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Experiencing Different Ways of Living

Last Wednesday I had a “business-lunch” with some executives of the IT-agency, which is realising the new intranet of my office and where I’m the project manager. During the talk one of the members told me that two years ago, from 05 to 06, he had been on a one year’s journey via land to India. I was astonished: In my youth some of my friends had been hitch-hiking to Goa, India, but I had thought that because of the geo-political situation it wasn’t anymore possible or at least dangerous to go via land. The IT-engineer said, that they had a very smooth journey, without any disturbances.

They had gone via Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan to India and Nepal. They never had any problems at the frontiers, and also during the journey there weren’t any burglaries or accidents. He told me that the most cordial and hospitable people he met in Iran. He was impressed that even on the country people were very open-minded, very hospitable and well-cultured. At home, the women weren’t wearing the chador and joined talks. People felt quite distant to the official rulers and openly spoke about it. It reminded me of my talks with an Iranian colleague, with whom I had published a series of documents about Iranian and Muslim culture, for Swiss social workers working with Iranian refugees.

The IT-manager said the only uncomfortable situation was during their passage through Balochistan, where they joined with other travellers to go through undisturbed. He further spoke about his experiences in India and Nepal. There, even during turbulences with the Maoist opposition which blocked them for a while, they hadn’t experienced any adverseness. I asked him how they could manage to drive through the partly chaotic traffic in India: They just took it slowly and went with the general flow. Only in the villages they had sometimes to stop and somebody had to climb on the top of their car to lift up the electric wires…

When I asked him how he could manage to be away from office for such a long time, he said that the management of their agency, of which he is a member, started with the agency during their studies, and since they didn’t have much free time the first years, now one after the other takes a longer time of vacation to go around the world – to see other cultures and to experience very different ways of living.

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A jeep at the coast of Senegal, photo of a friend.

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