• this is india

This is India! 42

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:

  • So, Ben and I were on the TV show House Hunters International on HGTV for “Finding Love and Life in Goa”. It’s kind of a big deal in the US and I think Canada (in terms of house renovation shows) and they filmed us here in Goa and at home in Ohio. I watched this ALL the time with my mom when I lived in Ohio. I haven’t seen the show but my family and friends assure me I didn’t look like a fool. I thought about telling you all ahead of time, but was too shy and therefore didn’t until it was too late! Sorry!! Plus, I think the network wanted me to wait until it aired as well. I think I’l write a blog post about being on the show. You’d think because I share so much on this blog, I’m not shy- but put a camera in my face filming and you’ll see the truth lol; it was nerve-wrecking to say the least. I’m sure Ben looked great because he wasn’t nervous at all. I’ve also been told from friends messaging me that I’ve picked up some of his English accent. What! If you found my blog and are a new readers thanks for House Hunter’s International- Welcome!!! I’m so happy to meet you :D
  • In other news, Werkenntwen popped up on this list of 14 Journey Bloggers to Follow on Instagram. I hope you’re already following me, but if not my handle is @hippieinheelsblog.
  • I did an interview for FotoFlock and EPSON they called When a Hippie Becomes a Journey Blogger about my style of photography and such – which as I’ve mentioned most of my pics are from my phone! I haven’t gotten into fancy cameras and such yet.

Now your story,

Although a lot of my stories about India are funny or show the darker side, this is a good story… about a nice person who really did just want to help. Yay for people like this!

I was in Bombay about 2.5 years ago… first few days ever in India. I was going on the slow local train from Colaba to Andheri East. I got off one stop too early and didn’t want to deal with fighting a rick driver (I’d already had a pretty stressful day). What on earth would make me think taking a bus was easier?

I had stopped to ask a couple girls which stop it was which was when I realized I’d gotten off too early. FYI when you need help ask girls in school uniforms (they are usually clever, speak enough English, and are happy to help!). The girl said it was better to take the bus anyways because it was cheaper and why waste money?

I asked her….

Ok then, which was is the bus stop?

-Let me show you, I’ll go with you.

But aren’t you here waiting for a train?

-Yes, but I can take the bus instead so I can show you.

I told her not to worry about it. She was like 14 years old after all. She insisted though and took my hand leading me away after saying bye to all her school friends. We got on the bus and she insisted on paying for me. It wasn’t much, but wow I couldn’t get over it!

I asked her more questions…

So your stop is on the way?

Oh no, I’ll take the bus back then switch by the train stop we were at, then take another bus.

I felt so BAD! This little girl went out of her way in this big scary city to make sure I got home okay.. me, a 22 year old girl (at the time). I just wanted to keep her. Granted, she wasn’t a street girl who needed adopted. She was clearly loved and raised into this perfect little thing she was. It’s rare, but when things like this happen in India it helps you see the balance that India isn’t all bad as some suggest. There are helpful people in India, not only people who want to scam you.

This is India!

Did you enjoy this post? Let me know in the comments or by sharing it with the social media links! I’d love to keep giving you travel tricks & tips so feel free to subscribe by e-mail in the big purple box below. Don’t forget you can follow me on , ,  & bloglovin‘.

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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. Christine | The Journeyoguer March 20, 2015 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Such a nice story, what a sweet girl. :) I so want to watch you on House Hunters. I would be so awkward if I was being filmed, well done for doing it!

    • Rachel Jones March 24, 2015 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      thanks! i’ll let you know if I hear of it being on again.

  2. Justine March 20, 2015 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh, I am such an HHI fan! I used to watch it all the time but I haven’t watched it since I moved to Jakarta since it’s not on cable. I totally want to see your episode. FYI, I would be REALLY shy about being on TV too!

    • Rachel Jones March 24, 2015 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Justine, I don’t get to watch it here either!! If I get a DVD of it, maybe i’ll put it on youtube or something? that might be illegal though

  3. Ashley March 20, 2015 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    This is such a lovely story! I always love reading about random acts of kindness. And so cool that you were on House Hunters International!

  4. The Guy March 20, 2015 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    What a lovely girl and such a sweet story. The friendliness and helpfulness of strangers can be a true blessing at times.

    As for your TV appearance well I’m gutted you didn’t mention it before hand. I’ll be glued to that program at every opportunity now to see if it is repeated. Having known a little about you through your site there is now always a curious interest if you’ve been on TV :-)

    BTW congrats on the high profile mentions for you on these other sites. There has been a notable effect too. Your interview on Journey Blogger Interviews has seen a lot more visits than usual over the last couple of days – I guess this is an indication of the impact these mentions have had.

    • Rachel Jones March 24, 2015 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      hahaha yes, i probably should have put it online that i’d be on it :/ next time i do something that crazy I will tell people ahead of time. that’s so interesting to know you’re getting hits on my interview- that’s great news! thanks!!

  5. Johanna Lindsay March 20, 2015 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    Saw you on the show and found your blog! Well done!

  6. Elise March 21, 2015 at 12:18 am - Reply

    I am new to your blog! But I am a hugeeee fan of House Hunters! How exciting you will be on it. I am also loving everything you are posting about life in India. It is a place I am just dying to go.. and your stories are inspiring a trip for sure.



    • Rachel Jones March 24, 2015 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      Hi Elisa, thanks! you’re so nice. I’ll check out your blog as well.

  7. Rick March 21, 2015 at 12:48 am - Reply

    YES – I love House Hunters International and record it.
    I turned on the menu last night and it said: “an adventurous young woman from Ohio searches for……..in Goa”

    The show was very interesting getting to see the homes in Goa and you are quite photogenic (a natural beauty).

    I understand how intimidating cameras are, in your face all day long but you did quite well. Even putting your family in Ohio on screen.
    Ben is a natural – this stuff is easy for Brits.

    Seeing you two getting around town visiting the different areas was wonderful. You should make your blog live-action.

    Now you can ad ‘international televisions star’ to your blog title.
    Hollywood might be calling soon.

    Rick Santa Moncia, Ca

    • Rachel Jones March 24, 2015 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      hahah! that must have been funny. thank you for the nice words, and yes ben was a natural! If I didn’t find being in the camera so challenging then I would film more for the blog.

  8. Amber March 21, 2015 at 6:35 am - Reply

    I found you off of House Hunters! I thought your story was so interesting that I had to look you up. And what a pleasant surprise, the “real” you is even more interesting. While I have no desire to travel to India, I can still see the beauty of it through your blog. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rachel Jones March 24, 2015 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Amber, I’m glad you found my blog and thank you for your nice words!

  9. Vidita March 21, 2015 at 7:53 am - Reply

    Omg!! I love House Hunters International!! I wish you had posted something about it beforehand, I would’ve loved to seen it! Would’ve been cool to see a transition from Ohio to Goa. I also live in Ohio and am dying to visit Goa one day!

    • Rachel Jones March 24, 2015 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      I was 50/50 to post it ahead of time… but then got too nervous! if there is a re-run i will post about it!

  10. venus john March 21, 2015 at 2:30 pm - Reply


  11. Becki March 21, 2015 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    Hi! I’m catching up on DVR recordings this morning and just watched your HH episode. You did a great job and didn’t seem nervous at all. :)

  12. Katelyn @ Diaries of a Wandering Lobster March 22, 2015 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Congrats of House Hunters! Love that show! I had a feeling you might be on it at some point because I noticed the HGTV logo on your sidebar. I’ll have to keep an eye out for your episode. :-)

    • Rachel Jones March 24, 2015 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      haha clever girl, you already knew! they always do re-runs so maybe it’ll be on again

  13. Martha March 22, 2015 at 7:33 am - Reply

    When I lived in California I watched HHI all the time. Congratulation! Is there any place to watch the episode online?

    • Rachel Jones March 24, 2015 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      No, there isn’t! They might put it on the website down the line.. but as of now nothing!

  14. De'Jav March 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    There are nice people out there in this world we live in.

  15. Tim UrbanDuniya March 23, 2015 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Thankfully I’ve met many more of these Indians than the scamming type! Sweet story :)

  16. Sophie davis March 26, 2015 at 2:55 am - Reply

    Thank you for linking my blog post about mers! ❤️

  17. Monica March 27, 2015 at 7:14 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel,
    Saw you last night on HHI….what a great episode ! Good for you for following your heart. I was an RN for 35 yrs., now retired. I always wanted to just pick up and go live in some remote part of the world, but unfortunately, never got the nerve to do so. I’m tied to Seattle, where my kids and grand kids are, so don’t think I’ll ever be a wanderer. But I’m still a 60 yr old hippie at heart….and now I have your blog to live vicariously through ! Never lose your adventurous spirit !

    • Rachel Jones March 27, 2015 at 2:53 pm - Reply

      Awesome, I’m so glad you found my blog! I guess they played a re-run then. I didn’t tell people ahead of time so not many friends back home saw it. I lived in Tacoma for a stint and visited Seattle on weekends – It’s a cool place to stay! Looking forward to getting to know you in the comments :)

  18. rebecca March 27, 2015 at 11:23 am - Reply

    I have so many awesome stories of nice people in India. Sometimes you just meet the right people

  19. Sally Rodrigues March 27, 2015 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel,

    I live in London so have not seen any of your shows/programme. I am glad you love Goa though times have changed and it’s not the same as when I was studying there during the hippie period. I have property in Goa and try to go at least one a year though not always possible. Carry on the good work I am sure your followers love reading your stories

    • Rachel Jones March 30, 2015 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      that’s awesome. i’d love to get a property here! you’re a lucky duck :)

  20. Linette goes March 27, 2015 at 11:12 pm - Reply

    Hye Rachel, I am a goan living in UK for the last 25 years. I got my 2 brothers and sister in goa. My brother Jeffrey D’Souza lives in Moira school teacher and bass guitarist. His phone no is 00918322470135. My sister Loretta Shreedharan lives in Vasco not far from the airport. If you need any help just give them a call, we always love to help anyone. (Private and Confidential)

  21. Helga March 28, 2015 at 7:11 am - Reply

    Especially the Gujarati people conquered my heart. I remember a cycle rikshaw I paid 10 Rs for transporting me and my backpack, but as a farewell he gave me some typical Indian sweets that were worth far more than the 10 Rs… I was very touched and still remember him 16 years later.

  22. Betsy April 3, 2015 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Hey Rachel!
    That is a great story about the teenage girl. I have found there is always someone around who will help you. My mom and I were recently in Bangladesh. We were out late and having communication issues with our auto-rickshaw driver. We got out near our hotel, but still couldn’t find our way. We were near a street market so there were people around. Multiple people came and tried to help us, but not so many people speak English and my Bangla is limited to a few words. Finally someone who knew English came over. He got us a cycle-rickshaw and told the driver where to go. The driver took us to the door of the hotel. I will forever be grateful to the driver and the man who spoke English. It was my mom’s first trip overseas and she was freaking out a little, which was stressing me out even more. Know she is ready to go again! I love South Asia.

    • Rachel Jones April 4, 2015 at 4:15 pm - Reply

      It can be stressful especially when you have parents with you!

  23. Deb May 16, 2015 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Hi, your show was on again tonight in the U.S.! And wow, what places you saw!! My husband is from India so I’ve been there a bit but not to Goa yet. We’ll be in India in Sept for our niece’s wedding. We have a half-finished apartment in Chennai — I look forward to a good 3 weeks to spend there in September trying to work on it. Of course you know India, things never go as you expect so who knows how much I’ll get done! I’m glad to have found your travel blog and your experiences in India! :)

    • Rachel Jones May 28, 2015 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      You’ll love Goa if you find that time to come. I haven’t been to chennai yet – enjoy and glad you found the blog!

  24. Tanya February 23, 2017 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    I have been slowly reading through your posts and loved this story. Children in India, apart from little boys, are seriously so polite and helpful. They would love to help a gori just so they can brag to all their school friends about it. When I gift my younger cousins presents they always take them to school just to show off that their gori aunty gave them this. Absolutely adore Indian children! Also I came across the American House Hunters tv show in Australia just last year as they have started airing those shows on free to air there. I am sure I recognise you from a show but can’t be certain haha.

    • Rachel Jones February 24, 2017 at 11:03 am - Reply

      Haha yes you might have seen me on there they replay it ALL the time. So embarrassing I wish I could take it back lol.. yes the little kids can be the sweetest! But read on in this series til you get to the post about the little boys hurting a injured dog — grrrr!

  25. noticedwebsites365 September 30, 2017 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Enjoyed seeing your House Hunters Int’l episode here in Vancouver on Sept 29/17. Always watch HHI. Must have missed the first time when it played as it was filmed back in 2015? Thanks.

    • Rachel Jones October 2, 2017 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Yes, I think they filmed actually in early 2014 but it took about a year to go on TV. They replay it a lot since. Glad you found my blog! :)

  26. Ruth February 27, 2018 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Just saw the HHI show. You were both so sweet. Wanted to know how your relationship worked out.

    • Rachel Jones February 27, 2018 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Ruth! Oh, cool – they always replay that, it was quite a long time ago! We’ve been together 5 years now in Goa :) Thanks for finding my blog!!

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