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Arrival in Kolkata

INDIA | Sunday, 29 September 2013 | Views [430] | Comments [1]

Arriving in Kolkata at around 1am in the morning wasn't as daunting as I had expected.  I had met up with Ray on the plane; an Australian planning a cycle trip of northern India.  After waiting for quite some time for our bags we went outside to the police box to register for a metered taxi.  A group of local drivers were hanging around their cars and although I couldn't understand them their manner was a little mocking towards us.  It was all harmless and infact they reminded me of nothing more than a group of teenage boys.  Eventually one agreed to take us and we arranged a trip in one of the ubiquitous Kolkata Ambassador yellow cabs that have wind down windows, no seatbelts and look about 50 years old in design.  I really liked them. 

The trip was about 30 minutes on bumpy uneven roads, dimly lit with inadequate or no street-lighting.  Outside many slept on the streets under makeshift shelters, on top of their cars, even on top of old buses.  There were also men carting stuff around by rickshaw like horses and others with massive bicycle loads.  With sweat dripping off them, they were a picture of determination.

It was a pretty intense first glimpse of Kolkata and when the driver picked up a man by the roadside saying he didn't know where the street was I knew something was coming.  The friend naturally led him to the right street (just around the corner) then when we got out they both asked for tips.  It was not unexpected.  We declined, paid the agreed fare and parted ways.  It was good to get inside the hotel and it left me apprehensive as to what India had in store for me the following morning.

Tags: airport, india, kolkata, taxi




We're so impressed by your attitude and approach to life as you trip around the world. Stay safe and may your hopes be realized at least in part.
Some sad news is that Rachel's marriage is on the brink of breaking up in the next weeks. So hard times for everyone there. We are about to support however we can. Cheers.

  Unc Martin Oct 11, 2013 8:29 AM

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