Rickshaw? -- No Thanks. --Hashish?

July 7, 2008

Finally back in India, and I expect this may be my last posting from abroad on this trip. Tomorrow evening I fly out of here and I’m feeling more like wanting to leave than wanting to stay now. The break in Dhaka at a sort of home away from home is making me want to head back. Although then again I won’t actually be ‘home’ for a while, as there’s a couple more weeks of traveling in the US before I get back.
Calcutta is providing a nice stop, even while giving me a few end of trip problems. My sandals are giving out, and the extensive walking is leaving the skin raw in a couple spots. Last night I became so upset at a taxi driver first making me wait, then trying to charge me triple the fare (on top of there being no prepaid stand at the brand-new station) that I slammed my suitcase out of the taxi and broke off a piece of it. Also of minor annoyance – pretty much all the museums and attractions in Calcutta are closed on Mondays, so I walked around a lot but didn’t get to see much.
One bright spot was breakfast at Flury’s, a classic Park Street cafe that goes back five generations (and was frequented by my friend Nabil’s father many years ago, so I’m told). I had the “All-Day Breakfast”, the first English breakfast I’ve had in almost three months, and it was incredibly good. With background music ranging from techno to doo-wop on the speakers, and a window on a busy intersection crammed with another classic Calcutta institution, the Ambassador cabs.
I have more to write on the whole experience, and a few details to fill in, but this is the last time for a while I’ll be paying for my internet access by the Rupee. (And I’ll miss it, too – $0.25 an hour is hard to beat.)