Last week was the Eid Festival, celebrating the end of Ramadan. During that time everything closes in the city and most families go back to their villages. I was told the city litteraly shuts down and was advised to go abroad.
So I flew to Kolkata… and it was WONDERFUL !
Here are some of my random thoughts:
“I’m waiting outside the airport in Kolkata. The flight from Dhaka is very fast. Immigration was quick too. The airport seemed so modern and big and clean.
The smell is a mix of dust and humidity. I’m so excited to be in India!”
The next steps didn’t go as smoothly.. my credit card didn’t work at the ATM so I had to get some cash at a money exchange desk and got ripped off completely.
Then I walked out, carefully looking for my name amongst the drivers at the arrival gate. No “Chelsea” to be seen. I had purposely booked a hotel that had a pick up service since I was arriving late and didn’t want to have to worry about transportation.
After walking back and forth to the different gates.. still no sign.
“This is frustrating. I’ve been waiting over an hour. I really don’t want to spend the night out here at the airport. The driver is stuck in trafic… whatever… I feel OK, I’m not scared but I only have a day here and I want to get to bed so I can rest and enjoy tomorrow! Urghhh“
The car finally showed up!
“- Billboards! I haven’t seen any advertising in Bangladesh. What a difference.
– Same crazy honking habits though… that doesn’t change.
– So many people laying on the sidewalks… it seems like the whole city is sleeping outside :(”
Breakfast was brought to my room the next morning. This was is: my day in Kolkata had started 🙂 I looked up a few interest points to navigate towards… took a deep breath, grabbed my scarf.. and out I went.
I instantly felt good.
The streets were lively, there were food stalls all over. Men bathing in the fontains, colors, people, music … the city was alive.
I just walked along the street, smiling at people, enjoying the smell of incense and food being prepared ..
The type of food was similar to what I see in Bangladesh, the people dressed the same way but there is definitely more connection. People look at each other, and smile! I had missed that.
I spent the whole day walking around the city, hopping on buses, taking the metro, the tuktuk… and it all went perfectly.
I can’t wait to tell you more about India but I’m out of time, so I’ll write later… 🙂