26th of August

The Kind Police Officer

Just wanted to share a little moment that made me smile. A moment which is one of the reasons that I so much love travelling.

I am currently in Chennai, Tamil Nadu a city of a little less than five million people – it is a big place. Feeling a little under the weather. I am feel saturated with South India, and my feet are itching to go somewhere else. I am craving the mountains, and dreams of going to Kashmir and Ladakh are starting to form. Also the mixture of 36 degrees blazing heat and intermediate periods spend in air conditioned rooms have made me slightly ill – nothing big just a sore throat and all that.

Being in a large city does not help with my current state of mind. I think when anything gets very big it has a tendency to become a little impersonal. Be it a city, an organisation, an enterprise (do not get me started on large enterprises,human resource management, key performance indicators, processes, etc – I will burst!). I can smell people being nice in a fake way miles away. I feel the hunger for money, and people on the street trying to sell me things that I don’t want, rickshaw drivers calling me their friend etc. So to be honest in large cities I get a bit cynical at times.

Now back to the topic of this post – the kind police officer. It all starts with me hitting the streets early this morning with the mission of finding some chai to make everything better. Thats always easy. Chai is everywhere. Also I wanted to buy some raw ginger that I could chew on the help soothe the sore throat. I must have asked a dozen people on the streets, and they simply did not understand what I meant with ginger. For some reason they kept thinking that I wanted to change money (??).

My luck changes and a man dressed in shorts and running shoes asks me what I am looking for. I explain him my situation and that I want to buy some ginger for the throat. He tells me where the nearest market is, and asks if he should take me there on his motor bike (it is less than 100 meters away and its nothing more than a few minutes of walk). I think before I started enjoying the adventures of traveling the world, if I had met a strange man asking me to get on his bike and drive off with him to the nearest market I would have felt shy and said no no it is fine I will walk there myself. But I immediately feel that this is a genuine act of kindness, and I do not waste the chance for a few seconds drive on his motorbike in the middle of the hectic morning traffic in Chennai.

Half a minute later we are standing in the market. The man at the market refuses to take payment for the ginger as he is a friend of the motorbike guy. Happy about this little moment of human kindness I invite the motorbike guy for a chai (even though I had just had a chai a few minutes ago – you can never have too much chai!). We spend a few moments together just finding out what we both are doing in life. It turns out that he is a traffic police officer. I ask him why he is dressed in shorts and running shoes, and he tells me his big passion is playing hokey. So he is heading off to the beach to do a bit of running practise.

When we have finished the tea he is about to pay for it, but I insist that I want to pay – it is my treat. That was the whole point – I wanted to give something back as a gratitude for his help. We say our goodbyes and I walk back to my hostel for some rest and to chew on my ginger. Feeling happy that genuine kindness exist everywhere.

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Categories:  India Thoughts Travel
23rd of August

The Moment You Realize You are Screwed

I am currently in Pondicherry in India feeling a little bit uninspired. During moments like this I find it stimulating to look at other photographers work. One photographer that has been on my radar in the past year is Daniel Milnor, particularly because of his great visual story telling skills along with his passionate use of self publishing media (in his case Blurb).

Happy Father
Happy Father
Father enjoying a happy moment with his child in front of the Ghandi statue.
Play at Sunset
Play at Sunset
Children playing at sunset in the French neighbourhood.
All the Space in the World
All the Space in the World
Lady walking in the sand dunes.
Random skyskape at sunrise.
A local lady showing a piece of haldi (tumeric), used in food, and also for colouring the face yellow.
Religious Symbols
Religious Symbols
A religious symbol commonly found in front of peoples houses in Tamil Nadu.
On the Journey
On the Journey
A random moment on the bus.
Holy Man
Holy Man
A group of locals hanging out while a holy man passes by.
I am Fond of My Cycle
I am Fond of My Cycle
A couple of ladies out for a bikeride in the early morning.
Band Practise
Band Practise
A group of local men practising their instruments.
Portrait of a Cow
Portrait of a Cow
A tender moment of sunset light touching a cow.

A lot of his work is black and white (the good old time honoured combination of Leica M6 and Kodak Tri-X). Browsing his photographs I am now in deep trouble, as I found myself going through some of my latest photographs looking for black and white interpretations. The moment I started doing this I felt this cold shiver in my body. Something I had suppressed for so long would not be suppressed any longer. Originally I fell in love with photography because of black and white. I had purchased myself a fancy digital SLR, but the images that I made with it did not really speak to me AT ALL. When I found myself a local darkroom, purchased some Ilford HP5 film and a second hand camera a love affair started. I simple loved the magic of the darkroom, and the quality of a well crafted silver gelatine print. Not to mention the excitement of making a contact sheet and exploring the photographs you had made. No LCD for instant feedback on analog cameras!

Throughout the years I have tried to print black and white digitally and although the technology has come very far, nothing compares to a silver gelatine print. So every time I make a black and white photo, and print it digitally it hurts me a little. However good the photograph might be I know that it could have been printed nicer in the darkroom. I think exactly therefore I started suppressing black and white photographs and focused more on colour work.

But now I opened an old can of worms. I love how black and white strips away the colour, and focuses your attention. The emotion of the scene, the textures, the geometries, they all become clearer. No colours to take away the attention from that moment. I am afraid I have opened a door that I closed many years ago, that simply will not shut itself. I see myself purchasing a Leica M6 again in the near future, even though I had just sold it. Thanks Daniel!!…. Actually I think for inflicting this suffering on me you should donate me one of your Leicas πŸ˜‰ But also I realize that I am screwed because I cannot stop making digital black and white photographs, well knowing that I will hurt a little bit inside, every time that I print the image.

I have included a bunch of completely unrelated photographs, that all really did not work in colour, but I feel that they come alive once you strip away the colours. No masterpieces in any sense, but still little moments that deserved to be remembered.

12th of August

Surrendering to Kochin

I fly to Kochi, Kerala to experience the end of the monsoon. According to people it is usual for Kerala to end the monsoon season with some massive showers. The weather in Tamil Nadu was moody, and I had gotten tired of grey overcast days so I thought an escape to Kerala to experience the wrath of the monsoon would make for a nice change and for some interesting photographs.


Seems like I just missed the monsoon. Apparently the airport in Kochi had been shut down for three days because of the heavy showers so I was lucky to get there in the first place. But it seemed like this was the end of the monsoon. I stayed in Kochi for 5 days, and I only experienced very brief showers for 5 minutes or so.

Kerala is a very unique place in India. It is probably the cleanest and most calm place in India. Kochi is a melting pot of different religions, muslims, hindus, christians, you name it. Walking the streets you see churches, synagogs, temples as a testament to this mixture of religions. Although during my stay here I see a majority of muslims. I have arrived at the end of the Ramadan and lots of muslims has travelled here to celebrate Eid al Fitr. Everywhere I see muslims relaxing and enjoying, wearing their festive clothes.

People here are extremely nice. Overwhelming so. Last week I was in New Delhi and the difference in mentality is staggering. I stay at Fort Kochi, and it is such a relaxing place. Actually it is too calm for my liking. I am here to make photographs, hunting for multi-layered photographs capturing some of those peculiar little moments that I find very Indian. It is all too idyllic here for my liking somehow. I make a few photos that I enjoy, but not a lot. In Old Delhi I felt so stimulated. I was briefly in Chennai and I felt the same there.

In this sense of photography I don’t find Fort Kochi very stimulating. It is a place people come to relax. To enjoy each others company. And I am here alone. At first I get frustrated. I am itching to make photographs. I am waiting for the monsoon that never come (or rather the monsoon that I have apparently just missed by a hairline). I don’t want to rest. I don’t want to relax. Relaxing makes me loose momentum, and when I am not busy roaming the streets then there are no distractions for me to not miss Michelle so badly.

After a while I give up on the monsoon and wonder what to do. Then at last I admit defeat and realise Kochin just wants me to relax. I do the ayurvedic body massages, I eat an insane amount of ice cream, and I do something I haven’t done for a long while: I read a novel.

Having finished the novel, and with no heavy monsoon apparently wanting to show itself, I will be heading back to Tamil Nadu soon. But I have decided since I am so far down south, I want to go to the very south-most tip of India: Kanyakumari. I want to have this experience since I am here, before heading up through Tamil Nadu again.







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Categories:  India Photography Travel
5th of August

Little Acts of Kindness

I start my day visiting the wonderful momo lady. She is popular, and her stall is full of children having their lunchtime snack. “Auntie auntie one more one more”, they beg – one more momo please.

I wait patiently in line and when my time comes, her face lights up – a returning customer. I smile at her and say: “Abke momo bahut acha hain” (your momos are very good!) She has one of those faces that you just know that this person is very kind at her core, her cheeks showing that she smiles a lot. But somehow after my comment, her face lights up even more. I pay for six momos but she gives me three extra for free. All for the price of a little less than 30 euro cent.

I like going to her stall. It is so obvious that she enjoys what she does and giving her gift of cooking delicious momos to hungry people. She takes pride in it and she does it damn well.


I escape back into Old Delhi, where I feel free. New Delhi is all too much business and greed for my taste. I venture into the small back alleys looking for shortcuts and adventure. I find my way to a muslim area. Some stern looking man looks at me with a hard face. He is unsure of what I am doing there. I nod at him and say “Salam wala I kuum” (muslim greeting), his face lights up and he answers “Wala I kuum asalam” (response to the greeting). The ice is broken.

I take a side turn into a very narrow street. The light is beautiful, and I want to photograph the wall of one of the houses but I am too close, I need to go further away. Also I want something to frame the composition. I ask a man if I can enter his house to photograph the street through his door. Respectfully I tell him “Dhanyivad” (Thanks). I make a gesture that I feel hot and say “Garam” (hot), trying to do some small talk. He agrees, and urges me to please sit down under his fan to cool down a bit. “Pani?” he asks (want water?) – “Nai nai bimar hain” I politely respond (no no sick). He thinks I am trying to say I am sick and genuinely he looks concerned. I correct myself – “nai nai sirf bottle pani, local pani bimar hain” – (no no only bottled water, local water makes me sick”. Ahh ok – he looks relieved.
It turns out he is an envelope manufacturer, and we spend a bit of time looking at his products. “Sundar hain” I say (beautiful). I shake his hand and say thank you and head back into the streets.


I find a corner with amazing late afternoon light casting wonderful shadows, and start looking for stories to tell with my camera. I smell something nice. I ask the man “ye kya hain?” what is this? It is some kind of beef ball. I actually always found this a bit funny about India – muslim and hindus living besides each other. For the hindus the cow is holy but not for the muslims. Doesn’t that mean that the muslim are eating the hindus god? Me being a foodie with no religious orientation I eat anything and I am glad to try some beef again – “kitna hain?” How much? He quotes a price per kilo and I tell him I only want to try a few. Ah ok – no need to pay then. No no I insist. Ok 5 rupees then. They are delicious.


The next day I check out from the hotel – heading off 2000km south to visit an Indian friend that is living in Chennai. I haven’t seen Shalini for far too many years. When I check out from the hotel, the owner gives me a call and shows his true colours and does everything to squeeze me for more money than what we had agreed on. I am cornered and in a rush to go to the airport, and after a lot of fighting (India is the only place in the world that can make me truly aggressive), I just give up and pay the bill. Upset I enter the taxi, and ask the driver – “ab kaise hain?” – how are you. He smiles and sais “tick hain” – good! A little small talk and I mention I am angry with the owner. He tells me that the owner is a very greedy man, not a good man. The driver is afraid that I will not come back to India because of my bad experience. “No no – Hindustan mera dil kepas hain – acha log hain” – no no India has my heart – great people I ensure him. Forgetting about the road and the traffic ahead of him, nearly knocking over a cyclist, he turns and shakes my hand – “thank you thank you sir!”.

I ask him to quickly stop by at the owners office (I know where he hangs out, nearby the hotel) and I go and yell at him. It is small money to me, but it is about the principle. I hate dishonesty and greed. I tell him about Karma, and let him know that I will do everything in my power to give his business bad reviews online. A scam in the airport to bring me to his hostel, and then cornering me for money when I was in a rush. It is not ok. Back to the taxi. On the road again. I ask the driver – “shadi shuda?” Married? Yes of course he is married he replies. “Kitna bacce?” how many children? One child – a daughter. What about you he asks – are you also married. No no – girlfriend. Ah ok. How many girlfriends? “Sirf ek” I laugh (only one). “Sex karte hain?” (you do the sex?) he replies. Yes yes of course! How long? 1 hour he asks? 2 hours? 3 hours? How many times? I smile and disclose little bits of details about my private life to this man I have only met a few minutes ago. Men will always be men.

A lady I once met in Nepal (Didi oh how I miss you and your gorgeous face!) once described me as “Naive but kind”. I believe in karma. Do good things and good things will come to you. I see a lot of unnecessary friction and tension in this world – particular in these anti-islamic days. I think at our very core we are all the same, and I have shared many great moments with muslims. Actually I find it ironic how some atheist passionately are against religion, it seems like they are fanatically worshipping science – isn’t this just another form of religion, with the exact same arguments as other religion? Their god (science) being the one true god. I think we all want to be respected, and we want to share our gifts/talents with each other and be appreciated for what we do. Wherever I go I always see the same traits in women: softness and kindness and need to care for others. It doesn’t matter whether they are muslim, hindu, catholic – it is universal. I see the same traits in men wherever I go: warriors, systematic thinkers, task oriented. It is always easy to break the ice with men, by talking about work, sports, gadgets and of course women.

When we don’t understand something – be it some new challenge at work, another culture, or anything for that matter, it seems common that we get tense and aggressive – afraid of hurting our egos. We all have our different ways of coping. Personally I prefer being naive and willing to look silly and loose my face. Little act of kindness and appreciation, and genuine interest always goes a long way. Sure, I might be taken advantage of a few times, but life is just more fun smiling. So long New Delhi, and hello to Chennai. Momo lady I will always remember you…








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Categories:  India Photography Travel
3rd of August

About Borders

For the first few days during my stay here in Delhi, I roamed the streets of Old Delhi so yesterday I decided to go to New Delhi for a change of scenery. Where Old Delhi is full of narrow little streets, chaotic, organic, messy and wild, New Delhi is quite the opposite. It is very spacious (not something you see very often in India!), it is clean, organised, fairly quiet, considering this is India, and somehow tamed.


I feel different here. Where life seems more free in Old Delhi, it seems like the world is full of borders in New Delhi. You smell that this is where the money is, where the power of the city is. The streets are full of the ambassadors (an Indian car used by government officials), business men and expensive shopping opportunities.

I walk the wide open boulevards and pass expensive houses, with giant walls and armed guards. I go to the Khan Market and see the rich people shopping. For the first time during my stay here I see a lot of western people as well. I feel restricted and not at ease here. I don’t feel the freedom I feel in Old Delhi. I don’t want to be judgemental, but it seems that once people get money and power, their behaviour changes. It feels more cold here somehow, constrained. There are rules. I look for an escape and head to the parking lot where the workers hang out. Ahh a fresh breath of air, here the chaos of India and the feeling of an organic approach to life (a nice way of saying chaotic) returns. I have myself a cup of masala chai and stand and watch from afar.

The rich people arrive and hand over their keys to the staff on the parking lot, who somehow manages to keep hundreds of cars parked on a tiny area the size of a stamp. This is the India I know, where everything is possible. At the same time I cannot help but feel a bit sad about what I hear in the loudspeakers – a prerecorded voice urging the clients of the market to exercise “extreme caution”. The cold female voice in the loudspeakers proclaim: “Please take the ID of the person parking your car, exercise precautions and do make sure that this and that.. do not encourage beggars, do not do this…”. I find a parked Lamborghini, the first time I have seen such an luxurious car in India, but once I try to photograph it the armed security guards look at me with great suspicion.

Even when I go to India gate (a national monument), searching for people smiling and enjoying life, there is only a few people here. And once people start arriving, and I am ready with my camera to document, we are ordered to leave the site for some unknown reason by armed guards. Not sure what is going on today – I guess the monument is closed for whatever reason. I had a lot of feelings of being closed off today in New Delhi.

In a moment of self reflection I realize that one of the things that bothers me in this place, is that I do not know how to take pictures here. I do not know how to tell the story of the rich. And I realize I am every bit as selfish as the people in the Khan Market. I am here to take something as well. Photographs. Without paying a dime for it. Ashamed of my own selfishness, I escape back to the area where I am staying, and visit the kind momo lady. She always gives me one extra momo for free and she always serve it with a smile. She was there in the morning when I took the metro to New Delhi, and she is there faithfully waiting when I return in the evening. Hardworking and taking pride in what she does. I think we could all learn something from the kind momo lady.





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Categories:  India Photography Travel
1st of August

Yes Sir! Yes Sir! Where Do You Want to Go?

Yes Sir! Yes Sir! Bazaar? Spice Market? I will take you there. Only 10 rupees! New Delhi – With a temperature well above 30 degrees Celsius, and a humidity close to liquid – I roam the streets. Everyone wants to sell me something, or take me some place. Hallo sir! HALLO!!! Where do you want to go!?! Cheap price!


How do you explain someone that I want to go and capture the soul of a place? I don’t think it is for sale for 10 rupees, and last time I checked it is best reached by foot.

But none the less that is what I am here looking for – the soul of India. And how do you find it and communicate it through pictures? Such a chaotic place – how do you tell the story in an aesthetic pleasing manner? How do you capture the noise, the smell, the mixture of people? How do you focus?

To be honest I don’t know. I am still searching. Trying to tell the story by collecting small fragments of time. Fuelled by masala chai (spiced tea) and armed with my fuji x100s I roam the streets looking for the story.

But when the drivers asks me where I am going, I always answer: Nowhere.. I hope it is not entirely true πŸ˜‰






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Categories:  India Photography Travel
31st of July

India and the Measure of a Man

After a long flight from Norway, I arrived safely and slightly brain fogged in New Delhi this morning (too much TV on the plane – and a little tip for you if you where considering watching G.I Joe retaliation – don’t!).

Arriving in India for the 7th time so far in my life, I was full of mixed emotions. Part of me was extremely excited to be on the road again, looking for adventure. Another part of me was feeling sad and guilty for leaving behind Michelle in Norway – I have just moved there a month ago, and now I am already hitting the road again! A third part of me was feeling nervous and anxious on how things would pan out in terms of photography.

Well once I stepped out of the plane, there was no turning back and the reality hit me – India is truly the place where you can only expect one thing – the unexpected. Having retrieved my luggage I excited the airport around 3AM and found myself a taxi driver – or so it would seem, but reality was rather that he found me! He asked me where I was going, and was unsure about the address so he asked for the phone number of the hotel I had booked and rang up the number for me. When I spoke to the hotel in the other end they where very sorry to inform me that my booking had been cancelled due to the ongoing festival.

I would later learn that this was in fact a very well organised scam – kudos for their execution – the first time I have ever been scammed on such an advanced level. The taxi driver entered the phone number, but apparently rang another number where his partner in crime with was pretending to be the hotel I had booked. However, as the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy states on the front page – DON’T PANIC. And I didn’t – six previous visits to India has taught me to expect the unexpected, and go with the flow.

At 4AM I was plenty awake to bargain hard, and I ended up checking into another hotel costing only a fraction of the prize for the one I had original booked online. So even if I feel slightly violated for being scammed, I still ended up saving a fair amount of money.

And this bring me to my point – India is a place where you are measured up for size constantly. There is no point in panicking about feeling violated, because trust me you will feel it a lot during your stay in India! More than a billion people live here, and the Indians are fierce tradesmen, with no time for messing about. And this is exactly one of the reasons I keep returning here. I like having to feel things again. Back home in Scandinavia everything is so organised and non-invasive. Life is very pleasant. Very easy. Very vanilla. In India your senses are constantly bombarded – ranging from the spicy food, to the spicy people, to the whole craziness of this massive society.

In a way it is ironic that I travelled to the other side of the world to test a tiny camera – the fuji x100s, which has been designed to be very unobtrusive and anonymous. Because the camera sure is exactly that. But the man carrying it is not. A white person is always more exposed to attention in India – for sure. But add 195cm height and 110kgs of body mass to the equation and there is nothing stealth about me here in India.

India is truly the place where you are measured up for size constantly

Now you might wonder why I bring up my body weight. Well I will have you know, that I was measured today – literally! During my walks on the street, taking some portraits, a crowd of people got interested in me. So sure this guy is white, and tall, and speaks a bit of Hindi, as if that was not interesting enough – let us weigh the poor guy! So some guy fetched a weighed and I was measured there and then on the street. 110kg. It did not make the locals any less curious about me.

Ahh India – I am happy being back and measured constantly. Expect to see me on your street shortly, with my tiny little camera. And for good measure here is the portrait that I was shooting that triggered the locals to decide to measure me:


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Categories:  India Photography Travel
29th of July

Why Do Things By Halve? Return to India

I guess one thing that I realised about myself in the past few years is that I don’t like to do things by halves. What this has to do with India? Well – I will get back to that shortly.

But let me start by saying, If I want to do something I go all in. It might be slightly obsessive, but I have come to accept it is part of who I am. If I want to climb a mountain I go all in with crazy training, and eating like a rabbit, if I want to learn a programming language I disappear from the surface of the earth and bury myself in front of my computer, if I want to learn how to print in the darkroom I order a mountain of chemicals and become the mad scientist (by the way crossing the border between England and France through the euro tunnel with a suitcase full of darkroom chemical makes for some very stressed looking border police – true story!)

This obsessive nature can be rather productive at times, but there is also another side of the coin when things do not work out as I want them to. After my mountain adventure last winter I have been struggling with some bad ass knee problems, also known as patellar tendonitis, which has hindered me from training as hard as I would have liked to. Two things has come out of that – firstly my mood has become darker and I flipped 100% in terms of diet – no more eating like a rabbit, more like eating like a pig (followed by a fair bit of weight gain), and secondly I have become greatly fascinated by anatomy. Again my obsessive nature has kicked in and I have been in “body debugging” mode, studying human anatomi, and training specifically to improve my knee situation (in my case ankle+hip mobility + strengthening my glute region – also known as the bum). I have become crazy flexible and my buns has become considerable stronger – slowly progress is being made to provide myself with a more healthy knee situation.

Another thing that I have become obsessive about the last few years has been becoming very mobile, and cutting my living footprint down to a minimum. Most of my things has been sold, given away or thrown out. I don’t own a TV – well I do but it is permanently lend to the wonderful couple Dorthe and Dennis, I only own a few boxes which also resides in the basement of Dorthe and Dennis, a computer and a bunch of outdoor stuff. This month I moved to Norway to live with the wonderful woman Michelle Ortiz. I love the fact that from the time I made the decision to move here, to it being a reality just took a little more than 3 weeks. Its a very freeing feeling to be able to do things like this on such a short notice.

One of the latest things I have been working on in this more mobile lifestyle is to make the move from bulky DSLR cameras to tiny mirrorless camera. The technology has been moving fast the last few years, and now some affordable solution exists which provide outstanding quality. Currently I am busy testing the Fuji x100s – an amazing cost efficient camera weighing only a little less than one pound. I love that such a tiny little camera can provide me with such amazing quality – it really brings back the joy in photography. It is a great tool that does not come in my way, it is light and well performing, and allows me to focus on the subject matter without worrying too much about technology. It is dead silent and very unobtrusive – ideal for my passion of photographing people.

Now you might ask what all this has to do with India, and not doing things by halves? Well the answer is quite simple really. I want to put this camera to the ultimate test, I want to put it through it paces and see how it works on the streets of incredible India. So tomorrow I will put myself on a plane and go to India during the monsoon to do nothing but photograph for two months. If it can take the abuse of two months of photography during the heavy monsoons I know I have found myself a real gem. Needless to say I am excited to be visiting India for the 7th time in my life, a land of startling contrasts. I am sure a lot of human stories are there waiting to be reported by my Fuji x100s.

20th of January

Memories from India

My 6th visit to incredible India. I spend a little less than a month in India this time – entering via the land border from Bangladesh. You can see the memories here.

The highlight of this trip was the two weeks that I spend with my high school friend Peter, roaming around Rajasthan, We had so incredibly much fun and many adventures that neither words nor pictures can really capture!

Dodgy train travels, journeys on camel in the dessert, moonar eclipses, intense bargaining to just mention a few.

The adventure culminated in Agra, visiting one of the wonders of the world; Taj Mahal.

Thank you Peter for all the fun, and thank you India for never failing in delivering adventure, color and life!

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Categories:  Photography Travel
18th of December

2 Great Weeks in Rajastan with Peter

My good friend Peter came to visit me in India for 2 weeks, and he just left this very morning. Yet another goodbye, but I am getting used to it by now I think πŸ™‚

We had sooo much fun! Peter arrived in Delhi 2 weeks ago, and we had no fixed plans, but quickly agreed that what was going to happen was that we would tour Rajastan for 2 weeks, and trust me – we choose right πŸ™‚

We spend a few days initially visiting New Delhi, sightseeing, planning the Rajastan tour, and basically letting the culture chock sink in for Peter. I have to say I was impressed – he handled everything very well!

After a few days we headed for Jaipur – the pink city, our first destination in Rajastan. We had good fun here, did some textile shopping, rode elefants and enjoyed the city. However the real fun began once we left Jaipur and took the epic overnight bus journey from Jaipur to Jaisalmer – the golden city.

The bus was a sleeper bus – of course sized to accommodate the Indian people – meaning I did not remotely fit in any dimensions: Meaning one very squashed me! It was also extremely cold at night due to the windows constantly sliding open during the trip. However we had so much fun! Never have I laughed so much. To be honnest I don’t remember what we laughed about – we where just talking a lot of bullshit – making jokes about the situation, the indian culture, the terrible bus. The locals must have thought we where retarded!

In the morning when we had to step outside of our sleeper compartment, I wanted to warn Peter that there was a lot of shit luying around on the floor of the bus (I was refering to rubbish), only just before opening my mouth I realised the was actual human shit in rather big quantities on the floor. That is the first time I experienced that in my 6 visits to India πŸ™‚

Jaisalmer was a culture chock to me. It was like someone took the volume button of India and turned it down to 20%. So calm and peacefull. In Jaisalmer we joined my friend Lina Luo fro China, whome I met during the Annapurna trekking in Nepal a few months back. It was great catching up with her again! We enjoyed thourgly doing nothing together the three of us (Lina has tought me the art of being lazzy hehehe).

During our stay in Jaisalmer we spend 2 days in the dessert riding camels. This was a funny – and painfull experience – giving birth to the memorable quote: “My crouch feels like I have been a very naugthy girl”. We shared the camel safari with a very cool danish-irani girl, a hillarious indian dude, a frenchman that looked like Sean Penn, and a very “zen” Russian guy. We where a very funny group indeed!

After Jaisalmer it was time to say goodbye to Lina again for the 2nd time – I am sure we will meet again somewhere on this planet, if nothing else I have it on my todo list to visit China, so I am sure I will bump into her there!

Next destination was Jodphur – the blue city. By now we had learned our lesson and where only travelling by day – no sleeping in tiny confined spaces! Jodphur was good fun, and we mainly chilled out and bought spices. Met some nice people here, enjoyed the views of the fort. However I was a bit disappointed about the food in Jodphur – it was rather bland and boring.

Our initial tought was to go to Udaipur after Jodphur, however it turned out this would be logistically rather tirering, and would involve more overnight travelling. So we decided to go to Pushkar instead.

Now this must be the Goa of Rajastan! Imagine India turned down to 10% volume, add a whole lot of hippies, some weed, and a very relaxed attitude and you have an idea of how Pushkar is like πŸ™‚ We only stayed here for one day as we where running out of time. And headed for Agra next day, to see one of the wonders of the world: Taj Mahal. This was my 2nd visit to the Taj, and it still doesnt fail to impress πŸ™‚

After visiting Taj Mahal, we rushed back to Delhi, packed Peters stuff, had some lovely food and a beer to finish of the trip. And this morning I put Peter on the flight to return back to Europe.

This is the first time I traveled like this in India with a friend. Normally I travel on my own, and meet people on the road. It is a very different way of travelling, and I have to say I really enjoyed it big time! We had so much fun – definitely an experience to repeat again, somewhere on this globe.

Thanks for a great time Peter!