• This is India! 106

This is India! 106

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal about my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.

What I was up to other than here:

  • I am having a long overnight layover in NYC and will stay with my friend Ann who I haven’t seen in 3 years which is amazing! I’m typing this now from the Mumbai airport. I woke up at 430 this morning to head up to Mumbai to catch my flight. Next stop, Paris.
  • I head off Sunday to Florida for the next week on a trip with Visit Florida to see the best of the state. It should be a blast and I’ll update soon!

Now your story,

Ben made a couch!

We have a furnished apartment and our couches although lovely, aren’t very big.

This is India! 106

This is India! 106

I wasn’t really on board because Ben’s a Fiddling Fred and gets these ideas he runs wild with that end up taking twice as much time and costing twice as much as he thinks ha ha, but I did think a big L shaped couch sounded pretty nice.

The first step was picking the wood and design. He’s into “upcycling” and wanted to use palettes. There’s a “guy in mapusa” for everything – so of course, there was a guy with plywood and pine palettes. We went with pine.

Next Ben had Gangaram help stain it. I tried for like 10 minutes, but man palettes are a pain in the ass to try and paint! So many nooks and crannies – and you have to get them all to protect the wood from mold and bugs!This is India! 106

This is India! 106

This is India! 106

Next we needed the cushions! There’s a few guys for that. I’ve used Zam Zam in Mapusa (well before Mapusa, in Korelim) but this time we went with Mohammed in Parra who’s known for being pretty legit. This is India! 106

It was time to sit on a bunch of cushions, negotiate the prices…. the big stuff! We got it down to a number we liked by downgrading to the “no no not good quality” stuff which was fine for us and seemed good anyways. Then it was time to wait while they glued it all together to make the right shapes. Fingers were crossed Ben measured right!This is India! 106

Then we had to pick the fabric and color of it…. we went with green.. then went home looked at each other like what have we done and went back to the shop to say no not green! Instead we got a nice grey. Not that it matter because we have to cover it with blankets since Goa is covered in red dirt which means our dogs and cat are too- and it’s impossible to keep the dirt out of the house, yes even with a housekeeper!This is India! 106

We got 4 pillows made too and I had some small ones from Fab India. Below is the finished product! It looks great. Ben did GOOD! :D

Whenever we do leave Goa, we can sell this as long as we keep it in good shape, so I see it as an investment lol ;)
This is India! 106

This is India!

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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Betsy June 18, 2016 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    So nice!

  2. Yas June 18, 2016 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel,
    Tbh ever since i googled ”what to wear in india” and clicked on your link.. i’ve been 100% hooked on your blog
    It’s so amazingly well written and i feel like i know more about India as if i was actually living There. It has always been one of my bucket list destinations and you make me fall in love with it everyday.
    I can’t tell you how many hours i spent reading your This Is India stories since the very beginning
    Ps : The couch looks amazing you can’t even tell it’s Diy

    • Rachel Jones June 19, 2016 at 5:03 am - Reply

      I’m so glad you found the blog! This is India are the most fun to write (except when I can’t think of a good story!). Thanks about the couch – I was skeptical but I love it. It turned out so good!

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