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  • chrisvollan

The in-between

Guys hangin’ out in the in-between

In the last 13 days, I’ve driven through dozens of small villages, medium sized towns and the larger centres.  The “in-between” is no great revelation to any urbanists, and it seems to be where everything happens, especially in the villages.

Its the area between the edge of the road, and the store fronts and its caught my attention (revelation of sorts)  because its the inside-out of what I’m used to, in North America and where we live our lives inside our buildings and our homes.  Here, we live in the in-between.


  1. its almost always just dirt, never paved or pavers, except in the larger cities

  2. its rough/uneven

  3. all the animals hang out here (cows, camels, pigs, monkeys on occasion)

  4. all the people hang out here, always groups of men sitting chatting, or just sitting. Always women carrying something, somewhere, most often on their heads, often with kids in tow

  5. communal wash showers (for men at least)

  6. communal barber boxes.  Literally a five sided, elevated box, with a chair, open to the street where one gets a shave

  7. all the food and goods carts.  Guava next to marigolds next to desserts, buns, food, and steel studs…(?)

  8. the store fronts are open, almost always about 10′ wide (I feel awkward walking up to measure one, but its consistent) and mostly one storey high, sometimes two, max three, but the action happens in front of the store, in the in-between.

  9. There is a string of food, men sitting, and stuff, then a pile of garbage (pigs and cows seem to love these).  India definitely has a plastics problem (which is I guess why every bag I’ve been given appears to be compostable, which is damn cool).  Then there is a pile of brick, nicely organized for new construction , or just a pile of rubble that may have been there 5 or 50 years.

  10. sidebar:  I have a hard time telling sometimes if a building is being constructed, or de-constructed.

Maybe, its just the “sidewalk” and, after seeing similar setups in countries around the world, I’m just cluing in and actually “seeing” whats going on.

cows, fruit and nick nacks in the in-between

tuk tuks and fruit (amazing fruit!) in the in-between

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