Yes! The place day by day looks more like a library café. Walls are painted, doors are finished, lightning is still going on, toilet is a proper toilet (clean, absolutely clean), tables are finished too, chairs have been polished, and now we are receiving the rest of the ítems drop by drop.
It is surprising how the world works in India, and what it shocked me the most was the concept of “professionality”. All these weeks I was wondering how could be possible that everyday different workers were coming to he coffe shop to do their work. How could be possible that the responsable of the construction would not take responsability of the damage produced by the workers, and allow workers not to take care of the work already done by others and spoil it. Amin is coming almost everyday at home complaining about the disaster done in the café. I kept continuing asking myself: how can be possible that they don’t care about keeping the well done job as it is and taking care of it, because if they destroy it they will have to build it again… what sense is that?
Then one day I went to the coffe shop, – you may wonder why I am not there everyday… I cannot go so often because then I am seen as an invester and the price increases automatically. I have been called as russian and had bad eyes looking at me, so as you can guess, it is not really comfortable and usefull to be there. Instead of helping, I am producing problems (it is frustrating, yes)-. So as I was saying, I went to the coffe shop and I saw how the workers were working. It seemed like I was living a moment fifty years ago. All the work was done by hands, using basic tools and having no machines at all. It was the day that the suction kitchen system was installed. The workers came with two big aluminium plates, and from there, they started cutting and biting with the hammer. After some hours the hood over the “chimeney” that collects the smoke and fumes was done. No machines, and even no meters were use to build it. The result was beautiful, but the problem came with the suction pipes.
They were supposed to be done the following day, but unfortunately we could not be there because we had to go to town to buy the lights (we took seven hours to buy them, there were to many options, and to much “false” prices because of my presence…). When we came back to the café, the pipes were done, but the ceiling was completly destroyed. They fixed the pipes without caring of where and how to drill the holes, so there were no straight lines at all, more than one failed whole in the ceiling, and some tiles broken… a completly disaster!. When the worker saw us, he was waiting for us with a big smile and very proud of the job he had done.
We asked about all the blunders and then he just smiled and said that the job was ok and looking nice. Obviously, Amin made him come back to repair it the following day, and this means extra job, and extra expenses. The supervisor said it was not his responsability, “what to do”. I was almost blowing up, trying to understand what was happening, why they were working without using their common sense. The same process happened in many more aspects. The last one was when, after having all the walls painted, the workers started cleaning the floor. They did not clean anything since they started the job, so it was so difficult to remove all the dust and mud. Then, they throw an acid and the result of that was the following: white shinny spots appeared on the walls, breaking with the uniformed white given by the recent paint. Again the answer was “ what to do”.
Just few days ago I came up with the reason why they are working in this way. First af all the supervisor does not have permanent workers. In India things does not work like in Europe. Supervisors go to an specific place where many people gather to offer their job, so there, supervisors ask for people with the profile needed, explain them what they have to do, and at the end of the give the salary. Workers cannot have a global understanding about what work is going on in the café, the purpouse of the project, and how hard it has been to reach the point where we are standing right now. They just think we are people who is investing money, even if you explain the project. They don’t care AT ALL. Moreover, the supervisor is not there during all the working hours, so many of the workers loose their time on their phones (that’s why Amin tries to be there always).
The second reason is that everybody put themselves the tag of “ I am a professional” very easily. Here, professional means: I know how to do a specific thing, but the accuracy of how I do it is not important at all, neither the responsability and the respect of the place I am working in. Then, anyone can come, do their work, no matter if they are destroying other things or if that work looks ugly. If it their item works, then they can say they are professionals on that.
This project is a big challenge in all the senses, the most difficult one is to deal with the indian working style. Everyday a blunder appears to the café and then we have more job on finding the solution. Eventhough that, we can proudly say that the library café is looking day by day more beautiful, and we can start feeling how it breaths. We are waiting unpatienly for seing the place alive, specially now that we are so close to make it real.
Thank you again and again for all the support towards the project following us, comenting us, cheering up us, etc. I want to thanks too to all the people who has recently joined to teaming, in one month the number of supporters has increased from 60 to 140, we doubled the number!!! Please, keep on supporting us, we still need a lot of help. If you could share the teaming link to all your friends and convince them to join, it would be great! We would like to reach 900 people so then the monthly rent would be covered.
Thanks to all of you for reading the blog. I am very glad for having readers who follow my adventure and the dream that is part of me and fulfills me day by day.