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    Adventure on a Karachi Market

      ‘Do you really have to go to Pakistan?’ Not only my mother was worried, almost everybody I spoke to advised me not to go to this place where terrorist attacks were a dai...

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    Dubai Adventure

    As I’m standing on the moving sidewalk, soothing jazz paralyzing my brains, I look down on a giant construction site near the Burj Khalifa. Like in the movie Metropolis, hund...

  • Meet the blue for life crew.

    Golden Pancakes at the Golden Temple

    I met with Gurjit in a restaurant that was top choice according to the Lonely Planet, so it said on the window. Gurjit had a long black beard, wore a blue turban, a long blue coat,...

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    Happy Pancakes

    After a terrible bus ride and another horrible one I eventually arrive in Gokarna. I take a tuktuk to Om Beach, and walk straight on to the last resort for no particular reason. Pr...

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31st of July 2016 07:00 AM Link
(from my journal December 2014) Every day of the Annapurna trek is just a continuum of beauty. It doesn’t get boring one second. The landscape changes every day you rise higher to the top. At High Camp, the last stop before the top, I meet a Nepalese guy named Oms. He took his Mountain Bike to the top to later downhill all the way. I tried and failed sliding down on my frying pan.
Om is an amazing guy. He invited me for numerous trips when we were in Pokhara. So much hospitality that you wonder what he wants in return, but he never asked for anything other than good company.
Now more than a year after the earthquake he is still working his ass of to rebuild his beautiful country. His great network of international friends allows him to build a big team of volunteers. It is such a shame that people like Om don’t become the head of a totalitarian regime.
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30th of July 2016 07:00 AM Link
(from my journal december 2014) I headed of for the Annapurna Circuit. It was about 14 days. If you are traveling solo, I can highly advise you not to take a guide. There are so many people on this trek, you will never get bored. I met a great Colombian guy named Julio. He was traveling with a coffee filter attached to his backpack. Later I met Jibn. You can read the remarkable story on Story of my World.
29th of July 2016 07:00 AM Link
(from my journal december 2014) After a lovely two weeks home I flew to Kathmandu. I wandered around the streets and was surprised how peaceful this chaos felt. The smell, the people, the buildings, everything was just right. I bought proper gear and took a bus to the first village of the Annapurna Circuit. I am a stubborn solo traveler and take no advice of any local telling me to take a guide or a tourist bus. So when I arrived I looked around. I was alone. I had no place to stay and no idea where to go. I asked the first guy in the streets. “Follow me, it is a 30 minutes walk to my home, it is nearby the village you wanna go, do you have a head torch?” I didn’t, but he became my light in darkness for the time being. We arrived at his house at a peaceful village of what I could see of it. He was 25 years old and had been working in Qatar most of the time to support his wife and 2 daughters he barely saw. His apartment was three by two meters. He made me instant noodle and we talked all night quietly to not wake up his his daughters. The next day I felt so grateful I wanted to give him money, even though I knew this was a bit rude. I couldn’t accept it any longer that people who had barely enough money to send their kids to school, would go out their way to give me a full meal and a roof above my head.
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28th of July 2016 09:00 AM Link
(from my journal november 2014) As a Dutchman I miss my bicycle sometimes. So when I saw all the Rickshaw bicyclists in Varanasi I couldn’t resist to hire one. I took the two Danish girls on the back and toured around the city looking for their favorite tailor. The sixty year old owner of the bike, didn’t trust me so he ran after us the whole time. One moment I bumped into a parked motorbike. The owner of the motorbike was a bit angry but I told him I would pay. It was around 1500 rupee. The girls tried to bargain, but more and more Indians surrounded us. They were waiting all their life for a fight between a gora and a local. Me and the Rickshaw owner yelled at the girls to hop in the seats and to get the hell out, leaving a big group of disappointed men on the street.
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27th of July 2016 01:35 PM Link
While searching for my soul in rice fields and dodging yoga positions, Dutch families in the overcrowded streets of Ubud, I came across the kupu-kupu foundation. An organization that organizes and helps a wide range of disabled kids. It was incredible to see that those kids seemed more enlightened than most eat pray love women.
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27th of July 2016 09:00 AM Link
(from my journal november 2014) Me and the two Danish girls visited a slum in Jaipur. We lost ourselves in small alleys and found ourselves back at a small school. When you go to India, these little trips are the most rewarding. Sharing some joy by just showing up.
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26th of July 2016 05:00 AM Link
(from my journal November 2014) When I arrived at the train station there was a young guy who wanted to drive me to a hotel in his rickshaw. I had no energy to discuss so I said yes. Another rickshaw driver tried to steal me from him. But I put an arm around Salman and told the other driver he should go away. “We are brothers.” Salman said when we arrived at his rickshaw. “You can pay me whatever you want.” I said I didn’t know how much that would be but I invited him and his friend Sharuk for some beers and I would hire him as my personal rickshaw driver. I told him I might be a bit emotional by times and not in the mood for socializing.
The second night was one of those moods. I was already homesick. Now with all my friends having comfort of each other, while I was alone in the hotel room. I have never felt more alone in my life than there in that shitty hotel room. A knock on my door. I ignored it. I ignored the second knock. Than the voice of Sharukh: “Open up friend! Don’t be alone in your room. We bought a bottle of rum and rented the rickshaw for the night!” I opened up. My red eyes lightened. They were two happy fellows. I put on some clothes and jumped in the rickshaw where I gulped down half of the rum. We went to a construction side until Sharukh got a phone call that his brother was in a fight. “You wait here, we have to help my brother.” “I’m staying nowhere. I’m coming.” I said unsure about my sudden courage. They hugged me: “now you are truly our brother.” We jumped in the Rickshaw and raced to the battlefield. I never saw so many huge Indians. Where did they hide them?
The fight was just over and Sharukh’s brother was unharmed. It was five in the morning and a new group of tourists would arrive soon. They gave me an intern job as a tourist hustler. They pushed me to two blonde girls. They were hesitant at first but then recognized Salman from the last time they were here.
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25th of July 2016 07:00 AM Link
(from my journal november 2014) I took a train to mumbai (10 hours). Eeight hours later I took a train to Jaipur (14 hours). I had 2 weeks to kill before I would fly home to celebrate Sinterklaas and surprise my friends and family. During the train ride I got bad news from back home. I couldn't do anything than sitting in a train for 14 hours and writing a homage to my friend. (read my letter to Jort http://pancakeadventures.com/to-jort/)
24th of July 2016 07:08 AM Link
(from my journal, November 2014) For no particular reason I fled to Hyderabad, also called the Detroit of India. I was already depressed when I moved there. But when I arrived I got down to the deepest point of my travels. After finding an overpriced hotel I was welcomed by a short, moody man who smelled like sweat and rotten teeth. We hassled for the price. I didn’t have any sleep but managed to get the price down to 2.000 Rupee. I never saw a hotel room where you could lock the door from the outside. They probably used it to keep people there against their will. And that’s how it smelled in there too. I got a long sleep, hoping I wouldn’t wake up drugged and chained to the bed. Two days slowly passed my dark fogged hotel room window. I left the hotel in search for an alternative. I found several hostels, went to the one closest by. The people were surprised to see me. I said: "this is a hostel right?" "Yes..." it was followed by a long pause from both parties. A hostel in India is like a dorm for students, not for lost travelers. They told me I could only rent a room for a month. After showing my desperate face, they said they had a small room. It smelled like unwashed t-shirts and was inhabited by killer mosquitoes.
I was more homesick than ever and bought a flight ticket home. The last day I met Jeremy, dressed in a immaculate fifteen-piece suit. Me, as usual, dressed in worn out sweat pants and a smelly shirt.
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22nd of July 2016 09:23 AM Link
(from my journal november 2014) From Gokarna I went to Hampi with Shani. Just like Gokarna this place was covered with Falafel places inhabited by stoned young Israeli guys. We rent a bicycle and cruised around the area. There is a big lake and a high cliff of which you can jump if you’re brave enough. We assumed we were. But we were not sure if there was a rock that could paralyze us. Three Indian guys were grinning at us. We put the tip of our toes and our face over the edge. It is about 15 meters deep. When we turned back the group had multiplied by three. They are staring and laughing at us. Some are taking pictures and videos. We were still not sure if we could jump. Now thirty Indians surrounded us like a big pack of horny hyenas. They have never seen a girl in a bikini before. We had two choices: jump or... No, we had only one choice: JUMP!
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