Secrets of Yoga

April 17, 2009

I am a real fan of Yoga. It helps me in various ways, but one of the many things I have been wondering about is how do they do the levitation?

Here is a short video of an Indian Yogi who shows you how he mastered this secret skill.

Enjoy every day,

Bert Verdonck
Lifehacker & Life Coach
Create, Connect & Contribute


June 21, 2008

BertoniaToday we are lauching a new website!

Yes, Tonia and I have created a new website about our passion for travel, photography and life!

It is called BERTONIA 🙂


Of course, it is full of pictures (check out the galleries!) and enjoy our extended galleries on Picasa as well! We’ve included pictures from Bali, Goa, Normandy, Zeeland and the Camino to Santiago.

Tonia wants to create more inspiring pictures and contribute to share her view on the world. By being a passionate photographer, you can already sense her ability to make you part of it. It feels sometimes like you are with her at that right moment the picture is taken. Excellent!

Now, dream away with BERTONIA and tell us your first impression…

Enjoy every day,
Loving Life

India Induction Course!

May 12, 2008

I would like to introduce you to a very interesting and exclusive event : the Induction Course by India Business Support

Doing business in or with India might seem a far-fetched idea at first, but once you have had the chance to gain some insights into the Indian manners and customs, and into how the Indian business community operates, you are bound to find out that the Indian connection might turn out to be your opportunity of a lifetime!

In a series of three Saturday morning sessions, Francis Laleman invites the participants to join him on a thrilling discovery journey through the Indian subcontinent. Each session is followed by an Indian lunch, during which the attendees have ample opportunity to connect to each other and to discuss with life-long India aficionados Michaela Broeckx, Francis Laleman and myself.

Session 1 : India, a Land of Many Faces
Session 2 : India, a Land of Cultural Diversity
Session 3 : India, a Land of Business Opportunities

Dates : 14th, 21st and 28th June 2008

Price : 600 €, excl. VAT.

Place : Bayt al-Andalus, Antwerp, Belgium

For more info, go to!

Enjoy every day,
Bert Verdonck
Network Creator

Spicy food?

December 3, 2007

In India there are two kinds of restaurants, veg and non-veg. Most Hindus are vegetarians or do not eat beef, just like the Sikhs. Muslims do not eat pork or drink alcohol. The state of Gujarat has even a complete alcohol-ban. 

Also be careful with spicy food. It is not because you are in the habit of eating spicy at home that you can deal with spicy Indian food! Most Europeans are not used to the diversity of spices and suffer from diarrhea also called a “Delhi belly”.

Washing your hands before eating is obligatory as well as eating with your right hand for meals without cutlery. In some cases it is a protocol to politely turn down the first offer of tea or coffee. They will ask you over and over again!

Try the local flavours and specialties! If you ask a chilled bottle of wine/beer/…, they present it to you, so you can read the label. Just touch that bottle with your right hand to feel if it is chilled enough…Also ask for a bottle of mineral water. In case the food is too spicy or you don’t like it enough, you can still enjoy your glass of water 😉 Contrary to popular belief, you’d better eat rice or nan (bread) to soften the strong (spicy?) taste, instead of drinking anything!

And if you decide to try something spicy, just take a small bite to begin with! Don’t say, I didn’t warn you 😉

Any great Indian recipes to share, anyone?

Enjoy every day,
Bert Verdonck

Network Creator

Negotiate, negotiate and negotiate again!

November 19, 2007

Most Indian business people are very friendly and open. That is because they want you to do business with them. You are valued by the amount of business you can bring them. They are also born negotiators. Everything must be negotiated! Even if you think you have a great price already, recalculate again and go over it again, even if it is only about a few euro cents (£ or $).

It is a national sport to bargain your price! On top of that, bear in mind that when they ask you if you are visiting India for the first time, they will double the price if you say “yes”, because you would not know the local prices anyway…

Enjoy every day,

Bert Verdonck

Network Creator

Doing business in India?

November 6, 2007

Doing business is India is intriguing. India is a land of extreme contrasts: rich & poor, sweet & spicy, clean & dirty, fast & slow, hot & cool, etc., but also a land of opportunities!  

If you (want to) do business in India, there are a few facts you need to know and I will be writing several articles on this topic. So stay tuned for more…

Greeting ceremony 

The traditional way of greeting in India is folding your handpalms facing each other, making a little bow and saying “Namasté”. It is best to start with the oldest person. Traditional women can not be talked to nor touched until their husband gives you permission. More modern entrepreneurs shake hands. Do not worry if they hold your hand a fraction too long, it is a mere sign of friendship, without any sexual connotation.  It might seem that the Indians are very curious, because they want to know everything about you at the first meeting. It is their method of establishing a relationship by asking you all sorts of personal questions. Once you are getting through the first phase, they will often invite you to their private life as well. You might be invited to a family party or even to a wedding after knowing someone just a couple of hours! 

Enjoy every day,

Bert Verdonck

Network Creator 

A big love story…

October 10, 2007

It’s a very traditional love story – just on a bigger scale than usual.

A tame female elephant has fled an Indian circus after eloping with a wild bull elephant that broke open a gate and led her off into the jungle, her distraught handler said today.

Read the full story here

Enjoy every day,
Bert Verdonck
Network Creator

How Mumbai got its name…

March 23, 2007

It looks like a sequel, but you probably wanted to know why I talked about Bombay and not about Mumbai…Well, I honestly did not know the ethymological background of Mumbai yet! At first I assumed that the name “Bombay” was a British corruption of the original “Mumbai”.

Mumbai, a cluster of seven islands, derives its name from Mumbadevi, the patron goddess of the Koli fisher folk, its oldest inhabitants.

So I was told wink

Ok, you want the names of the seven islands as well, right? Colaba, Mazagaon, Old Woman’s Island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel and Matunga-Sion.

The change (back) from Bombay to Mumbai was first proposed as far back as 1982 by the municipal government. However, it was not until 1995 that the change was actually made from Bombay to Mumbai. Of course, a lot of people still name the city Bombay, even Bombayites (or should we call them Mumbaites 😉 )

Enjoy every day,


How Bombay got its name…

March 10, 2007

Most of you probably know this already, but some don’t, so…

In 1534 AD, the Portuguese rulers took Bombay islands by force from the Muslim rulers. The Portuguese built forts at Sion, Bandra, Mahim and Bassien which are still standing. They named the city as “Bom Baia” which in Portuguese means “Good Bay”.

In 1662 AD the island of Mumbai was handed over to the English King Charles II as a dowry gift on his marriage to Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza.

Later, in 1668 these islands were acquired by the English East India Company on lease from the crown for an annual sum of 10 pounds in gold. This was because larger vessels and ships could easily dock, and found the islands of Bombay ideal for development and trade. The British changed the Portuguese name “Bom Baia” to “Bombay”.

Source : Mumbai Mirror

Enjoy every day,

Lost in translation?

March 9, 2007

Lost in translation?

Where do you go if you want to get somewhere in Mumbai? You just take a taxi or a riksha. It is a known fact that drivers have no clue where you are going at (ever seen 18 million people in 1 city?), but they just say “yes” anyway. A normal conversation goes like this (“mei Hindi bhasja siek ta hoon” = I am learning to speak Hindi): “Namasté, je address malum hai?” (do you know where this address is?) “Yes, Sir, Sahib, Sir!” “Je meter pe tchalno?” (go by the meter, yes the one instead of the mirror 😉 “Yes, Sir, Sahib, Sir!”

You feel comfortable, or at least you try to (we are too big for those small cars) and they take off on a death ride as my friend Bert B. is calling it? After a couple of blocks you feel that they are on the wrong way already, but how do you explain that (I should go to advanced Hindi lessons now!)?

Imagine 2 big European guys, cramped in the backseat of a taxi, explaining the way in a foreign city, in one or more “strange” languages. Add a generous mix of bikes, motorcycles, busses, trucks, cows (the only undamaged vehicles in this city) and some strange unidentified objects (used to be cars) on the road. On a 2 lane street we are with 6 cars next to each other (what is a pavement for?) all using their horns. Oops, was that a hole in the road? Damn, those taxiroofs are pretty hard! Oh, did I mention those hundreds of loose, wild humans crossing the street at the same time without looking?

Welcome in Mumbai! 😉

Anyway, we got back to the hotel safely.
Time to study some Hindi, we definitely need it!