miércoles, 21 de septiembre de 2016


New Delhi's fog, or why haven't you tried couchsurfing yet.

Dawn in New Delhi. The plane arrived with more than two hours of delay. I didn't know the local time, so I couldn't calculate how late I was. It was 6 am. in India; 2:30. I was tired, a bit of jet lag. I still felt confident. “Everything was gonna be alright.”

I could have done like some students from the ashram: spent some hours of layover in New Delhi and take another plane to Indore; then asked for someone to pick me up in the airport and get to the ashram safe and sound. But then... what could I write about today?

The district looked darker than I expected for the capital of the country with the highest population density in the world.
Airports are usually outside of the city. It is okay if you don't see so many lights.” I thought.
But the truth was that, at that time, whatever I expected was far from what I was heading to.

New Delhi airport is pretty cool. Everyone takes the same photo of the huge mudras above the passport queue. Nice temperature, not so many people, quite European indeed. I had already forgotten that was 6 am. I crossed the check desk, got a beautiful stamp in my visa and remained calmed about the couch-surfer that was going to pick me up. I wasn't realizing how much I was depending on him. Thanks again, Jitinder.

I went to the baggage belt and waited patiently. It is always the same feeling: your luggage is not gonna appear, your luggage is always one of the last ones, your luggage is lost. Always this feeling until your luggage appear, or until you realize that all the people from your flight are gonna and your luggage is actually in Moscow. Anyhow, my travel just had begun, why should I piss off that soon?

Still calm, I gave my data to the airport worker and helped a Spanish couple that was in the same situation.

Well, it will come soon” I thought. Nothing else to do in the airport. Drink a little bit more of water from that tap that says “Drinkable water” and crossed the door looking for my savior.

I will add a small note encouraging Couchsurfing here. (If you don't know what is Couchsurfing, click here.) Couchsurfing has been my savior. I didn't published my chronicles from my trip to Morocco, but there was one factor that made the trip an unforgettable experience: Couchsurfing. Thanks to Couchsurfing, I have discovered that the people living in developing countries are way nicer and hospitable than those who lived in developed ones. My experience is mostly limited to Morocco and India for the former, and Europe for the latter. In both countries, I have cried from gratitude, I have cried from unfairness, and I have awed at the hospitality and kindness of their people. Couchsurfing opens a whole new world about what traveling means. Being with locals made trips safer, cheaper and purer. I have to admit that most of what I know about India is thanks to what couchsurfers have taught me. I have been in their homes, eaten their food, slept in their beds, wore their clothes, been transported in their motorbikes and cars, and been loved by their hearts. I cannot put my gratitude into words.

In India it is said that The guest is God” (Atithi Devo Bhava), and I can assure Indians treat you like if you were. Even when knowing that you are not more than a foreigner. In Morocoo, Islam teaches something similar. I witnessed it when I was bathed in a hammam by a friend I had met the day before. Remember the last time you bath someone, or someone bath you.

If you keep on reading, I will reveal another anecdote that makes justice about these lovely culture. A story that should make us realize how wonderful can be a human being grown up in the right context. Or how despicable he can become.

So, please, don't do it for you, but do it for the world: open a Couchsurfing account (clicking here) and use it. As a host or as a guest, but use it as much as possible, and break all your misconceptions about what human being means.

Suddenly, I realized the amount of artificial comfort that the air conditioning was creating. A humid wave of heat hit my face and my body instantly. The airport had been a quite aseptic experience. I was in India. Actually, It was the first time in my life that I was in India, in Asia. And I only only had a small backpack with less than some basic stuff. Thanks to the help of the airport worker, I could have called Jitinder that was getting to his third hour of waiting in the airport. He and his brother had actually saved me. But I didn't know it yet.

We got into the car. The steering wheel was at the right. A gift from the British, I thought. Better to look a cool and experienced travel and don't comment it. Somehow, none in the car strapped ourselves in, but anyone paid the least attention to the detail.

I was starting to freaking out with the streets. Jitinder was telling me that it was 5 a.m. And there weren't people in the street. But I saw them. I saw people sleeping on the streets, sleeping on the rickshaws, pushing carts full of fruits, walking in the highway, driving cars and motorbikes. I kept on recording, making clear that I was a complete tourist.

-Everything is so different. I repeated amazed.
-This is nothing. You will see it today in New Delhi

Half demolished old buildings. Or maybe new ones that were left unfinished. Cows in the roads. Mountains of garbage. Nonexistent sidewalks. Half paved roads. All of it smothered by the bluish dust of a dawn in New Delhi. A dust cloud that wants to become a London fog, but it cannot. New Delhi's fog it's not composed by condensed water, mystery stories, and economist yawns. New Delhi's' fog is made out of dirt, pollution and dry hopes. A dust cloud of 17 million people, one third of the population of Spain. A district of 11 thousand people per square meter, twice the population density of Madrid.

And it is still funny that I was excited, amused and thinking that everything was gonna be okay. 

lunes, 12 de septiembre de 2016



I spent my hours in the plane reading about the history and culture of India. But I miss a fundamental part of the guidebook that could have saved me from a life lesson in my first day in Delhi... Anyhow, there is something that guidebooks cannot capture clearly enough: the cultural shock.

I have some pages in my notebook whilst I was few hours before my destination. They reflect part of the anxiety and fear of regarding myself as a solo traveler and a, probably, solo human being. I had some flashbacks from these summer camps for kids. The first days, I used to question what was my parents' purpose for leaving me alone surrounded of unfamiliar people. Nevertheless, all those camps ended with waterfalls of tears caused by the separation of what it had been a fifteen days, friendship, a fifteen days connection, fifteen days of love and fun. Next time one of us witness the tenderness of a salty drop sliding through a seven year old cheek, combined by the unnatural tension of a face distorted by sadness and pain, and wrapped by the groans and hiccup of loss, think twice about the amount of future that is being conditioned by a precise moment.

I also reflect about the way I was going out of my comfort zone with the simple fact of having a dinner in the plane. The last time something similar happened was when I went to New York in 2013 with my flatmate. But this time, I had taken an eight hours flight and I was having dinner by own. Tiny details that mean huge changes. Then, after convincing myself that I should look tougher and don't let myself get drown by self-destructive thoughts, I stared through the window and get awed by the deepens of the darkness that surrounds spaceships at night.

sábado, 10 de septiembre de 2016



I actually feel like putting dates into this. I think it will help understanding the whole situation a bit better.

At the beginning of July, I didn't have any clear plan about what to do during the summer. I just had come back from probably the most unexpected and funny week of the year. I had been in a European project in France led by one of the worst organizers I have ever known, President Ignace. We are still waiting for the money. Anyhow, among some of my possibilities, I wanted to do a meditation retreat, a yoga training or something like this, just in order to have a fruitful summer and don't get stuck in Valladolid.

During the second week of July, I was searching different yoga teacher trainings. Then, I found that a Spanish training cost almost 2,000 € while some courses in India cost 800€. Then, I took a decision. Why spending such a big amount of money in Spain when, for a similar price, I can get flight tickets to India and make the course there? Numbers don't lie.

Then, I realized that my passport was expired and that I didn't have any of the requirements needed for such a trip regarding hygienic, medical, or basic knowledge about the country. Nevertheless, I was lucky I had prepared a trip to India two years ago that it couldn't get accomplished. I made some calls and got a clear perspective of what I needed.

jueves, 8 de septiembre de 2016



In this compilation of text, I am gonna share my travel through India during these months of July, August, and September (2016). This is just my first experience of the trip. I hope you like it as an entertainment or as a source of some knowledge or advice. I will write this in English in order to have the possibility of reaching a higher number of people and to stop promoting the laziness of Spanish speakers towards this language.


I arrived yesterday and one of the first things I did was drinking from the shower-head. There are still some things that I haven't gotten completely use to. These old habits and patterns that somehow have been transformed into survival skills. Even, drinking from the tap is now something I am still scared of doing it. Going to the toilet and sitting in a toilet bowl instead of squatting, using toilet paper instead of water and my left hand, I could even say that I don't feel clean anymore by using only toilet paper...

I was looking for an experience that could change my perspectives about life, and I think I have found it. But what I didn't expect is that it could change them in such a mundane and profound level at the same time. But I guess that the mundane is, at the end, the deepest thing we can have.

jueves, 18 de agosto de 2016



They found each other on a train. One was from the West, the other was Indian, since it is easier to consider the West as the West than India as the East. The former was called Aman. The other's name will not be yet needed.

Easy conversations: Where are you going? Where do you come from? What do you do?

Aman explained that he had been working in an Ashram, a Yoga school, for the last five years.

-Oh! Are you a yoga teacher?
-Ha ha, not really. I am more like the guy that is fixing things and helping people getting by.
-You mean, the person that people only remember when something is broken and he is not there...
-Ha ha, something like this, yes. And I also prepare the breakfast sometimes.

jueves, 7 de julio de 2016


Authors' note: I guess that everything that happens was just rumors. Therefore, try not to take seriously this surrealistic story or it could have actually been real. But before starting the story, please, let's gonna have a break. I am coming in five minutes, or I am Svurshvat in five minutes, as the Bulgarians would say.

Ok, let's go, but I warn you that reading this could spoil everything. So, don't tell later “Don't spoil it” because it would be too late. But first, let's have another five minutes break.


Here I am, in my bureau, and I just receive a call from my mother and she told me to go to pick her up with the car. I answer that I would be there in five minutes, but I cannot because I have to write the report of the project. Anyhow, I will figure it out later. Let's go eat at the restaurant before this becomes excessively productive.

* * *

I have just received a call from the major and he is a bit pissed of... I think that a surprise visit tomorrow with a new 30 international youngsters will cheer him up. Yes, I am a good president. Wait, there is a new email:

Dear President Ignace,

We are writing this letter to you because we would like to thank you all the things you have made for us.

In the name of all the participants of the Project “Embrace Diversity”:

Thank you, my president.

You have made us Witnesses of Diversity. If it weren't for you, we wouldn't have had the funniest week of the year, even, for some of us, the best nights of our lives.

You have taught us the value and power of inside jokes, and that even when everything can be just rumors, the unexpected situations can be as real as if they were perfectly arranged. But don't spoil things and let's start from the beginning.

miércoles, 16 de septiembre de 2015


Aquí estoy otra vez, despegando.

Marcho a Copenhague a bailar, pero viajo con literatura española de la mano. Intento cumplir algunas de mis propósitos: escribir más, publicar más, ponerme al día con los clásicos… He optado por La Colmena, este blog y un cuaderno a medio acabar.

Al menos garabatear tres hojas cada día, y preparando mis cosas para el viaje ya no sé qué cuaderno a medio empezar escoger. Parece que todos tienen menos hojas en blanco que el anterior.

Pero procrastino, y los despegues de avión son el mejor momento para hojear las distracciones de la revista de Norwegian… Una película sueca retro con dinosaurios, carreras de caballos en el centro de Budapest, un nuevo móvil que solo llama y envía mensajes... El mundo va tan rápido que derrapamos al sobrepasar los límites de velocidad. Parece que aceleramos con el freno de mano puesto… ¿Enviaremos señales de humo cuando quememos el último bosque?

Me dejo de tonterías… Ahora en los aviones hay wi-fi, así que le mando una foto por WhatsApp a mi abuela que hace cincuenta años envidiaba a los que se permitían el lujo de volar. La cabina está llena de cualesquiera, que como todos, nos creemos importantes de nuestro propio mundo.

Hago de todo menos lo que sea. Me pongo a pensar en cuánto cuesta una cerveza en el borde de la troposfera. Alcohol caro, doblemente perjudicial. Me enorgullezco por dentro de mi política de ayuno. Inhalo la belleza que emana de la ventanilla.

“Siempre hay luz por encima de las nubes.”

Los deseos, que no necesidades humana, son una falta de respeto a la vida. Ahora, los viajes huelen a arte, y los aviones a cine. No por la admiración de la excelencia, sino por el aroma y el ruido de las bolsas de patatas fritas.  

Me pongo a rememorar el frenético ritmo de vida que llevo, (lo que sea con tal de seguir distraído y no trabajar). Estaba en Cádiz, y tuve que ir a Madrid para coger el avión en Barajas. Internet también ayuda a salvar el planeta. Elegí un coche compartido que casi acaba con mis anécdotas. A 120 por la autovía se levantó el capó y destrozó el parabrisas. Un estruendo inesperado nos hizo saltar en nuestro mundo de realidad no virtual. Nos quedamos ciegos.

El plan B fue otro coche compartido en el que viajaban varios publicistas hablando sobre la creme de la creme de la modernidad: videos 360º. Me vienen bien estas conversaciones para darme cuenta de los engranajes del consumismo, lo que no se ve detrás del producto. Supongo que es como viajar en coche con el aire acondicionado y no darse cuenta de que fuera hace casi 40º, hasta que salta el capó en el parabrisas. O como estar en casa viendo Tomorrowland in streaming girando el Smartphone por toda la habitación hasta que se cae al suelo y la pantalla se hace añicos. O hablar por Skype y quedarse sin Internet. O vivir, y que se vaya la luz. Sin avisar, de repente, nos quedamos ciegos. Todo por abrir los ojos.

Me hubiese gustado dar mi opinión sobre lo caro que puede salir una retransmisión sentado en la silla de tu habitación, hasta que te levantes a abrir al repartidor del Carrefour que trae la compra on-line que hiciste hace una hora. Pero bueno, cuando escribo, me es más fácil ceder la palabra.

En fin, La Colmena, donde los personajes, como yo, (¿Cómo todos?) matan la vida como pueden: la mayoría muere despacio, pero hay otros que lo hacen deprisa. De lado a lado, de vida en vida, atrapados por una inercia paralizadora. Confundo la apatía de la vida con el dinamismo de la muerte.

Me corrige un poeta: “Pero con son lo mismo Carlos… La muerte es la obra maestra, y esto justifica la vida.” Ideas que intuyo pero no alcanzo a entender. Él lee mucho más que yo, y mejor. Tendré que seguir leyendo… Leer… ¿otra forma de morir? ¿Única manera de vivir…?

Con tanto existencialismo, no sé si me apetece continuar… Me quedo disfrutando del silencio de las nubes.