Blogs from Kolkata, West Bengal, India, Asia - page 3

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Asia » India » West Bengal » Kolkata November 9th 2012

Having cracked across India at a bit of a lick I find myself in the middle of Kolkata. As noisy and chaotic as all the other towns and cities I've passed through in India and lacking much in the way of 'Western Tourist amenaties" The scale of the city is monumental so its impact on eyes and ears is proportionally scaled up. Not really my style for R'n R so will be flying out to Thailand tomorrow. Bike boxed. Flight booked. Cannot wait for somewhere more peaceful and hopefully to be taken at a much more leisurely pace. People sleeping and washing in the streets. Litter everywhere. Shabby buildings. Appalling plumbing and wiring. How is this consistent with India being the worlds' 4th? biggest economy? I admit to sounding like a traveller more given to package ... read more

Asia » India » West Bengal » Kolkata November 4th 2012

What I did in India when I wasnt volunteering - I made friends and explored the territory of Kolkata. Sept 19: As my plane neared Kolkata airport‘s runway, I felt thankful for the oppotunity to touch Indian ground. When we exited the plane I was smeared with a wave of hot, humid air. It looked like a very green land, but densely populated. Any area that wasnt touched by roads & concrete buildings was packed full of banana trees it seemed. I had to give a false address to get past immigration, and then took a taxi that charged me $20 for 45 minutes – 5x the true value of the ride, but busses were on strike. Great. I took a subway for the remainder of the ride to Rabindra Sadan Station, and it was a ... read more
India from far above
meet Sagar
Sonny & older brother

Asia » India » West Bengal » Kolkata November 4th 2012

I came to Kolkata, India to see its culture & volunteer in some of the most humble conditions I could think of – alongside the Sisters of Mother Teresa’s “Missionaries of Charity,'' taking care of the sick & dying. At the Motherhouse, where Mother Teresa’s tomb lies, I recieved my orientation package and met the new volunteers. Everybody just shows up at 3pm without reserving a spot or even contacting the sisters first. Volunteering would start on Friday. On mz first day, I showed up at the Motherhouse at 7:00am with a group of 60-80 volunteers. We had tea, sang & prayed, and left in groups to our specific locations. I chose “Nirmal Hriday'', the place where Mother Teresa herself started doing her work, where she founded her worldwide organization “Missionaries of Charity.'' I want to ... read more
Nirmal Hriday ambulance
Nrimal Hriday entrance
Walking with the volunteer group

Asia » India » West Bengal » Kolkata October 29th 2012

WEST BENGAL 29/10 to 04/11/12: Kolkatta - Calcutta We shared a Jeep at the Nepalese - Indian border with some Belgium guys which was a fun journey as we experience several breakdown of the jeep on the way making the 2 hour journey into 4 hours! After a 24 hour journey train from Gorahkpur to Kolkatta, we settle down in an old colonial style guest-house. We enjoyed Kolkatta as the hassle, the dust, the dirt and the noise is much prominent here and it seems to be more 'civilised' and bearable city than any other big city we have been to in India. Kolkatta is the 2nd largest Indian city and was the Capital of India during the British reign. Perhaps this explains the reason it seems more gentile and civilised...? The museum of India is ... read more
Poverty
local bus
our taxi driver on our way to the airport

Asia » India » West Bengal » Kolkata October 24th 2012

I kissed a snake and I liked it. I still doesn't quite seem real. I can't think about the trip as a whole thing yet, its just too much to comprehend. New Zealand to Singapore. Singapore to Kolkata. Thats as far as I can think at the moment. Singapore has been interesting. Amazig and challanging. Very cool, fun, and it feels like the play ground of the west. Asia Lite. The city is extraordinarily wealthy. And it feels like its lost part of its soul. Insane buildings, a whole island as an amusement park. BMW, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, Bently, Evo X, Porsche, Lamborgini. Al the cars speak of wealth and there are no bangers. The lights, the sounds, the mega-construction, it all feels like an attempt to hide something thats missing. With the help of ... read more

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Asia » India » West Bengal » Kolkata July 28th 2012

I should have come to Kolkata before I went to Bombay. I probably would have liked it more. I’m not saying that I don’t like it, for it has its own charms, but after the pulsating, multi-dimensional life of Bombay, I find it somewhat lackluster. Of course, Bombay is a tough act to follow, so it’s not Kolkata’s fault, per se. That being said, it does have a few particular nuisances that I’m taking some time adjusting to. First and foremost, I’ve lost my anonymity. I’m not just any old person walking down the street – I’m a tourist, whose only purpose in the city is to buy things and amuse the men. I can’t step out anywhere without attracting attentions, catcalls and sales pitches. Men follow me down the street to ask me where I’m ... read more
Hooghly River
Huge Lily Pads
Victoria Memorial

Asia » India » West Bengal » Kolkata July 18th 2012

As always, as the time for my departure from any particular place draws near, I give in to ruminations on the lessons an area and its people have taught me. India has been perhaps the wisest, most encouraging educator I’ve had yet. I’ve learned more about myself, and the workings of this crazy world, in the past five months than the previous 26 years put together. What’s more is that I’ve become aware that I’m learning lessons, even as they are being taught. Before, it was only in hindsight – from a safe emotional and physical distance – that I could look back and the see the inherent value in any particular situation; the reason why I met certain people or faced certain situations. The newfound ability to directly discern the merits of a given circumstance ... read more
YUMMY!
Family Photo
Birthdays Are Fun!

Asia » India » West Bengal » Kolkata June 18th 2012

I did wake up. It’s an other day. I’m so tired and my face so disintegrated. I wish I got an other one in my backpack. I wanted to wake up and feel only happiness and excitement like last year when I arrived to Kolkata. Instead I had fewer and runny nose. I was just sitting in that classroom, wondering what happened. A year is gone since I left India. Now I’m back but I don’t really feel it. What I only feel is the pain in my body. And incredible tiredness. So let me rest on that bench and let’s get back now to the January 2011. to Kolkata. My Lovely friend Beverley waiting at the gate of the airport.. air..port.. another continent. I saw it on the map. It was much smaller. It was ... read more
India 2011
India 2011

Asia » India » West Bengal » Kolkata June 18th 2012

We explored Kolkata via an air-conditioned car and a driver named Gautam. Gautuam guided us through many of the touristy spots of Kolkata including Mother Teresa's House, the Marble Palace, St. Johns church, St. Pauls cathedral and the mansion of Rabindranath Tagore . Tagore was a poet, writer, painter and Nobel Prize winner in 1913. At the time of visiting his masion we didn't really know who he was but he certainly featured in many of the places we visited on our India tour including the Taj Mahal. It was obviious that Kolkata was steeped in history and that there was plenty to see. The reality for us was that it was very humid and we were still very much adjusting to the chaos of Kolkata including the Driving! Diary Entry; " Driving through the streets ... read more
kolkata

Asia » India » West Bengal » Kolkata June 17th 2012

"The Park Hotel" was great accomodation for our first stay in India. The weather was very humid but we decided to brave the streets and go for an early morning walk in kolkata. Diary Entry': " We have walked around a few blocks and we have smelt more smells that you can imagine, and seen amazing sights. Stalls of laundrypeople, loads of cooking on the street. Nikki walks in front of me and the men look her up and down- the brave ones smile. dogs everywhere!" . One Mother with her baby in her arms holds her hand out to me and says "Chocolate Baby". It was a mind blowing introduction to India, and certainly a huge assault on the senses. We finally found a small park where we sat down to gather our thoughts , ... read more




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