So what’s the Plan?

After the best two weeks I’ve had so far in my life, I’m waking up to a new world. The six hours of sleep I managed last night feels like a luxury, and after opening my eyes to that newly rising sun, I ask myself an elusive question that has become legendary here. What’s the Plan?

Nowhere in the world have I heard these words as often as I have in this crazy food loving country of Pakistanis. It’s as if every time the door opens, someone walks in to ask, so what’s the plan, and not once has it received an answer.

Life is bitter sweet without the answer, and as a true romantic it’s what gives my life a sense of adventure. Always a thousand plans but knowing that not a single one will go the way I think.

There is always something amongst these plans that shines through the fog like a lighthouse, pulsing itself and guiding the way. It cannot be seen with the minds eye, because it is not Einsteinian light. It is the light of intuition, and that can only be felt as it warms up the heart, usually through the stomach.

So, what’s the Plan?

The man of the house where we are staying at the moment knows that warm fuzzy feeling in the stomach. The food here has been absolutely spot on every single time, and it tickles from the first touch on the lips until morning.

While most of the world has alcohol for entertainment, the Pakistanis have their food. I think this is one of the many reasons that makes Pakistan a cornerstone for world food. Just like Thailand, every Pakistani knows about the ingredients, which tastes go with what, and how the ingredients should be prepared. But what makes this country different from Thailand, is that the food doesn’t stop coming, and it’s more of a desert taste. I should maybe say dessert taste instead, because even though the savoury dishes here can be mouthwatering, this is a country with the sweetest of sweets.

I’ve never been a fan of desserts in my life, but somehow I’ve ended up being lured into the magic of sweet things. Some are not so good, some are better than others, and some can turn your world upside down. I’ve learnt that in the midst of trying to make sense of the world through half open eyelids, a sugar rush is just what is needed.

And the choice is endless. You can imagine people since the dawn of time smoking up some of the worlds best hash and putting their heads together to make some sweet munchies. They have come up with everything, and imagination has definitely not been in their way.

There is one dessert which goes above all else on the creative munchies scale, The Falouda. This is a mix of many things and it differs from place to place, but usually it goes something like this. Holy basil seeds, fresh whole milk, caste sugar, cardamons, rose syrup, vanilla ice cream, toasted pistachios or almonds, rice vermicelli, and some sort of candy on top.

Most places that make these manage to get an unnatural sugary taste to it, at least for me, but looking at the list of ingredients I think it could be pimped up into something with the sweetest of nature that would even lure out my tongue.

For example the candy decor on top can swapped with rose pedals, the rose syrup could be made from scratch, or maybe there is a brand of syrup that has a more delicate taste so it doesn’t overpower everything else. Maybe even making some rose honey from that nectar of the mountains. And ice cream. Ice cream is something that can be ok, or it can be jumping up and down ecstatically delicious.

It’s all up to the chef and his/her so called plan. Take the easy way and the taste buds might thank you, but going with the flow, making an effort, and adding a little love into the mix at every stage can caress the ever changing balance of the taste buds into a near orgasmic state of dance.

So, what is the Plan?

We are romantics, so we always end up going with the flow, enjoying the company, and dreaming of those sweetest things in life. The days go on like this, morning ’til evening, socialising, eating, and falling in love.

Ramadan had an Eid of a finale and it’s time to go. We have one more week with our visa extensions and we need a way out. What’s the plan?

The Karen People

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Yesterday we went for an adventure. We got fed up just lying around in Mae Moei resting, and we had finished all the unfinished work that we needed to do. So we hopped on our little monster truck and decided to do some off-roading.

Everyone says the roads in Myanmar are really bad, and the new super snazzy highway that connects Yangon to Mandalay, is a four laned, overpriced airstrip that has nothing. It goes through nowhere, has no traffic, and apparently is completely useless. We’re better off breaking down on the old road, because at least there, we might run into someone that can help.

So as a warmup we took on the mud and the holes, and our baby bird flew like an angel. She tackled everything that was thrown in her way, except Pyry’s muscles. Sometimes he can be a bit rough while screwing around.

After the breaking in, our angel had started whining a little, so we decided to tighten her up before getting wet again after Songkran. We gave a good yank on every nut and bolt we could find, and the last one, one of the four bolts that keep the front wheel connected, snapped under Pyry’s humungous strength…

Luckily we had decided to do this in front of a shop that just happened to have nice people, with the right tools. In a jiffy they took out the old bolt and gave us a new one, slightly shorter, but seemed a bit harder, so I really hope size doesn’t matter. I think that as long as it’s hard and doesn’t break, it should work fine.

After tightening our nuts, we headed off into the mystery roads that even google maps have never heard of. In the end we found what didn’t know we were looking for, a beautiful valley between two luscious mounds. Every mans dream.

We asked if we could stay the night, and like usually, we were very welcomed. Suddenly there were dozens of kids running around, some throwing our knives around and others playing karate kid with our juggling clubs. Everyone was having a blast.

Once finished, we were so hungry that we bought some of the local eggs and made a Khai Jiao, Thai style omelette on our heavenly kitchen. I think the eggs came from the chicken that was continuously watching me cook, or then from one of the other hundreds that were freely running around. These village people let all life join in the fun, and by doing that, they stay healthy, with nutritious, natural, fresh, free food at all times.

Then we went to wash up in the mountain stream and were greeted by the only man who spoke english. He asked what we were doing, and instead of camping, he asked us to his home. This is when we found out that we had stumbled into a village that has been inhabited by the Karen Tribe for over a millennium.

He showed us to his home, and we chatted for hours. We asked about the Karen people, and they asked us about Finnish people. We laughed a lot and shared very similar views of many things, including the fact that they pride themselves on helping each other, without accepting money.

In the end Juho and Santin found their deepest connection, a true love they share together, Football. It goes to show, that we’re all basically the same.

Then we had dinner. I don’t know what it was, but it was kind of like a crab and fish stew with rice. They were amazed that in Finland we have to pay for our crabs, while they just pick them up from the river. Even the water tasted like proper water, because it came straight from the mountain stream with only a little filtering, though in Finland, the ground water doesn’t even need to be filtered.

Then we found out that the Karen food, compared to Thai food, uses no fish sauce, no sugar, and unlike in Finland, the small crabs are meant to be eaten with the shell on. That way they are much more nutritious, and taste really nice. It was like eating chips.

After our tummies looked like they were about to burst, we jumped on the pick up and went to look for the Songkran after party. This time we got so lost that even the locals didn’t know where we were.

We ended up coming back to the village, where they had pitched up a tivoli at the temple grounds, and enjoyed the old school film projector, and Pyry shot some stuffed rabbits for his godson.

Then it was time to sleep.

We woke up at the third call of the roosters, i.e. 5 am, the natural wake up time. It’s amazing how one rooster starts, then the next one joins in, then the next, then a dog, and soon the whole valley is echoing with life. It is simply the most natural wake up call, and it feels good.

We packed up, checked the oil, checked the water, and rolled off towards the sunrise. It was a wonderful experience.

Ta blu dòh mä, my brothers! You shall always be in our hearts.

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Songkran

Snakes keep popping up everywhere. Not a single day has passed for the last week or two where someone hasn’t mentioned them, or a picture hasn’t popped up somewhere, or someone hasn’t given us a Naga Buddha amulet.

Nagaland is calling hard, but alas, we must not hurry ourselves.

In the modern day with Facebook and Twitter, everything seems to go faster and faster. But life doesn’t. Life goes at it’s own speed and it does not bend to anyones will. We so want to leave Thailand already, and everybody else wants us to also, but life has different plans it seems. We must respect it.

Here are todays gifts from people we met and talked to.

Buddha protected by 7 Nagas. We were given 2, one each
Photo: Pyry Kääriä

 

Buddha with a protection prayer on the back given to Juho
Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Pyry Kääriä

Enlightened Buddha given to Pyry
Photo: Pyry Kääriä

As well as all the niceness from the Mae Moei people, one really good thing has happened. Our tuk tuk man, Mr. Pong, may have redeemed himself and made himself one of our best assets. He managed to help get the audience with the Myanmar Embassy, and he is trying his hardest to use all of his contacts to speed up the process so we can leave.

But alas, he is only human, like all of us. We can only do our best and nothing more, though I must say, that so far what I know of the Myanmar people, they really do their best. Especially when it comes to Songkran. Most of them seem to have eyes that penetrate the soul, and they party like there’s no tomorrow, for two weeks.

We crossed the border yesterday, again, and I have to say that the old saying, ‘third time is the charm’, should be changed to, ‘first time is the charm’, so that we wouldn’t have to do everything three times. We got through no problem, but our tugboat on wheels didn’t.

The letter from the Embassy had not made it to the central government of Myanmar before Songkran, and there, the party is just too good for anyone to answer phones, so we must wait ’till the party ends.

We used our chance while in Myanmar and spent some time partying with the Myawaddyans. After getting soaked within the first ten steps we went to find some food by the river. The locals were summersaulting into the river so we decided to join them. Very nice people with very potent self made drinks.

 

Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Juho Sarno

 

 

Then we came back towards immigration only to be stopped by a big group of ecstatic youngsters dancing like hell and squirting water every which way. By this time the alcohol had hit, and jumping around looked like fun, so we joined in and had a blast.

 

 

Video Screenshot, Tuk Tuk Travellers

Video Screenshot, Tuk Tuk Travellers

 

Not knowing if it was 5 o’clock already we went back to immigration just incase. The border closes at 5 and we were told to return before that. We found Myanmar Immigration partying also, so we spent our last hour dancing and drinking in no-mans land with them.

 

Photo: Juho Sarno

Photo: Juho Sarno

Myanmar has taken our hearts already.

We left with huge smiles on our faces and this time, we got a phone number for one of the Immigration guys so we can call him, and make sure, that next time we will definitely get through.

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Are the vegetables greener in Cambodia?

You know the old saying, ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’? Well I was thinking about this a while ago and with the logic minded brain that I have, I came up with a theory.

If the grass is greener on the otherside, that means that wherever you look, the grass is greener than the patch of land under your feet, right? Doesn’t this then mean that whenever you move anywhere, the grass just keeps getting greener and greener? Doesn’t this then mean that everything is just going to get better and better?

So are the greens greener in Cambodia? We don’t know. We never got there. Instead we got to a piece of land that was not Thailand, and I’m not sure if it was Cambodia either because we could see passport checks to both countries about 300m apart. We were standing in the middle with two huge casinos on both sides.

We missed the bus and wouldn’t have made it on monday night so we decided to pay a few hundred extra baht and take the easy way. First buses left at 5am and we were asked to wait because 1 had come unreserved and they asked for one more van. This was quite a good chance space wise and sleeping would have been excellent if the driver hadn’t gone like crazy over every bump. I found myself hovering over the last 3 seats and then pounding into them time after time.

The door was opened and we were greeted by a blindingly shiny light from the outside. Half a sleep we packed our bag and found that the minivan had gone, so had the guide and the third man. Everyone was shouting something about visas and we had no idea where to go. We started walking and got a bit lost trying to steer away from the crowd and were greeted with a beautiful view of Cambodia.

Photo: Pyry Kääriä

Photo: Pyry Kääriä

Next to this back alleyway on the right was the actual Aranyaprathet bordercrossing, or other words the gate to gambling country. I think both can be used to cross from Thailand to Cambodia, but the other costs money and gets you a stamp which saves you from paying fines from overstay. We were 2 days late for this visa run so it cost 1000baht each.

After paying the fine we got a receipt and it was off to the casino for the all included breakfast buffet. The omelette was good and the thai food, but the chorizo-type sausage things were horrible and so was the thing that was next to it on my plate. And whats with buffet orange juice? Aloe vera and dragon fruit seeds were tasteless but the pineapple is always a good choice. And they had proper Thai coffee! After breakfast we waited a moment outside and looked at whats for sale at the small duty free stalls.

Photo: Pyry Kääriä

Photo: Pyry Kääriä

Then walked back to the Thai side and were stamped back in. It was back into the airplane minivan ride and we were half an hour early in Bangkok @ 13.30.

Cambodia is yet to be discovered by us. Maybe next time.

Efficient waitring

Last night we went to have some of the best seafood ever at one street food restaurant on Sam Sen soi 2. Baby clams fired with chilli paste and basil, Grilled prawns and Larb Moo.

Photo: Pyry Kääriä

Photo: Pyry Kääriä

It was strange at first because the waiter brought us the menu, paper and a pen, and then went back to work. After a while he came to check if we had filled out our order. Turned out we had to write the order ourselves.

After thinking about it, this idea of customers writing their own order turned out to be very very efficient. Many times in restaurants the waiter must wait, sometimes minutes, before people are ready to order. Also many times in a group others know what they want and one person still doesn’t know what they want. This might add another minute or two of waiting.Then someone wants to change their order because someone elses sounded better or because of this or that. This is all waiting time for the waiter and waiting is never efficient.

Once they saw that the order had been written, they went through the order to make sure they understood everything and off they went again. This way they could serve 30-40 people in a surprising amount of time with only 2 waiters. Genious!

Lähtötunnelmia ja joululahjoja

 

Viikko alkoi kuten kaikki muutkin viikot edellisen 8 kuukauden aikana. Maanantaina meillä  oli aamulla selvät suunnitelmat viikon duuneista ja lounasaikaan mennessä kaikki menikin sitten uusiksi. Maanantaina mentiin viemään viisumihakemuksia Iranin-suurlähetystöön. Meiltä uupui eräs lippulappunen eikä homma onnistunut. Sen sijaan että oltaisiin voivoteltu tapahtunutta, laitettiin suunnitelmat uusiksi. Varmistettiin että voidaan hakea Iranin-viisumit tien päältä ostettiin lentoliput ja alettiin valmistelemaan lähtöä; käsikirjoituksen tuunaamista, yhteistyökumppaneiden tapaamista, byrokratiaa (viisumeita, kansainvälisiä ajokortteja, rokotekortteja jne.) aikataulutusta Thaimaahan, tuk tukin suunnittelua ja yhteydenpitoa tehtaaseen, tavaroiden hakemista ja niihin tutustumista, kontaktien tapaamista, kirjanpidon järjestämistä Ja Niin Edespäin.

Tähän päälle vielä normaalit matkavalmistelut, kirjaston kirjojen palautuksesta ystävien näkemiseen. Duunia riittää sen verran ettei matkakuume pääse iskemään.

Lähtö 12.12.2013.

tavarat

Tänään Pyry lähti Tukholmaan hakemaan Paklistanin viisumeita. Minä tonttuilin yhteistyökumppaneiden luokse. Oli aika amerikkalainen olo kun lappasin paketteja kiesiin. Rakkaat sponsorimme verkkokauppa.com sekä Chez Marius (www.chezmarius.com) muistivat meitä kaikella tarvitsemallamme. Pyrimme karsimaan kaiken ylimääräisen pois. Meillä on aika pieni budjetti ja vielä pienempi Tuk Tuk. Vähemmän on enemmän ja sen pitää olla laatua.

Mutta kyllä sitä kamaa silti on, ja hyvää kamaa onkin.

Kaiken tavaran otin stoalaisesti vastaan. Pitäen mielessä ettei tavara tuo onnea. Itse petokseni kantoi aina siihen hetkeen kun kokeilin Chez Mariuksesta saamamme Yaxellin Zen santoku-veistä. Ensiviillon myötä menetin sydämeni ja sieluni. Enää ei ole paluuta. Onni on hyvä keittiöveitsi.

Ihan oikeasti, katsokaa nyt kuinka kaunis. Eikä se ulkonäkö, eikä edes terä. Vaan se miltä se tuntuu käteen ja mikä ilo sillä on leikata.

zensantoku Suuri kiitos Verkkokauppa.com ja Chez Marius. Kiitos avusta ja etenkin kiitos luottamuksesta. Kun on nämä välineet käytössä, on ilo tehdä työtä.

Kiitokset myös Jesselle ja Sissille. On hienoa että olette mukana tällä matkalla.

Onnellista joulun odotusta kaikille,

.Juho

Kaksi menolippua Bangkokiin, kiitos.

Kuukausi lähtöön.

Katse kaukaisuuteen

Kuva: Vanessa Riki

 

Maaliskuussa 2013 päätettiin, että nyt on oikea hetki toteuttaa tämä unelma. Viitisen vuotta ollaan mietitty kuinka siistiä olisi ajaa tuk tuk Bangkokista Suomeen. Pyry asui teinivuotensa Bangkokissa ja Juho oli juuri tullut sieltä. Silloin oltiin molemmat päädytty sirkuskouluun ja alettiin ymmärtää terveen ravinnon merkitystä hyvinvoinnille. Jossain vaiheessa ihmeteltiin miten on mahdollista, että niin monessa ravintolassa saa niin surkeaa ruokaa hintaansa nähden. Hyvä ruoka syntyy rakkaudesta ruokaan, eikä halusta tehdä rahaa ihmisten tarpeesta syödä.

Siitä sitten loksahti. Mitä jos mennään Bangkokiin ja ostetaan se tuk tuk? Sit tuunataan siihen sellanen über-magee katukeittiö ja ajetaan se tänne! Raha hoituu sillai, että kuvataan matkan varrella TV-sarja ja myydään se joka puolelle maailmaa!!!

Ja nyt ollaan tässä. Voisi olla fiksumpikin unelma, mutta tämä on meidän. Unelmat jäävät usein vain unelmiksi. Niitä ei oteta tosissaan koska uusi pelottaa. Ei luoteta siihen että omat unelmat ovat sen arvoisia. Tämä on meille arvokasta. Tällä tavalla me haluamme jakaa hyvää mieltä ympärillemme.

Pähkäilemisen jälkeen hypättiin kohti luottamusta ja tehtiin asialle jotain. Nostettiin perseet penkistä, mentiin kapakkaan, tilattiin oluset ja mietittiin miten kaksi persaukista sirkustaiteilijaa saa tuk tukin Suomeen.

Totta helvetissä tämä pelotti! Ihminen helposti väistää vastuuta pelätessään epäonnistumista. Epäonnistuminen on kuitenkin ensimmäinen askel onnistumiseen. Tämä ollaan molemmat opittu sirkuksesta. Epäonnistumisen pelko johtaa vastuun pakoiluun. Mutta kun ottaa vastuun omasta elämästään kannettavakseen, ei tarvitse kantaa enää mitään muuta. Kaikki on omissa käsissä. Luotamme siihen, että pärjäämme tilanteessa kuin tilanteessa, vastoinkäymiset hyödynnetään ja koko matka nautitaan siitä mitä koemme. Melkoinen vastuu, melkoinen vapaus.

Tämä oli ensimmäinen iso kasvun hetki tällä matkalla. Ymmärrys siitä, että jos meillä on tahtoa tehdä tämä juttu, löydämme kyllä keinot joilla saamme sen aikaiseksi. Ymmärsimme, ettei kukaan muu tuo sitä tuk tukia Suomeen. Unelmamme ja elämämme on omissa käsissämme.

Oolrait, ajetaan tuk tuk Suomeen ja kuvataan matkalta TV-sarja, simple as that. Kahdeksan kuukautta aikaa opetella kaikki opeteltava ja tehdä kaikki mitä on tehtävä. Paitsi että me ei tiedetty mitä meidän piti oppia ja tehdä.

Kirjoitettiin pari sähköpostia ideasta tuotantoyhtiöille. Ei saatu vastauksia, eikä ihme. Joten pistettiin oma tuotantoyhtiö pystyyn. Tuli toinen havahtuminen. Sovitiin ettei koskaan jäädä odottelemaan että jotain tapahtuisi, vaan aina keksitään keinot miten saadaan tuk tukia eteenpäin. Tämän seuraksena ollaan tehty kaikki mahdollinen itse ja opittu käsittämättömän paljon.

Seuraava askel oli rahoitus. Oli turhaa hakea pankista lainaa tai houkutella sponsoreita mukaan. Pyörittiin ympyrässä kuin puolukka. Sitten se iski. Valashai tärppäsi ja vinkkasi Juholle joukkorahoituksesta. Se tuntui samantien omalta jutulta. Sitä kautta saataisiin alkupääomaa, saatais näyttöä sponsoreille ja jakelijoille ja annettaisiin monille ihmisille mahdollisuus olla mukana. Ennen kaikkea se sai meidät tekemään.

Kolmas havahtuminen. Olemme saaneet valtavasti tukea ja apua tutuilta ja tuntemattomilta. Olemme oppineet ottamaan apua vastaan ja tuntuu, että olemme tekemässä oikeaa juttua oikeaan aikaan. Teemme yhdessä monen ystävän, tutun ja tuntemattoman kanssa. Tämä on iloksemme ollut inspiriaation lähde monelle, myös itsellemme.

Kuukausi lähtöön. Meillä on sponsoreita ja yhteistyökumppaneita. Meillä on jakelu 4 maahan (heti kun opitaan kirjoittamaan jakelusopimus) ja ollaan tehty hommia 8 kuukautta. Meillä on edelleen päät pilvissä, mutta ollaan kasvatettu jalat maahan. Olemme tehneet kaiken minkä voimme niin hyvin kuin osaamme. Tuk tuk keulii eteenpäin ja me roikumme mukana. Edessä on suuri tyhjyys. Olemme suunnitelleet ja valmistautuneet, mutta seikkailu on aina seikkailu. Tyhjyydessä kaikki on mahdollista.

Tervetuloa kyytiin,

TTPojat