I have heard from several international friends who are in various businesses that they don't actually deal with India – because it is simply too difficult! People don't keep their words, lie and don't work properly if you are not closely supervising the. Living in India ourselves, we have made our own experiences of the same – and just recently another one!
You may remember that I told you of difficulties we had with the bamboo contractor and workers. While this problem was solved when we found good craftsmen and decided to work directly with them, without a contractor, we still had another issue: we needed more material to work with!
We had already bought a big truck full of bamboo and that was enough for the beginning for the workers to work with. It would probably even be enough for the ground floor, we thought – but we knew we needed more bamboo and also bamboo ply boards in order to finish the outside portion and upstairs as well.
So we got in touch with a company in the East of India which manufactures those bamboo ply boards. I had a nice talk and on a business trip, the manager of the company even came by in Vrindavan, had a look at our needs and calculated together with us how many boards we would need. When I showed him our bamboo poles and asked whether he knew a place close-by his factory where we could buy treated bamboo, he got the idea that he, himself wanted to get into the business of bamboo treatment with his factory.
It was great: they were going to install a treatment plant and we would be able to the bamboo directly from them, treated and transported directly to our Ashram! The manager told he would reach back there and then buy the plant, install it and tell me exactly what the cost of the bamboo would be. That was in October.
Oh well, and then we entered the realm of Indian excuses for delay. These excuses range from the manager falling ill himself, a relative having an accident to a wedding in his family and finally the death of a close family member!
At some point he said they finally bought the treatment plant, from Germany I was talking to him on phone, asking for a cost estimate but it was not installed yet! Each time we talked, I was told that it would all be ready in just one week. Just one week more!
In the end, the manager said he would personally go to the location where the treatment plant was situated and I told him I would join him there. After Ramona and I had booked our flights for day after tomorrow, after the manager had himself reached there, together with the owner of the company, we yesterday received a call:
‘I am sorry but we decided not to install the treatment plant here!’
They could have said the exact same thing in October or November already! I just don’t understand why they wasted my time and energy! Now I can definitely believe my friends that it is no fun to deal with such people and on top of that from abroad! No, thank you, I will buy my bamboo somewhere else.