the travellers had notebooks, ipads etc), rooms without electricity, for ten days, I did feel younger!!


Some photographs here:



Philippines - June 2011