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Posts Tagged ‘India’

Ready Set… Shanti!

Planning in India brings bad luck. If you want to enjoy a long trip then just go with the Indian flow. Everything is possible but nothing goes as planned…

Unfortunately Ben and I have much preparation to do for the start of our trip. Finding our bikes, ‘tuning’ them for the long ride and of course we need helmets, gloves and a jacket for protection. That is not exactly going as smooth as we expected.

Mubarac the Enfield mechanic

Mubarac the Enfield mechanic adding a front disc break to my bike

So far I have my gear and my bike. Ben, well, he has a helmet, a left hand medium and right hand extra large biking glove.

Ben is happy with his helmet

Ben is very happy with his new helmet.

We will be ready tomorrow… so here in India that might be next week.

- Doug

So as Doug so elegantly expressed our plans have not gone exactly as expected . I think it was  naive of us to think we could arrive in a country such as India and expect things to conform to our standards. I have learn t quickly  that the saying ‘ There is no such thing as a sure thing’  carries particular weight here, When people say yes here it has many layers of possible meaning, especially if accompanied with the head wobble.

But with all that said, I feel like I’m adjusting my expectations rather than expecting the country to change to suit me. It’s either that or have a very bad trip. So it looks like the Sun is on the horizon and soon our adventure will begin, but I’m not so foolish as  to give you an exact date. Learning already.

- Ben.


Arrival

Just arrived in India (well not exactly true but for the sake of this post lets pretend I have just got here) and it hits you like a slap in the face. Not an original sentiment I’m sure but quite appropriate.  The smells, the sounds, the people. Just on first observation there seems to be so much confusion. Like everything is happening at once but without any specific reason, or cause. This is not to say I’m not enjoying it because far from it. I’m having a great time!

On my first inspection of the traffic system here, I have to say that Doug and I couldnt have picked a better place to learn how to ride a motorbike.  Everyone is very courteous and considerate on the roads. Its like the Germany of Asia.

My first lesson was only use the horn when necessary.

But the big thing here and I guess the attraction of many places is the people. The stare at you but its not with hostility but with a genuine curiosity, then as soon as you smile at them you are rewarded with a huge grin and head wobble that makes you feel so welcome. I have to say I’m loving the smile and head wobble, it seems like such an open innocent gesture. Its disarming.

So my first night was spent in Trichy after which I travelled by overnight train to Bangalore, which would have been fine except I’m already waging an internal war with my intestinal system, and when your only option is a train toilet you have only one choice but to fight the good fight and hope you win at 4am in the morning. That aside I arrived safely and have begun my mission in Bangalore to source the motorbikes for the trip.

More on that soon.


Incredible India… another taste of things to come