travel #2: Now in India

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Blog entry by motthunter posted 01-30-2008 05:30 AM 1017 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Still abroad Nanjing China Part 2 of travel series Part 3: Artisan Stores in Mumbai, India (formerly known as Bombay) »

After all the madness in China, now I have arrived in the place that is famous for its differences to us. I mean no disrespect to India in my descriptions, but if you have never been here, it is impossible to truly understand how it really is.

My only short way of explaining India is “COMPLETE SENSORY OVERLOAD”. The air is thick with pollution and in many places indescribable smells of food, people, and who knows what else. There is never a moment that a horn is not honking, and the traffic is like none you have ever seen. It is almost anarchy. There seems to be no rules at all. Just cars, bicycles, motorcycles, tuc tucs everywhere. (a tuc tuc is a three wheeled taxi made from motorcycle parts) Everyone is going in opposite directions and I wonder where it is that they are going. It is aggressive and my recommendation is to trust the cab driver and look straight ahead. After all the driver does this every day and has lived this long without incident.

Anyhow, I arrived in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) and took a cab to the southernmost part of the city where I stayed at my friend’s house. It was like an oasis from the madness in the street, and I had a good night’s sleep since the next day I had to fly again to another city.

The next morning we left together for the domestic airport and had a nice flight north 300 kilometers to a city called Vadodara (formerly known as Boroda). We visited a factory there and even though this city is much smaller than Mumbai, it is still like a hornets nest of movement. Imagine having to stop every few miles so that the cows can get out of your way on the roads or because a street market started in the middle of the street that you want to rive down. Every glance you have is a new image that you may have never imagined existed before. I also visited a Hindu temple with my friend to see how they pray. I admit that i know little about their faith, but it is fascinating to watch. I will have to read a little to understand better. There is a lot of bell ringing, chanting, and flower placing.

After a good nights sleep I had a driver drive me for 5 hours to a city called Rajkot where I have meetings today and a return drive. The long drives on the highway are amazingly eventful. The roads are OK in most places, but the mix of vehicles, cows, and even the occasional camel make it so surreal. Many scenes of these old trucks make me think of scenes from the post holocausts images of movies like Mad Max. Imagine an overloaded truck with passengers seated on the roof as it hurdles down the highway or a small farm tractor on the highway pulling a trailer with 30 people sitting inside to go who knows where. India is not a place for the faint of heart, but if you can get past the inconveniences, it is a rich place to see with wonderful people. You also need a box of Imodium if your stomach is not used to exotic cuisine.

I am on my way to a meeting then it is off to the highway again. I am glad to be arriving home on Friday.

-- making sawdust....

12 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3817 days

#1 posted 01-30-2008 01:15 PM

I am sure that you will be glad to return home. For those of us who have never had the opportunity or taken the initiative to travel abroad your posts have been enlightening.

Thanks for letting me share your travels.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3957 days

#2 posted 01-30-2008 02:18 PM

Interesting trip. Thanks for sharing

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4156 days

#3 posted 01-30-2008 03:26 PM

how fascinating

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4046 days

#4 posted 01-30-2008 03:32 PM

Another cool story, keep them comming.

-- Hope Never fails

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 3791 days

#5 posted 01-30-2008 04:28 PM

Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I love hearing about people’s travels to various places, mostly because I’ve never gotten a chance to go there…so far ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View WhiskeyWaters's profile


213 posts in 3801 days

#6 posted 01-30-2008 06:33 PM

Hey – tell me if they have as many Royal Enfields (a little 500cc motorcycle they built in the fifties) there as I see in my dreams – love those bikes, keep the updates comin’.

-- make it safe & keep the rubber side down.

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 3799 days

#7 posted 01-30-2008 06:46 PM

What u say is true but u have projected only the dark side of the picture. Many countries have passed through these stages once. Pl dont underestimate this country which is a very ancient civilisation. Next few decades the picture will change. The country is passing through a transition period.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3794 days

#8 posted 01-31-2008 02:44 AM

Sharad, I don’t think that I showed the dark side at all. What stands out when you travel are the differences and unique experiences of your journey. If I were to write about only those things that are similar, there would not be an interesting story at all.

The greatest thing about India is the warmth and friendliness of the people. I also truly enjoy the exotic foods. To have not mentioned the other aspects would have been to conceal truths about this place. I lived for 10 years in Brazil which also has its challenges, and that is what makes that time even that much more interesting.

I certainly didnt mean to offend you in any way. If I did, I apologize.

As for the motorcycle, I will ask a friend today and find out for you. I will write more soon as my trip comes to a close today and I arrive back home on Friday.

-- making sawdust....

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3794 days

#9 posted 01-31-2008 10:07 AM

As for the question of do I see woodworkers, I always seek out local artisans and I occasionally buy some cool stuff. I have some neat carvings from many places.

The biggest lesson I learn is when I see the basic tools they have and how great the work can be, It proves that it not the tool that makes the woodworker.

-- making sawdust....

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 3799 days

#10 posted 01-31-2008 07:38 PM

I did not feel offended. I am happy if u have seen the bright side also as u have mentioned about the warmth and friendliness of people. India is such a vast country that u cannot form any opinion in such a short trip. Each state has its own contribution to art and culture. As u have said it is not the tool that makes a woodworker. Traditional basic tools are used by artisans to make variety of woodcraft. I hope your next trip will be less troublesome. Next time do visit me at Pune. I am thoroughly enjoying and learning a lot as a member of Lumberjocks. By the way there are plenty of Royal Enfields on the roads in India.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View airfieldman's profile


184 posts in 3806 days

#11 posted 02-01-2008 02:58 AM

motthunter…assuming your travels will continue through out the world, may I make a humble suggestion of a book: Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands. I taught cross cultural relationships for several yrs in my past life and found that to be invaluable!

-- Measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, cut it with a chainsaw.

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3794 days

#12 posted 02-02-2008 06:40 PM

I am home… I will post my amazing mess of a journey home when I get some rest.

-- making sawdust....

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