Myles Harrington

Posts Tagged ‘Kolkata’

Chilling in Kolkata

In India on May 16, 2010 at 11:27 am

I was in Kolkata for three days last week doing as much sightseeing as physically possible in the heat. There’s a lot of interesting things to do and the one line metro is a great help for getting around. It’s so much nicer than Delhi. Less hasslers nagging you and pretending to be your friend and you can even walk from place to place because there are street signs! (If you can withstand the sweating)

Jealous? You shouldn't be

On Tuesday I went to The Indian Museum of Kolkata, an old-school museum that is kind of like a small version of London’s Natural History Museum. There are a few rooms of interest, I enjoyed the old coins and the deformed human embryo.

The pickled baby of Kolkata

After an hour there I went to the amazing Victoria Memorial (but not inside, it is far too expensive) which is the kind of building we should have more of in Britain. Then I just strolled around the Chowringhee area in general trying to get my battered Lonely Planet guide re-binded to no avail.

Vicki's Memorial in full bloom

Half of Wednesday was taken up in an Indian post office to my frustration. The Indian postal system is one of the most bureaucratic organisations I have ever known. I arrived with my parcel for the lucky birthday boys and girls and the rest of the rabble back in London, nicely wrapped with strong parcel tape and with a clear label with a white background. The Royal Mail would have thought I’d put far too much effort in. This wasn’t good enough for the red tape jobsworths at Mirza Ghalib St Post Office. I needed to get it all sewn up in cotton, photocopy my own postal form and then paste and sew that form on different sides of the parcel. When I came to pay after an hour and a half of pandering to their petty demands they said come back tomorrow. For it was 4.10pm and they stop dealing with parcels at 4pm. aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!

What a waste of time.

After that hassle I needed some tranquil time off so I headed to Mother Teresa’s house and illegally took some snaps of her possessions.

Mother's last passport

It was there that I met Ryan (an Australian) and Anya (from Belgium) they’d been travelling together for the last two days since they met on a plane and arrived in India. I told them about my plans to go and relax in the air con sanctuary of the Birla Plantarium. They joined in on the plot to cool down and afterwards we went for an amazing Bengali feast at Bhojohari Manna that place definitely deserves its reputation as one of the best eateries in town. Succulent fish, massive prawns the size of lobsters and well defined flavours in the veg dishes. The ice cream was also a winner with Anya getting two helpings.

This probably would have looked better if I hadn't attacked it first

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Notes From a 40 Hour Train Journey

In India on May 11, 2010 at 6:04 pm

It began at 8.50pm Saturday 8th May at Old Delhi Station and ended at 12.30pm 10th May at Kolkata, a journey of epic proportions. In that time I could have gone from London to New York and back two and a half times or got the train from London to Manchester and back ten times. I even learnt to drive and passed my test in less time. It was an agonisingly slow train and if the staff at Bikaner station had been more helpful, I say more, I mean just helpful, then I could have got here in less than half the time.

The ticket so beautifully displayed on the red leather AC section seat

Some highlights of the trip include:

  • Seeing a text message from Osama Bin Laden from the Muslim guy who was sat next to me on and off along the way (I thought he was probably dead too)

Considering he's so good with technology Bin Laden needs to learn how to spell. It's F R I E N D

  • Meeting my fellow compartment travellers, Sheshank (Monu) Shubham. A man who was called Uncle, i’m not sure if that was his real name or a term of endearment made up by Monu and two quite girls who before they left warned me of the Muslim whose name is Raul and “Not to accept anything he gives you”, they didn’t realise it was too late and i’d already had a double rum and water from him.
  • Eating the fattest banana i’ve ever eaten
  • Having a poo and seeing it drop onto the tracks

Monu, Raul and the two quiet girls

Uncle Kracker

They looked fatter in real life. Don't worry I didn't take a poo pic, I was tempted though

My dear friend Monu now keeps sending me motivational text messages including one last night at 23:17 which said “Gudnyte. mising u myles so much : -) tkcare.”, before that it was “Life is very short. So break silly rules, forgive quickly, believe slowly, love truly, laugh loudly & never avoid anything that makes you smile” and his first, which i think might be his best was “Gudmorning miles, i m in my home. Its feel gud. Have a sweet day 4 u. Bye.”

I bought a new SIM today.