Thursday, 18 June 2009

The lost weekend in Samode.

Back in April we actually had a weekend off from work. And it was outstanding. But since that was our last weekend off, we haven't really had any time to blog about it. Until today. So without further ado, I give you some pictures from that wonderful weekend in Samode that probably won't even do the place justice. If you ever find yourself in Delhi, it's truly worth the three to four hour drive.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


Is it Rob? Is it Emilia? Is it male or is it female? Is it scary?
Yes, yes, yes and YES. Please meet our latest (brain)child: Robilia

Monday, 11 May 2009


We'd like to apologize to our viewers, all three of you. We've been disgustingly busy lately and we haven't had time to post any new stories. But we've also been having a lot of interesting experiences recently. For example; I held a cobra and Emilia got mildly molested by a rural villager. So, new posts and potentially funny anecdotes are coming very soon. Get excited.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Down by the swimming hole.

The Rajasthani desert gets hot. Really hot. Like, desert hot. So our new friends took us down to the village swimming hole. It was a perfect swimming hole. The kind you see in movies. The kind that makes you say; "wow, I want to swim in that". The villagers were doing all sorts of crazy jumps into the water. Actually, they were more aerodynamic than I thought they'd be. But I think they used these sweet jumps to distract us because pretty soon we were being ambushed by a group of water-splashing villagers. An intense water fight broke out, which quickly escalated and resulted in a few villager boys being dunked, face-first, into the water. They retaliated by throwing mud, which kind of hurt because it wasn't regular mud. It was more like rocky mud. In the end, we hugged-it-out-bitch. Then we did hand stands. Best friends forever.

Captain Hanif leads us deep into the heart of Rajasthan.

We drove, we drove and we drove. Four hours later we were in a town in the middle of nowhere picking up some mats to sleep on and some other supplies (i.e. beers and chips). We were already ridiculously far from Delhi, yet we decided to drive on for another four hours. Why? Because we were on a two-day expedition spearheaded by Captain Hanif (also know as just "The Captain"). The objective was simple; to find the most remote rural village, befriend the locals and have a sleepover. However, finding the village was anything but simple.

During the drive we saw the terrain transform from an urban landscape to a desert, then to mountains, then to a mountainous desert. What was interesting was that the animals we saw on the side of the road also transformed with the terrain. First it was cows, then camels, then peacocks perched on trees, then crazy white monkeys and weird antelope-esque deer. It was all fun and games until we had to drive through a tiger reserve to get to the village. No tigers, though. At least not yet.

Fun with the villagers.

We arrived in Nayabas just before sunset and The Captain skillfully managed to arrange for us to sleep there that night. We were met by all these wonderful and super curious people. I guess we are quite a sight. It was pretty special sleeping under the stars in the ruralest of villages and waking up to 16 people staring at you. So was the fresh chai they brought us in bed.

Rob wearing his neighbor's headgear. Shame the mustache did not come with.

Nusrat and I with the crazy grandmother. We gave her a scarf and she gave us orange scarves in return. As it turned out, she did not like the scarf we gave her. She actually had her mind set on getting Nus's watch. The whole thing turned into an awkward negotiation with granny who was even willing to give back the initial present in exchange for the watch. Very happy I did not speak Hindi. Poor Nus.

When we first met the grandmother we had to go on the roof as she was not allowed to come down and join the men downstairs. As a greeting and to show respect for the elders I had to touch her feet. Not knowing I did not have to physically touch them (like a hand kiss without touching) I gently stroked them. She seemed to enjoy it though. After this bonding experience we were the guests of honor in the female corner and watched the fresh roti being made. We also got treated to some awesome dancing and singing about peacocks in a tree and were interrogated about why we were not married yet.

The cherry on the cake was that I was invited to smoke the pipe with granny (this was all the night before the bargaining episode, and the realization she was in fact pretty nuts). The pipe had no stem, only a hole in the bottom and some burning coals on top, the homegrown organic tobacco being hidden somewhere in the middle. You had to wrap your hands around it and then suck your little lungs out. With about 25 girls and women watching me I tried to smoke this contraption gracefully but of course failed. I actually managed to drop one of the coals on my village pants, setting myself on fire. All 25 girls and women then made it their personal mission to put out this fire. Whoops! Needless to say the story traveled fast through the village and was blown way out of proportion, the rumor being that if they had not saved my life, I would have burned to death. Needless to say, I avoided the pipe for the remainder of the visit.

Nicks head proved to be quite a novelty.

The men watch in awe as The Captain, who is also an arm wrestling champion, lays down the law on his opponent. He was 12.

Christian also made friends in the village.

More fun with the villagers.

The villagers were up at the crack of dawn to get a glimpse of the strange visitors.

But Nus and Rob decided to sleep in.

And so did Mozzo, who was turned into a giant lump of pillows, blankets and shoes as he slept.

"My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. And their like, it's better than yours. Damn right, it's better than yours. I can teach you, but I have to charge..."

It was great to see that the people in the village had as much fun meeting us as we did meeting them. A good example was when a girl asked if she could dress me up in her mother's clothes. I was wrapped in a long skirt and a big flashy red and silver sari. As a finishing touch I got a bindi on my forehead. Awesomeness.

village life


Beautiful people.

More beautiful people.