Monday, May 24, 2010

The Dutch are Crazy … in a good way

Outside the Dreamcatcher resort on the beautiful Palolem beach in Goa, I saw an almost endless line of auto-rickshaws decorated with pink stickers. Might be just another reality contest, I thought.


Inside I ran into some crazy Dutch. There were about 34 of them, driving 17 auto-rickshaws from Mumbai to Chennai via Goa. 2000 Kms on the Indian roads. Most of them were visiting India for the first time, and started it by driving a auto-rickshaw through the Mumbai traffic on their first day. One of the guys told me he called his folks up that evening to tell them he loved them, and wasn’t sure if he would ever see them again. He said that first night of driving through Mumbai was the greatest adventure any of them had every experienced.

The rickshaws weren’t brand new, some were quite old, I saw one which had a huge crack running through it. I was shaking my head in disbelief hearing their stories, till they told me they were doing this for charity. Each team was raising at least 2000 Euros each for street children in India, some even more.

They were used to Indians on the streets waving to a ‘white’ person in the backseat only to break into laughter, when they saw another white skinned person driving it.  The importance of horns on Indian roads took some getting used to as well. How we Indians used lanes was definitely nerve wracking for most of them.


There was a brother-sister team, a father-daughter team, a newly married couple, and some guys who had worked desk jobs all their life before coming here. With funny names - “The Dukes of India”, “Honeymoon Challenge”, “Ganesh Express”, “Shanti Shanti” , most of them had put in their own savings, and some had sponsors but they all agreed it was a trip they would never forget!

Check out their website . Its in dutch, so you would have to translate it, Google does that automatically if you using their toolbar or Chrome.

They have another Challenge in November 2010, again all in good cause, spread the word - who knows there’s a crazy Dutch out there who’d catch the drift. 







They often had to stop for hours fixing their tuk tuks.


All for Charity – the teams were raising at least 2000 Euro each for street children in India



With Jonn’o – Not sure I got his first name right. Well, pretty sure he didn’t get mine! :)


Most of the photographs courtesy the teams, please let me know if there’s a link I am missing.

No comments:

Post a Comment