We have paused for a couple of days in Kolkata to enjoy a bit of modern living. We've only been here two days but as usual every day brings a new adventure.
When we first arrived we went to the Lonely Planet recommended hotel and were disappointed to find out that it was filthy and full of cockroaches. Exhausted from yet another train journey we then had to traipse around for an hour to find a better room. We eventually found an acceptable room although this mysterious hot water is still eluding us.
In the evening we went to a club which was just like a real trendy club that you would find in London although the music was questionable at times. Starved from any real music for a month we were happy to dance to anything. I'm afraid we have even had a little dance to Aqua's Barbie Girl, and yes we are ashamed of ourselves. Unfortunately it was 90% men and we were soon exhausted from all the small talk. In the club we met a crazy Australian girl who was at least twice as mad as Lucy if you can imagine that. It's clear now to see how a year in Oz shaped Lucy's personality.
Once in Kolkata we realized that Lucy had not picked up an important piece of my stuff from the hostel in Bodhgaya, my knickers, which are probably still hanging on a washing line there! I therefore had to go shopping for some of the giant granny knickers that they wear here in India. It turns out that shopping for knickers in India is a lot different than in England. The underwear section is very small and tucked away in the furthest corner of the shop. In the first store I made the assistant quite cross by laughing at all the huge pants she showed me. In the second store we tried I managed to find some reasonable pairs and went to take them to the counter. The lady then informed me that I couldn't simply take them to the counter; instead I had to take a form showing the cost of the goods to the men on the till. Once paid I then had to return to the hidden away underwear section and collect my packaged up pants! Goodness knows what would have happened to those poor men if they had seen a pair of knickers! You'd think I was trying to buy something illegal.
Our plans of traveling to a national park near Kolkata have been scuppered by complicated transport issues and we have therefore changed plans and decided to head straight to South India. Faced with the concept of a 37hr train journey that will no doubt be delayed we have opted to fly to Bangalore. It's 10 times the price of the train and hopefully we won't fall out of the sky!
Hope to hear from you soon,