Monday, 27 July 2015

Day 1 Kolkata

Travelling on Singapore Airlines Anique and I travelled to Singapore with a 3 ½ hour layover then onto Kolkata where we were collected by a private car to arrive at our hotel The Corporate Royd Street Kolkata for our 5 day stay in Kolkata

Last views of Sydney as we leave Australia
As we arrived at our room about 12.30pm Anique had a quiet morning and I walked through the streets and found the Victoria Square park. It was 28o  at 12pm last night and this morning is definitely warmer and so humid as it is monsoon season which means it rains every day and makes it so humid.

There are 19 million people living in Kolkata so it is very busy every where and there are no Caucasian people to be seen anywhere and the local people stare very obviously at you being white.

In Kolkata everything is very old fashioned when we checked into the hotel I signed a enormous ledger as in days of old, the transport system is still so old with old trams, old taxi’s, old fire engines, even men who still pull rickshaws.


The streets are very similar to those in Cambodia and Vietnam with no spare space unused, needing to be careful where you walk with holes an uneven ground, muck from the stalls, dog waste etc, with people’s market stalls selling food, clothes etc. However in Siagon there was still a more central business district which had more modern shops and buildings etc where here in Kolkata even in the centre of the city this more European freshness does not exist.

In all things are so different from home, for me it is the fact that there just simply are not any other Caucasians that I find the most difficult to cope with and the fact that the people do not try and find the fact that they are looking at you. I have never been a person who likes to be the centre of attention and here I am nothing else, which makes me live in a state of alertness that a holiday does not usually have being one of pleasure, however the experience I know has proved to me that I simply can do anything on my own and I do not need to reply on others.

After lunch in the hotel Anique and I went to the New Market which is close to the hotel to do some shopping, everything much be negotiated not only the price but even permission for what is shown to you, you must ask for what you are interested in and even if that store does not sell the items they go to the surrounding store to get it and bring it to you for viewing. They must then get a cut of the price for selling the item for the other shop, so there is a lot of pressure to get you as the client and not let go, even when you leave the shop the owner carried our parcels and went to the other shops with us for this same reason of obtaining a cut of the sales.

Anique was able to purchase many colours of fabric and then take these to the tailor for fitted making up of the items. I myself also purchased one lot of fabric and had an outfit of pants and dress with decorative scarf made up.

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