Monday, 18 August 2008

there are holes and it's black but only at night

I hate flying!

Why you ask…well the reason is that somehow due to all the various wars on terror you ain’t even allowed to have a lighter in the bag that’s going into the hold, or matches come to that! Come on!!!! The 1st thing a smoker wants to do is a have a fag outside the exit of the airport they’ve just flown into. (and they don’t sell matches at the airport either) …and another thing, as my bag was 5kg over their weight limit they were going to charge me an excess baggage fee. When I pointed out that the plane was flying with about a 10% capacity level followed by a “look” they relented.

Anyway, in Kolkata the taxi driver smoked so I was able to borrow his matches for my nicotine fix. After spending 3 weeks in the Andaman Islands coming back to the mainland was a slight shock. Kolkata is busy, dirty, polluted, congested, smelly and crowded. So pretty much like the rest of India I thought to myself as I arrived outside my hotel. For the 1st time in three months I have an A/C room. It’s expensive at R940 a night but the mattress is firm, the TV has cable and the a/c unit goes all the way down to 16oc.
During the night I woke up feeling cold and I had to decide to either:

• Get the blanket on the bed
• Turn the a/c off

Send your answers on a postcard to….

The hotel is located just off Sudder Street, which is the main gringo hangout in Kolkata. It’s near the museums, the maiden, shops and the nearest bar is only 58.5 metres from my bed. On a sadder note, after my early afternoon siesta I felt the need for some sustenance. Twelve minutes later I was walking into K.F.C with a fixation on a zinger burger meal.

Finally after almost 15 months of near continuous use my Merrel trainers are nearing the end. This is a great shame because they are a bloody great pair of shoes. So after much walking around the shops I am now the proud owner of a pair of Woodlands. No I haven’t heard of them of either but they look and feel well made and at R2450 they should do.

During my stay in the city there was another all day strike. I love them because during the day you can walk around the town without worrying too much about traffic. You don’t get hassled every minute by shop owners, hawkers, drug dealers, pimps or even beggars. On the downside all the attractions are shut as well! I even got interviewed by a journalist from the local Telegraph newspaper who was doing a story about how the strike was affecting tourists. Sadly I didn’t appear in print the following day.

On Thursday morning (ie today) I picked up my train tickets from the travel agent and was pissed off straight away. The train leaves tomorrow at 20:30 which isn’t in the morning like what I asked for. As check out is midday I hope the train station is interesting. (On the upside I’ll be able to stay up late and watch the England match!)

I’m not a big fan of night time train travel because:

• It’s dark outside and you can’t see the scenery
• When you fall asleep someone might nick all your stuff

but I am looking forward to my next destination because it is a place I have wanted to visit since I was 15 years old. The reason for going there is all because of a tree……...

End note:

My blog of India is now a featured one on this website. Now this means that either my writing style is entertaining and well written or there’s not much quality…I’ll let you choose.

Checking out of my nice A/C room at midday left me with 8.5 hours to fill before the train left the station. I was able to leave my bag at the hotel whilst I wasted time.

I just wanted to chill out with a little peace and quiet. However in a city of a million souls and 13 million other people it was proving kind of hard. The best place to do that wasn’t outside the “new market”. I did however get a lesson in “kids grow up to fast these days”. I was chatting to a local man in his mid twenties when this young girl of about 8 or 9 years of age came up and stood in front of me. After a few minutes she leaned in towards me and whispered

“He is a bad man, all he wants to do is take you home and f**k you up the arse”

She then warned me to be careful!

And another thing it really wasn’t worth staying up for the football!

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