First, let me just say how proud I am to be writing a post for the second day in a row! …Honestly, I wouldn’t get used to it 🙂
Well, we are now in India! It still seems strange to say that we are finally here. Despite all the photos and videos and stories I’ve seen and heard about India, being here is an entirely different thing. It is the most intense place I have ever been.
Jesse and I flew into Kolkata/Calcutta, India on September 3. We figured it would be an easy day since it was only a 3 hour flight from Bangkok. We got into a taxi and spent one FULL hour driving through the craziest traffic in existence! Indians use their car horns in a completely different manner than Thais. Thai people politely and quickly beep their horns to let people know they’re passing them; Indians just lay down on their horns, even when no one is directly in their way! I figured it’s simply a way for drivers to let other people know of their presence. Not only cars have horns, but motorbikes, tuk-tuks, rickshaws, and bicycles as well. It’s a loud habit.
Our first impressions of Kolkata? Dirty. Crowded. Not many other tourists (at all). Loud. And did I mention dirty? It was overwhelming, to say the least!
I spent my birthday in Kolkata, and it is definitely one that I will not soon forget. After grabbing some breakfast, Jesse and I walked through the city to Motherhouse. Motherhouse is the place where Mother Teresa lived while servicing humanity in Kolkata. Her large, marble tomb is there, as well a humble museum dedicated to her life. It was a peaceful place to visit, and something I never expected to see! After visiting Motherhouse, Jesse took me out for a glamorous dinner at a place called Mocambo. We wined and dined like we hadn’t done in a very long time!
Well after spending three days in Kolkata, Jesse and I hopped a train to Varanasi. The trains in India are wonderful, and since we bought a ticket for the air conditioned sleeper cars, it was a comfortable and relatively painless 10 hour journey. I have to be honest, I am very happy to have left Kolkata! I am grateful we had a chance to experience the city, but I don’t think I ever want to go back there 🙂