Kristen Hofgaard [e-mail: - phone: (+45)40976317 - web: k82.dk

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India diary

4. February - 26. June 2004

If you want to continue the travel to Japan you can read it in Olddiray, but it is not so interesting yet. No pictures.

26/06/04

Climbing the himalayas

Nepal is so beautiful! Yesterday Rose and I took a bus out of the city. We wanted to get just a little impression of "the real Nepal". After about 20 km with a random bus we jumped out in a small village, and started to walk up a small path. We walked through human high cornfields were ladies was working and carrying big baskets on the bag lifted by the forehead. A technique the local uses for carrying heavy weight. In Thamel we sometimes see a little man carrying a huge sofa lifted on his forehead - amazing. Well, as we were coming higher and higher in the hills we could look down on the vally. They use the hills for farming on all the surrounded hills. In steps so that in the distance it looks like a 3D map with high and low levels.


The hills are made in to fields. From above it looks like level-curves on a map.

See pics from the trip HERE I have bin carrying my two-person-tent that I bought on my travel with Bue in Australia. In the afternoon we found a nice place on the hill were light-flies was making lightshow while we felt to sleep. The view from the top was one of the biggest nature-experiences I've had. I took some photos but they wont show the beauty I saw this morning... On the way down heading the bus back to Katmandu we was invited by some village people on a cup of rise-beer which should be good for a dry body, it tasted very strange but it was good. One of the young men (in the twenties) started talking about the villagers' case in the world. He was the only one in the party who spoke English and he did well. I recorded his words on minidisk in the hope that I can give the clever man a chance to speak to a bigger audience in the money-population we are in Europe. I felt ashamed of my country listening to his words and his speech to our damned prime minister in Denmark.


This man was our friend until we found out that he was a cheater. A story about smuggling of jewelleries is left out from this diary. Maybe I'll ad it another time...

This is our last day in Katmandu. Tomorrow we are leaving to Delhi (India) were we will catch our plane 1. July for new adventures in JAPAN! We are gonna celebrate with my sister and Maya who has bin so nice visiting. Thank you girls!

21/06/04

Mmmmmmm - "OR 2 K"

- is the name that my good danish friend gave me on a restaurant in Katmandu! Now I'm telling all of you the same name because this is the BEST! Thanks Mr Hjort ;-)


The menu (click to see the whole thing).

15/06/04

What to do in Katmandu

After being here one week I know! The time has passed so fast and I have really enjoyed this city and beautiful country. Yesterday (Anna) and me took guitar and violin to the street and played so joyful music. A group of Spanish pirates joined the party and soon we were 20 people singing, yelling and screaming in the night! So joyful!

I am so happy about the peace in this country. The barking and the beggars are there, but in a relaxed and respectful way. A no is a no. Its like a message is being received and they leave you. In a way it is like people are showing their personality more in this country compared to India. I'm really relieved to meet this because I find it the most interesting thing traveling, to meet people at get to know them more than just the usual chit-chat.

I bought a new memory card for my camera (256 MB) and we've started to take a lot of pictures. I'll put some of them on as soon as possible!


At our hotelroom in Thamel (Katmandu).

10/06/04 - Katmandu, Nepal

On the top of the world

The 8th - after two days (and nights) in train and two in busses, we arrived Katmandu. The trip really gave us some crazy experiences and horrible nights, but Nepal is such a positive lift after getting enough of the flies and garbage in India. The scenery from the bus was so beautyfull! Green mountains, rivers, clean surroundings and so friendly and beautyfull people.
After a half an hour from we got dropped in the tourist part of Katmandu - Thamel, my lovely sister came to meet us. It was so great seeing her after more than 4 month. We went to a restaurant and met with her friend and "colleague", Maja, from the children-home were they do volunteer work with Nepalees children (http://www.nepalbalghar.com). Rose and I now checked in to a great and cheap room in the middle of Thamel with a view to a street full of energy, music, shops and amazing restaurants. Here you can get everything you like of souvenirs, clothes and food that is impossible to get any of the places we've bin in India. Also the streets are so clean compared to India cities and it all gives us so good joy! Come to Nepal!


My dear sister.

30/05/04

More pictures

The One-Leg family's new home!


The metal framework.


And the shack is accomplished!

We are talking about leaving Goa within few days in direction Nepal. My dear sister is spending her time in Katmandu and we would like to visit her before she goes home and we continiue our jurney to Japan.

29/05/04

Rose speaking:

"Hello everybody from Saron, I just wanted too share a few things.
Kristen has been writting a bit about the family in Baga, Abdul, Sabash ,Appu and Hasina...and I also wanted to share a few of my own words to the world about how truly amazing they are. Abdul a man with a long history, life has been really unfair towards him in many regards, but instead of becoming bitter like many would have after loosing a leg, the house, the feeling in one side of the body, their personal belongings and all of their cash in spite of all this he is able to take good care of his family making just enough money from selling water and snacks to get food for his family and at night he sits with us and laughs at all the small ironic things that has happened during the day- and when he laughs he makes everybody laugh with him be cause he radiats soo much strenght and kindness...so the laughing just spreds. If me and Kristen have had a small argument Abdul would have talked to both of us and made it better before the day was over, so he helps us also in so many ways. The children ohh the children, please look at the pictures on the webpage, Sabash the small one is a very easy child you always get the feeling like he is in another world, he thinks a lot and makes plots in his mind but he is always smiling to his souroundings and good to play with- Appu the big brother knows how to say: Come tomorrow, boat, fish, bridge and a few other words this makes it really easy to comunicate if we take the kids swimming, he is 5 years old and doing so much for the family he is so brave, he goes late at night to baga village by him self and maybe waits and hour for the breadman to come a very strong little guy who does all the arins. Hasina, what a wonderfull girl 25 years old cooks, makes chai, cleans the kids all of these things day out and day in. She owns to, three saries ( indian dresses) and dosen't ask for anything else - yesterday i went to the hospital 20 km away with Hasina so she could get her third stomarch operation ( abortion). Sabash was with u s, but going there I could tell that she was very nervouse and I would soon find out why. We left Baga at around 7 in the morning and from 8 am to 1pm she was just waiting on a bench with 7 other girls waiting for the same operation, in their white linnen hospital dresses looking into the wall... In the mean time I was in the waiting room with Sabash and Hasinas mother and sister who don't know a word of english, the hospital was very poor standard the walls where rotten, no chairs or benches, just floor where a lot of family members where sleeping, eating, sitting, and a few children peeing. 1 pm i went to the farmacy for the fourth time to get Hasina a needle and some drugs that made her really sick- anyway too make a long story a bit shorter- she got the operation as the second last one of the girls and was placed on a madress on the floor next too the rest of the girls, even thou she was one of the last too be drugged by the medicin she was the first too wake up around 5 pm- She was in so much pain and really sick and let me just tell you it takes a really strong person to go through that here in India, the nuerses where very harsh and the rooms very cold and very unhygenic and the hole preceeding very longer and harder then it could have been. So we arrived home at 7 pm last night all of us really tired, but today she feels fine and had chai ready for us when we came this morning to see how she was doing. They give us so much joy and friendship and that is why me and Kristen want the rest of the world to know they are there under the tree in Baga if by any chance any of you should come too India and need some friendly people too talk too.   
I would like too give a huge thank you on behalf of my self, Kristen and Abdul and his family. Too Kristens father and stepmother, Svend and Christel. They donated a sum of money when they read the story about Abdul a nd his family, 500 kr wich is 3600 rupees...I just want too tell you that you made these wonderfull people really really happy, It is soo much money for them and they laughed like they just won the million dollar lottery when they where told about it, they don't ask us for much at all, they just share the food and drinks with us that they have and they think we already have done more then enough- but reallly we havent, they are still very poor and any little effort from anyone makes their day a little easier...so thank you again you made a beautifull little family and me and Kristen very happy.
-Saron Rose-"


Sabash.

26/05/04

1 month since we arrived Goa (for the second time)

The season is over and the white people has gone home. The shacks down the cost, wich is still open, only have half of the what the menu says. But, this is actualy NOT true - the season is only over for the big business as we europeans are. Instead of seeing rows of pink flesh in sunbeds you see indians. Indians having picnic on the sand where they find shade. People from Bangalore, Bombay or Chenai (old Madras) enjoys the water and the cheap alcohol. I realy enjoy seeing these people - grown ups playing in the waves like kids and sitting on the sand in groups in their white Goa-t-shirts - sweet!

But everything is not that "sweet". We moved from our place in Calangute yesturday because of some of these tourists. Late night we caught one of our nabours from Bangalore I think opening and sneaking in our window. It wasn't the first time we've had these perverts sneaking arround and it makes us so mad! You simply have no peace in this country! Today Rose and I were playing in the water with Appu (One-Leg's son) and emidiatly we had "the crowd" again. Some of them starts to take pictures of us. Some guy asks if he can take a picture of us together with his friends (happens meny times a day) and I say clearly "No". The guy semes to ignore my answer and continues his pathetic atempt to get contact (as they call it) with some 'white people' - us. This cind of people just makes me so mad and ther is to many of them in this country. I can tell a bunch of guys, who has interrupted me in something, that I miss peace, that I miss beeing without the attention of 20 black faces starring at me all the time, and the group just continues starring. They heard what I said, but the words I used must be hard to understand even for fluently speaking Indians - strange. I think it is so strange... Well, our houselord was a jerk after the episode and said some stupid things about one of our good Goan friends. We left the same morning to Baga, 3 km up the beach from Calangute. We live about 100 meters from The One-Leg so thats nice.

I'll put some more pictures on soon. I apologize the size of the pics wich makes the downloading slow, but my computer is at home so I don't have the facilities to make them smaller. By the way, I would realy like to get some coments from you outthere. About the layout, the pictures, the language, the colors used and especialy this diary - does it intertain, do I write to little, do I write in a too boring way or... Tell me what you think! Click here! 

19/05/04

One leg family

woops I just saw that the dates since 08/05 was written as it was in april - sorry...


Sabash, Abdul, Appu and Hasina

Well, Im gonna tell you about The One Leg and his family. I have put a series of pictures in the 'Other'-tab and Im gonna put some more in short time. (Click here to see the pictures.) We are getting a friendship started which for me is very special because I havent got so close to any indians before. Abdul is opening himself with big emotions. Emotions from a man who has bin through so much unjustice. 3 years ago, without any notice, the police took everything the handicapped man owned; money, childrens medicine, passport, election papers (without he can not vote) and many other things. The act was totaly out of law and Abdul made a complain to some department in Mapusa (10 km from Baga were he lives) and he got a laweyer who never answered any request. Abdul ended up traveling to Delhi with his one leg where he was gonna seek justice. But as you see he's still living under the tree, but now getting help from other place. I never felt a human beeing express himself so greatfull as he is just for the work of making this tent and using less than 1000 danish crowns on it.


Abdul (The One-Leg man)

Abdul has experienced a lot in his 43 years. Lived many places in India and speaks 8 languages. The man is listening to the newsradio all day long and reads the news about Iraq and the terrible Bush, the election of the good Sonia Gandhi and knows whats going on around him. Yesturday he told me that Appu - his biggest son, is gonna start in school after the summerhollyday. He told me this with tears in his eyes and pointed out that this wasn't sad tears. Hasina, he's wife is gonna take him to school every morning. She is a strong woman as I mentioned before. The other evening I was sleeping in the shack with the little family. In the morning she was the first out of the bed, doing some dishes from the day before. Then she takes the children to shower 50 meters down the sandy road. Later she makes chai and helps his husbond in his chair then she goes to Calangute (3 km - 3 Rupee with local bus) to do days shopping. When she returns to the tree there is costomers who she makes a little meal. Abdul proberbly needs to be moved. He can not do this himself because of his accidents so she manage to move his big body many times a day. Every second day she gives him shower. She's fixing the tent if water doesnt stay outside. She's making cannals in the ground to lead the small lakes of water away from the shop. All day she's "at work". But in these days she smiles. It seemes she's getting more and more happy. Yesturday Rose took her and the kids to the cinema in Panjim (20 km). I was with Abdul drinking coffee and fixing the shack whenever I got Ideas to tigh this damn plastic properly. The movie had been three and a half hour long so the kids were tired and Hasina started doing dinner ready. I think they had a very good day. When they were away Abdul released some joyfull tears when I asked if he thought Hasina was liking the trip. He is so happy that she gets a chance to get out and away from him and the shop. I think she was happy too.


Appu, Rose and Sabash

Well, yes... The shack is about finish. Of coarse in a home like this there is a lot of "doing the rest bit", but its standing and its becomming more homie day after day. Peace and love for you all!

ps. I just feel like giving this guy some credit: Mr. Moore and his new "Fahrenheit 911"!

13/05/04 INDIA-GOA-CALANGUTE

THE ONE-LEG-MAN

I'm fallen for the family. One-leg and his young wife who's doing all the practical work around. Abdul lost his leg and got paralised in one side of the body threw one of his past adventures. But he's managing his little shop under the big tree with strength and remarkable joy. The two boys, 6 and 4, learns to help by getting stuff in the other shops which Abdul sell a little more expensive of coarse. This is their home. This is where we hang around, drink chai and, before he left, met with Alexander, my new friend from Denmark. We had some awesome evenings with  music, naughty cigarettes and the best Indian dinner you'll get, cooked on the ground by Abdul's strong and beautyfull wife.

The shelter

The monsoon is coming and there is rain almost every night now. Alexander got a very close relationship with the family and he started a project, the days before he left - building a shelter for the family! A iron-pipe frame wrapped with plastic. 6 x 7 feet on the ground and 6 feet tall 


A drawing of the shack.

The whole family and their gear can be stored inside the construction when the monsoon really hits and water will be running constantly in 3 inch hight. Alexander gave me the management of the production when he left and I'm happy for the challenge. We've found a guy who has bin working for two days on the iron-pipe-frame and I've got contact with a company who sales plywood for the inside. Hopefully tonight we'll bring the whole thing to Baga where the family is staying, to put up their new "house" under the tree where Abdul can continue the shop in the rain-time.

08/05/04 - INDIA-GOA-PALOLEM

Observing...

I feel tender raindrops on my body. A little boy is asking me for my pen while I'm writing. He's speaking konkani - Goan language. Just before he was playing volleyball on the field in front of me with a naboure-friend and a elder brother or maybe cousin. The rain gets heavier, but I don't leave my comfy wall, were I placed my as a half an hour ago. I enjoy the cold drops and the breeze from the ocean behind. Some guy is walking by me. He's lifting up in his t-shirt - letting his proud stomach feel the monsoon and enjoy the breeze which cools the heavy temperature. Some dog is running around with a couple of friends biting each-others skin. I notice the wall I'm sitting on is a part of one of a small temple as they have everywhere here. This is just a wall around a fallen tree and the little scuart for prayers. Inscriptions says something in native language but also the English line: "Leave shoes outside".
I see 4 beautyfull women chit-chatting on the walkway in their collorfull dresses, probably on the way to marked to get groceries for their husbands. A white lady is asking direction from the husbands who is doing the chill-out after some hard work looking at the boys playing ball. With their typical waving, as they were pointing at someone jumping on a trampolin, they try to show her the way, but the lady ends up going another direction. It can be very confusing asking direction...
The kids are playing ball again. Boys from the naboure hood mixes up so I cant overlook who was here first and who's just arrived. One is the child of the family who's getting ready for a party. The farther is well dressed up in white trousses and the special long Indian shirt. They step into a car.
The naked coco-palms waves under a dark-spotted sky. The rain has stopped and I feel hungry. I walk into a shack in a back-alley. A farther and his kid seems to be taking down the hut made of palmleave-stiching. But their is chairs inside and I already got the mans wife to make me a black tea with lots of sugar. I also wanted it without milk, to take care of my stomach, but that message was nescesarry to repeat about three times to each family-member before they got it. Waiting. I've got my tea - masala tea - yammy! I order a tomato omelette with onion and bread, but gets the message that I cant have onion. Instead they tell me I can have tomato-ketchup. With my eyes I'm studying the latter of bamboo they use for the repairing on the roof. Seven long steps minus the one-and-a-half which is broken... I've got my omelette with plenty of onion and again I ask for the ketchup I thought they forgot, but they laugh and say they HAVE no ketchup.

30/04/04 - Goa

Back in Goa

The 26th we arrived Goa for the second time. This time everything was easy compared to our first arrival. We enjoy beeing out of the crowd in Bangalore. Its like there's no peace out there, where the "flies" are arround you constantly.

There's trash everywhere.

21/04/04 - Bangalore - guruskool

Ravi, Guruschool, food and the thing about being white...

Wow a lot has happened. We left Ravi some days ago and had a very good time in the far country-side. We really needed this break after being in Ravi's extreme universe -  NOT a nice place to be...It was very draining being the prince and princess under this dominating king's roof!
By a Danish contact we got to know about Guruskool. An Indian couple and their friends who started a music-school 30 km out of Bangalore, on a farm far from electricity, pollution and the extremely curious crowd of Indians, who has bin around us the last two and a half month. The school have an office in the city also, so we had the country-house for three days only accompanied by the monkeys who race the area once in a while and eat everything they can get close to. Saturday some people from the school joined us and we played music and enjoyed cold beers! Sunday we went back to Bangalore to explore the city closer.

Mad about the food

In Bangalore it is possible to get all kinds of food, but in many cities we only had the opportunity to eat Alo Gobi, Paneer Masala, Thali-meal, Masala Dosa and many other Indian dishes - damn they are good! I started to enjoy it so much. Also eating with the fingers - right hand - is just the way I like it!(This is done everywhere and u don't get knife and fork in an Indian restaurant). Plenty of food and for very small money. For a 20 rupee-Thali-meal you can get full - I can get full! (20 Rs is about 3 Kr - Check the Currency converter)

Other prices in this country:

Cheap double room in the city: 150 Rs. (22 DKK)
Milk-shake: 25 Rs. (4 DKK)
Pineapple (whole fruit): 10 Rs. (1,50 DKK)
Auto Rickshaw: Varies a lot but I think we pay about 5 Rs/km (1 DKK)
Internet browsing: This place is cheap: 15 Rs. Cheapest: 10 Rs. Highest: 60 Rs.
1/2 l Coca Cola: 15 Rs. (2,5 DKK)
Train Goa-Trivandrum (south Kerala) 800-1000 km: Think it was about 500 Rs... Shit Im really not sure about that...
Violin bow:  About 500 Rs. (70 DKK)
Cinema: 10 Rs - 80 Rs depended on the conditions and seats.

Well two and a half month has passed since Rose and I landed in Delhi. It has bin so full of impressions about the Indian culture. It has bin tough being the white guy coming from the rich Europe, to be looked at as a dollar-sign. I'm started to get a clear picture of the country even it is my experience that you first really know how it was when you have left the country. India is dirty and crowded. The Indians are friendly and very curious - too curious. They all ask you the same questions: "Where you from?" and "What is your name?". This is people who you just cross on the street - they are not shy. Not even when it comes to stairing at you, while you are washing cow-shit of your shoe - 1 minute and you got a crowd around you. I think it is nice that these people don't walk around like in Denmark being scared of everybody they meet, teaching their kids to be scared instead of open and interested, but it can be too much I think. I couldn't live in this country. I discovered that the Indians are very friendly and nice to you, but you don't get close to them as you do in Europe. Maybe I meet an Indian guy - drinking a beer together for a half hour and he can call me his best friend! Best friend! Conversations are not like when you travel in Europe - they stay on the chit chat about profession and my farthers profession. This is maybe also because many of them speaks very bad English, but I think they are more closed about themselves and their opinions. We went to get our palm-leave predictions here in Bangalore. (Rose mentioned it earlier). After the yogi-guys did their morning prayer they took our fingerprints and found a bunch of leaves to find the precise leave which should tell us about our family, with names in the past and in the future and earlier life's. They gave us a list of 16 chapters they would tell us about when they found the right leave. They would charge us 1000 rupees pr chapter (about 200 kr)! People told us before we went to the "holy" guys that it would be around 150 rupees - We was so disappointed that these people who think of themselves that they are pure holy men only doing good in this world, but when a young white couple enters the door they see money and there's no more purity left. We talk about this as racism and we see it all the time. We didn't got any predictions because our budget is not big enough to use 16000 Rupees. Well this is just a thing that disappoint us. When the auto-driver tries to charge us 5 time the price the meter says because of the skin-color. I don't know what this is, but it is not nice. Hinduism has so many fine things that does some good people, but there's always some fanatics who spoil it - just a shame.


On the road!.

12/04/04 - BANGALORE

Rose's talkin':

"Bangalore!Wow- after travelling in beautifull kerala, we have arrived too total luxary, our good friend ravicrandem( sun and the moon), has lented us his penthouse appartment...3 storage high building with the best roof top and view in the world, it is the talest building in the area so you can sit and look over all the other roof tops, watch the beautifull indian ladys wash and hang up their saris in many extraordanary colours- oh what a sight!no cockroaches in the bathroom either we are really being treated like kings and queens, we are planning on going to a wedding, going to an astrologer who will try to find our palmleaves- this means- it is said that hundreds and hundreds of years ago old holy men wrote down thousands of lifes of the future on palm leaves...these palmleaves has been saved and it is said that if your palmleave is there they can give detail on who we are who our family members are, who we where in the past life and who we will be reborn as and also the future...well it has to be cheked out, Vagn the danish tv traveller found his so why shouldent we? Kristen is the skeptical one and I am very open to the idea...so the result will be very interesting! What a mystical and spiritual country this is...It is also good to come to such an "indiamodern" city, we have been in such beautifull places the last couple of weeks...but just to see other woman smoke cigarettes is total bliss I have really gottan the evileye from many many men and woman in kerala there ladys don't smoke...so i am not the biggest freak anymore wihii and can now smoke a cigarette ones in a while with out feeling inipropiate, bad and guilty. that is enough for now, kristen asked me to write a few words and so I did, lot's of nice thoughts to you all     - saron rose-   by the way happy easter!"

03/04/04 - ALAPPUZHA

Back-water sailing

We left Trivandrum (the 31.) for a 8 hours boattrip to Alleyppy (same as Alappuzha) wich is one of the Back-water cities wich they compare with Venice in Italy even this is very different but very beautyfull. The area is a big network of lakes and freshwater rivers, with small villages on the coasts. Small fisherboats sailing arround and big house-boats containing rich turists. I was crazy after sailing one of the fisher-boats (as actualy showed up beeing difficould because almost all the boats to rent was incluesive driver) and Rose was into the idea if she didnt had to row, so that was a perfect combination because thats what I wanted. So yesterday we rented a so called country-boat - a wooden kanu - and sailed arround (without driver) the small canalls and lakes for a whole day - this was realy what I needed!

Since Trivandrum we havn't made any video because the camera needs cleaning and it seemes impossible to get the cleaning cassete before we get to Bangalore, wich will be our next destination. We are gonna wisit a guy we met in Goa, who can tell us a lot about the spiritual people and the phenomens, that we hope to tell a good story about in our video-documentary.        

29/03/04 - TRIVANDRUM

As real tourists

The train, the hotel-hunt and everything went good. We realy feel we are learning the Indian spirit! Good days has past. Celebrating Rose's birthday the 26th. Watching a crap-movie in the cinema called 'National Security'. Bin to the zoo kissing a giraf. Science & Technology museum with interesting exhibitions that I realy enjoyed, but missed the danish touch that could make all the broken exibitions a little more fun... Jumping arround in crazy waves, only for verry good swimmers or maniacs (They are BIG down here). We have bin reading the danish book "Saere haendelser i guavalunden" as my brother Thomas and family gave me before we left DK. It is a beautyfull story set in India so we can realy connect to the univers and yesturday I found the Guava-fruit on a fruit-market!!

Have to go. Are meeting Rose in 20 min... 

26/03/04

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROSE!!!!

20/03/04 - GOA/ARAMBOL

Got tickets for Kerala

Today we left our home in Baga and moved 30 km north to Arambol. We board traintickets to Kerala - south-west India leaving the 23/03 (evening). We are gonna leave a lot of stuff at Alexanders place and it realy lightens the weight. This means that we are going back to Goa after checking out the south.

When I was at home I knew I was gonna miss one thing wery much, so I took a picture of my big love - - -

I took this picture in Denmark just before leaving.

Rose couldn't stand it either when I showed here the pic just now (20/03  5:42 PM)...

Alexander and I never got to play at 'Sunset' - there were no costomers. But we had a great night with our one legged friend. His wife made us the best fish I have had for a long time and we had great jam's Alexander and I, and the family enjoyed it!

17/03/04 Calangute - Goa - India

Alexander and The One-Leg man

The time is near - we are trying to get ready to leave our home for new adventures! We dont know for sure where we are going yet, except that we are going south. Already the heat is hitting us, so if we use a month down south we can escape to some more comfy temperatures up north.

About one week ago, by accident, I bumbed into my parrents old friend Alexander who is staying just some few hundret meters from our home. He is really eccentric with a very different view on things than all the other people weve met. It has bin a good input I think and we have hat some good days toghether. Tonight him and I are gonna have a rehearsal on some songs that we hope perform on our morning-coffee restaurant 'Sunset' before Rose and I leaves. The One Leg Man is the receiver of the money we make and in return the poor man is making dinner for us while we play him some music under his tree. He leves just on the ground on some cardboard with his wife and two children. In the daytime they are selling chips and coffee at the same spot they sleep. He is realy on the bottom with a crazy story behind him, but everytime I see him he's smiling and happy and he always welcomes us. Many danes could learn a lot from this guys strength!

Earlier I said something about my Sarong and I said that only forigners was using them but my observant girlfriend is now correcting me that there actualy IS a lot of Indians who's wering the skirt...

10/03/04

Moviestars

The day we found our nice flat we also got to know about a filmcasting nearby and we went. We signet up, they took a picture and left. They didnt tell us anything else but they needed 300-400 people an english movie. Well we heard some roomers and showed up at 6.30 yesturday morning in Anjuna - close by. A bus took us to Panjim with some other white people. We got access-passes and breakfast and a sweet indian lady showed us were to do our "acting" as extras. Still nobudy told us the name of the movie or what was going to happen so we asked arround while we was waiting. There were a lot of waiting! It was a carchase-scene in the english-american movie 'The Bourne Supremacy' - a sequel to 'The Bourne Identity' with Matt Damon - BIG MOVIE! Our job was to cross the street in a heavy trafic jam, moving to the side when our pall Matt drove a blue jeep quicly throw the crowd. I think we crossed that road maybe 20 times between 8 am to 6 pm and they shot it from many angels and I think Rose and I have a pretty good chance not being cut out in the editing. When we were done they drove us back and gave us 800 rupees each! I realy enjoyed this day! The professional and tight structured energy on the set reminded me of my days in Frontier (www.frontier.as) where I was working 6 month in 2001. So many people who they should arrange in this big traffic-jam wasnt easy. One of their big problems was the locals who lived in the buildings arround because they where so so curious (I understand them) and was almost impossible to get out of the picture. The indian film-crew used such a lot of time clearing the area before every shot and just after the "cut" they where there again. Rose and I arranged a snyper to shoot everybody who shouldnt be in the picture to spare some time and the filmcrew apriciated our act...    ;-) Well if u want to know more about this movie check http://www.imdb.com and search the title. This is the biggest and best movie database on the web!


A filmclip found afterwards on the web. I think this is from the scene we were participating in. (The guy is Mat Demon)

06/03/04

Sarong

I just board a sarong to tigh around me - it just feels so good! I never thought it would be THIS comfy – the closest you can get to walking around naked! A lot of people are wearing them, but actualy only forigners (white)…

Yesterday Rose got a piercing under the lip! Simon our good friend next door did the hole very profesional and Rose was very tough – I couldn’t do it… Ofcoarse we have to get use to see her with it, but I think it lookes nice already.

06-03-04

Big hello from Saron:

"Hello everyone who is reading kristens webdiary, well we have been here for one month now and it is going really good I am really enjoying myself, the first week was pretty tough but now it is just paradise...(so I think we will leave Goa soon), you basicly have everything food is cheap, nice hippimusicians, cheap whiskey and beer, beautifull beaches, the greatest scooter in the world, each other. We have been very lucky soo fare with our journey, but now something has to happen we are well restet and getting ready to go on the road again! maybe to Sri Lanka...to my father and bente it was great hearing from you it is hard to explain over the phone what we are doing but I think that kristen has made a pretty good diary so you can keep up to date with what your daughter is doing, and she is doing really great! Too everyone in denmark lots of love to you, and let me just remind you that there are only 20 days to my BIRTHDAY! so send me a nice thought on the 26th.

Happy happy thoughts and smiles - saron-

By the way- bobo ( kristen) looks great in his new sarong!"

04/03/04 - Calangute

White peoples paradise

The days go fast. The heat turns warmer and warmer, soon to reach 40-50 degrees. Its gonna be tough. Already we are hit by the lazy life - you cant do anything in 3-4 hours after noon, exept from this, writing in a cool cafe, riding the bike or as we just opened our eyes to - the cinema. Indias huge number of movieproductions was visible when we walked into the first cinema we tried in the nabo-town Mapusa. Compared to the size of the city, 1200 seats is crazy! It has bin very interesting to visit the theatre and the indians looked strange at us because we were the only white people and Rose was maybe 1 of 2 women out of 100 people watching the Indian action movie. Ofcoarse there was no subtitles and only a word, once in a while, in english, but we got the story and it was very entertaining! Next day we tried our own Calangute cinema wich is for about 600 people on wood-chairs, half of them didn’t have seats or they where broken in some other way. There where holes in the screen and birds flying around in the hall. The movie was 180 min. long wich isn't unusual it seams. Another funny thing we experienced, in all three cinemas we visited is that people leaves the picture the moment they feel the end is coming - half of them left their seats maybe 5 min. before the credits... strange...


The other day we took the scooter to Panjim (15 km) - the capital of Goa to visit a music-shop were Rose board a great tiny guitar with metal strings - good for traveling and good sound (compared to the size). I board a new bow for my violin - crazy cheap prise - 550 Rupee (76 crowns).

We have got some friends around the area and got more into the Goa-spirit. So many of these people have been here for seasons and seasons. Yesterday I talked to our naboure Ron who plays the harmonics (DK:mundharmonika) and he liked my playing so we are gonna do some blues one of these days - YES!

The elephant

Woops I forgot to write about the elephant! Rose is crazy about elephants and she has talked about washing an elephant behind the ears many times, so one early morning I took her to this elephant nearby. The owners used to do the washin themselves every morning (before they went out making money from the turists), but today we helped them and realy got to wash it everywere! With a rock, some water and hard rubbing the elephant got clean and it seemed as it enjoyed it very much. Rose was happy. I think it was a funny experience.

24/02/04

Moved to baga

Last friday Rose and I was driving on our scooter when a german guy askes about the violin we had with us. He lived just beside with some other muscisians. He told us they had some rooms available so the day after Rose and changed our plans going out af Goa and moved in for at least one month. We are so happy for this place and we have made the place so nice! My beautyfull girlfriend just got us a oil-cooking kit and she makes the best dinner for my always empty bajervom (stomack)! The day before we moved in, we visited the Boo Boo' Bar where we met the happy english/scottish band 'Raindogs'. They noticed my violin the moment we entered the gate and invited me to play a couple of songs. That was so great!! I realy missed a good jam and this was good and I think people liked it. The Raindogs boys also know the people we moved into and they jam every monday on the bar/restaurant just beside our new home - so great!    We also rented a bike (scooter) for the whole month so we are free and happy. When I asked Rose (Saron) if she wanted to travel with me I barrely knew her and when we got toghether later and realized that there was something else but friends in the air we still didnt knew eachother very well, so it was all very interesting how we would manage this being toghether 24/7. I realy think we do good. Saron is soo sweet and I feel so good with her. Im started to learn to avoid stupid iritation and be more acceptable than wha I have bin. I find it a little hard to be depended on someone when Im traveling, but Im learning... thanks Rose ;-)

19/02/04

A scooter and a hindu temple and other things...

We did a so good thing four days ago - renting a scooter! 200 Rs/day and we could just drive arround as it suited us. We left our bags in Calangute and drove north along the beach. About 20-30 km from the Calangute Beach.  It was so nice to have the freedom just to decide where to go and not depended by anyone! One day we visited a Temple in a small Village outside of the turisted crowd. They were celebrating one of their Hindu Gods. A little man told us to come inside and they took us to a small room, served a delisious meal on the floor. The priests was very happy to show us (and our camera) the temple - they were so sweet to us!

When we was in Denmark I had no idea how the daily life would be in a country like this. Since I was 6 when my family and I was in Tanzania I havnt bin to anything like this. I hoped we could hitch arround and sleep in the tent I broad from Denmark and eating cheap food from the supermarked, but everything is just so cheap that it feels meaningsless not to eat at restaurants and sleep at guesthouses. I think its nice to stay these places, but I miss the adventures surviving without the oportunity like I have done earlier on in New Zealand and arround Europe. Maybe this is just a getting-use-to-a-new-country-feeling  - I think so..

Well- we are getting use to the trading and the beggars. Actually its started to be fun. Everybody is trying to sell you something and very often something u can get in another shop 10 m down the road too, so we barg an get the good prices - its great! Shoe-cleaners, ear-cleaners, drug-dealers, fruits-ladies, jewellry-ladies and Sari-ladies are so many and Im started to yell at them or offer them something - like cleaning THEIR ears and they get surpriced and I think they understand the humor..

The ocean

I swim everyday and everytime I just enjoy it so much. It feels so powerfull to me and I can talk about experiences with the waves like I had bin in Disneyland or something. I know that the most people like to swim, but I just feel a connection to the sea that is so much more important... I think about how I can make people undertand this beautyfull feeling, maybe by making poems or a movie in the waves. NO I will just let it be this way - enjoy it and leave you alone.


14/02/04

Still chilling out

...at Calangute beach. This is just a paradise for europeans. Everybody's just chilling out, using small money in Euroes but big money in rupies. The beggars and the hotel owners are making fortunes! I dont think we are staying to long though its nice, but just to lazy...   I just got an Indi sim-card on my mobile, so now we can call people we meet and reseave calls and text-messages (allso from Denmark...).

The fish marked.

11/02/04 - INDIA/GOA/CALANGUTE

A crazy start!

Arriwing India the 5. at about 11 pm was a huge drama with impressions that we had not expected. We had no hotel reservation, no contacts and no idea how to handle the huge crowd of small people trying to trick us in all possible ways and we didnt got any sleep. We found a cabdriver who we wanted to drive us to a hotel one of my friends Pernille told me about. Ofcoarse this was booked up and the only oportunity we had in Delhi was a hotel for arround 5000 Rs (about 1000 danish kr) for one night - they told us... We felt pretty lost. A travel agency recommendet us to start our travel to Goa right away (1.00 am) and we did, just to get a place to sleep. We payed for a trip through Jaipur and Agra with privat driver, hotels for two nights and a train from Agra to Goa (you can check maps on www.maporama.com). The first days was very tough because all the people we met, inclusive our driver, only wanted money and total impossible to get just a little close to. Though we had some good days and we got use to the crazy trafic wich now in a way feels more safe here than in DK, because thay are so alert all the time, using the brake and horns constantly.


The holy cow - on a trainstation.

We got on our train in Agra and spent about 38 hours in our 2nd class seats. This was a great trip! People were very friendly and interested in other things than our money. (ofcoarse there were beggars and people trying to sell food, drinks and jewelerys at every station). We met people who invited us to their homes. I played with the famous Indian violin player Afzaal and I got the Indian dancer Nalini's autograph in my notebook. I played some danish music on my violin and tried playing some Indian. I think the danish songs was wired for the Indi's but I like to give them a taste :) I look forward to a good Indian-music-jam, we both realy enjoy the music down here.

Saron (Rose) and I are now staying 1 min from the beach with restaurants and markets arround us - very cheap and very turisted compared to Agra and Jaipur, but nice to get a chance to relax a litte before we go exploring the real India and start our filmproject. We are enjoying eachother so much! We are so happy and romantic, telling people that we are married because thay dont understand the word girlfriend or partner.

OK thats all for now. NAMASTE!

 

This is a goodbye e-mail to friends and family:

"Dato: Wed, 4 Feb 2004 13:32:59 +0100
Fra: "Kristen Hofgaard Møller" <>
Emne: Farvel og dagbog-sadresse

Heysa alle!
Imorgen tidlig drager jeg og Saron afsted på tur. Indien i 3 mdr - Thailand i 10 dage og Japan i 2,5 måned - sådan ser vores flybilletter ud, nu må vi se om vi holder planen... Jeg glæder mig selvfølgelig, men har sådn en underlig fornemmelse i kroppen og er egentlig ikke sådn utålmodig eller noget. Jeg glæder mig til at se Saron her om nogle timer. Vi er i KBH, men har ikke set hinanden endnu... Jeg er spændt på det eventyr vi skal ud på. OK til sagen Kristen - på min hjemmeside http://hofgaard.dk/~kristen (eller http://hofgaard.dk/users/kristen) vil jeg skrive dagbog undervejs. Jeg er ikke så meget til de her fællesmails så dem blir der ingen af, så kan i selv vurdere hvad i gider læse ;-) Til orkløverne her på listen vil jeg godt lige sige at der er MASSER af stavefejl og forkerte ordbrug i dagbogen (som jeg altså skriver på engelsk). Jeg kunne nok undgå nogle af disse fejl, men vil gerne beholde den gode spontane stil og ikke bekymre mig om disse skønhedspletter...
Jeg sider i et kollektiv i Valby - kom herud allesammen!! øh det sagde Ruth Anna lige jeg skulle skrive... (det hedder SolarPlexHus red.)
Ha det dejligt herhjemme og nyd hvad vi går glip af IKKE MINDST ROSKILDE!
Smil og kærlighed til alle - JUHUUUU
K

ps. Hvis ikke lige kan huske min hjemmeside adresse kan man også finde den på google og jubii eller klikke sig frem fra www.hofgaard.dk