• This is India! 98

This is India! 98

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:

  • We’re building a couch from scratch… I’ll be sharing about it in a “this is India” in the future so I’ve been taking lots of photos of the process.
  • I should say I’m catching up on work but I’m not really. Azad, our Keralan buddy came to town with 3 of his friends. If you remember way back, he’s was a rickshaw driver Ben met in Kovalam but then they became BFF’s when Ben lived there and eventually Az came to work for Ben in Kochi and Ratnagiri so he’s like family these days. They came to have a little party at the Saturday Night Market!
  • Coming to India? Lonely Planet’s ebooks are 50% off through the end of the month! Just use code APRIL50. Click through to get yours.

Now your story,

Today I’m sharing about Ben’s birthday! He turned 30 on Feb 18th and wanted nothing more than to chill with his dogs (easy enough for me! lol). We went off to Keri beach which is about 1 hr from our house, maybe 40 minutes. With a hot engine under your bum, two annoying dogs, and Indian heat and traffic, it’s not a fun ride in my opinion… but we got there in the end.

This is India! 98

This is India! 98Omni had actually never seen the beach before (that we know of) because we found her outside our house about 6 months ago and hadn’t taken her ourselves. Taking dogs to the beach is kind of a pain in the ass here because the beach dogs are in little gangs and they actually will bite you if you try to stop them from attacking your dog. It happened to Ben in Kovalam. Our Huckleberry died from rabies even though she was vaccinated, so we are really careful about keeping them from being in dog fights. Plus, Shanti is a Houdini and can get out of her collar if she wants to. Her head is weirdly smaller than her neck lol, it’s got to be!

Omni was terrified of the waves. We tried to drag him in and he left claw marks in the sand like he was being tortured. So, we decided not to force him because it seemed mean. Shanti loves the waves but only up to her waist lol, she’s also a little baby. If you hold her, she will go in. The car ride back covered in sand and dog slobber was just as fun as the car ride there ;)

This is India! 98

This is India! 98

I had Mona from “On the Go” make Ben’s cake. She does catering and made a strawberry shortcake with chocolate covered strawberries and brought a side of profiteroles and chocolate sauce. We did cake before going to dinner, in case we were in food comas after dinner. Ben got some Ray Ban’s, speakers & radio for the Omni, shoes, and some other bits from his family.

Babu and a couple of his other friends came by the house after we got home from Sakana, and Babu brought what every Goan needs at their birthday: champagne and fireworks. This is India! 98
This is India! 98

As a bonus, they took a kids’ bike who was passing by and went for a wobbly spin down the road. It’s a cool bike. The kid said his dad bought it for him from some “foreign hippie”. We want one, so if you’re reading this and are the foreign hippie bike builder, hit me up! This is India! 98

This is India! 98

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. Susana April 27, 2016 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Hey! Love your stuff. I am a writer myself, but am not sure if I could ever even buy the balls to do what you do. I admire your work and think what you’re doing is amazing! Thanks for the great posts. I live vicariously through you – I love our life. Lol.

    All the best,

    Susana Borosic

    • Rachel Jones April 27, 2016 at 3:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Susana, thanks for reading and the kind comment. :)

  2. Pamela hayward May 8, 2016 at 6:56 am - Reply

    Hi…have really enjoyed hearing about your life in India and really appreciated them in particular before I went there for a month last November.
    Now my youngest son (25) is keen to ride a royal Enfield around the north of India..but wondered the best time to do it …avoiding the monsoon season. He is Ken to travel in the north. Would love to hear your comments (or your boyfriends).

    • Rachel Jones May 8, 2016 at 4:33 pm - Reply

      For the North, most people choose to go to Himachal Pradesh for that – the best time would be June, July, Aug!

  3. Pamela hayward May 9, 2016 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for your prompt reply

  4. Abhishek Kumar May 25, 2016 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    Amazing!I am an Indian, a travel blogger and traveller. I can totally relate to your narrations, from the ‘other side’, if you understand what I mean. being in India, we are very accustomed to some of the things that would otherwise surprise someone who comes in from outside and assimilates into the culture. Hats off to you for having such a high spirit!!

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