Category Archives: India

Kolkata. Day 4

Like I mentioned before, I stayed at a beautiful house with a very hospitable family.

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They even had they own little temple and every mornings the mother would make a pray, and for the evening pray the priest would come over.

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On the way to one of the palaces we had a typical Kolkata snack — jhaal muri, which looks like puffed rice with some spices, but in fact has about 20 ingredients. I like Indian cuisine ūüôā

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The Marble Palace was recommended by many, so I went to check it out with some members of the family I stayed with. It is free to visit it, but one should first get a permission from Indian tourism agency. If you want to avoid the hassle, you can just give some cash to the guys by the entrance (you will need to tip them at the end of your visit anyways).

There is not much special inside if you have been to other palaces/museums. The difference is that all the treasures they have are kept in the non-ac conditions which makes everything alter faster.

And again, no pictures were allowed, but I hate this rule.

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The family I stayed with is supporting a school for slum kids. After the classes of the main school the slum kinds come in and have their own. They are provided with the uniform and everything else needed. It is a private school, but for the slum kids it is of course free. I was invited to visit the school and it was a very intresting experience.

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The school is huge. This is just one side. In total there are about 8000 pupils (if I remember it correctly).

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Every day children have a different routine. I didn’t understand if the performance we saw was specially for us or it was a regular thing, but it was impressive.

Firstly, there are many kind and some af them are as young as 4 years old. In the beginning they did some playing, after sang a national anthem and some other song and afterwards they did some yoga! 4 year old kids! Yoga!

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In the school we had a snack and walked around a bit

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The schedule of one of the classes (not for slum kids, they have a different program)

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On the way to the airport I managed to take a picture of what you can spot on many streets in Kolkata — people¬†bathing¬†on the streets.

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The¬†airport building is quite new, but a bit deserted. You can see planes’ houses though!

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Oh India, so full of contrasts and tastes!

Kolkata. Day 3

This day I started with a walking tour. Welcome to the holy river and a long hanging bridge. Once you get on it you can actually feel how it is going up and down.

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Right next to the bridge is the flower market. Flowers are used daily for religious purposes and therefore people buy them by weight.

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There is a train station on the other side of the river and many people from around Kolkata are coming to the city every morning to bring their goods for sell.

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Overall, Kolkata still has many beautiful old buildings. For example, this is one of a few synagoges.

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Dinner was at a very nice restaurant called Yauatcha and it was sooo tasty and surprisingly affordable (for a Michelin star restaurant as it claims to be)

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Kolkata. Day 2

Second day in Kolkata started with some cookies (after great breakfast ;)). Unfortunately, as it usually¬†happens to me in this part¬†of the world (so far), sweets look great but don’t really taste like it…

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Need a job? There are quite a few in Saudi Arabia

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Indian children are running to school

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Goats in India and veeeery big. And like hanging out in the middle of the streets as well

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The main tourist attraction of that day was the Mother’s House, meaning the Mother Teresa’s house. Not much there, just many people (mostly white) feeling extatic around her grave.

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Like many white people.

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A lot.

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Wondering around is usually the best part, so he is that  Canadian guy in the middle of Kolkata

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Hand-pulled rickshaws are still working in Kolkata, and it is just so weird.

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Need to get your nails done? Anybody?

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London’s tower bridge on a rickshaw? Easy

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Buddy

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That was surprising

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Just a funny restaurant sign

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On one of the main streets I saw McDonalds. Only got to take this picture and was told that I am not allowed to take any pictures of the counter. What is this no-pictures-desease in India?

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After that I took a metro to one of the temples. Again no pictures as you can imagine (stupid!!), but here is a token ūüôā

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Kolkata. Day 1

Kolkata is the closest place to fly from Dhaka outside from Bangladesh. Even so there aren’t many people who do it, because most of the anglos need to apply for Indian visa. Recently India introduced e-visas for many countries (including Russia, woo-hoo!), which makes the life much easier. I got mine in less than 24 hours, maybe because it is low season or maybe they are just so efficient.

Initially I was planning to go with a friend of mine. We went to Malaysia together, but she decided to extend her stay for a couple of days at first, but in the end she ended up quitting her job in Dhaka and stayed on the islands to become a diving instructor.

India doesn’t have a very good image in terms of women’s safety and therefore I was a bit uncertain in the beginning whether it¬†was a good idea to go on my own. In the end I decided to give it a go, expecially considering that my host (through Airbnb) seemed very nice.

First and foremost I should mentioned that the house I stayed at was absolutely gorgeous. It was like in the Indian fairy tail. You can check out the place of the Airbnb’s website and I would definitely recommend it to anybody going to Kolkata.

Interesting things started happening right on the flight to Kolkata. On the of the pieces of paper that I needed to fill out (who knows for what purpose!) it stated clearly that “Maps and litretature where Indian external borders have been shown incorrectly” are prohibited to be imported. I wonder how they deal with historical documents.

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Walking towards Victoria Memorial, Kolkata’s main tourist attractions, I found some other interesting things around

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Here is the Memorial. You would think that it was named after my mother, but no, apparently, it’s after the British Queen pfffff…

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Many beautifully dressed up people taking pictures

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India has the same disease that Russia used to have (and suffers still in some parts), that it is prohibited to take pictures everywhere basically. Luckily for me, I didn’t notice the sign and made a few shots.

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There is a pretty good museum inside about Kolkata’s history with everything written in English, so it was very interesting. But I also liked these embroidered elephants.

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Outside there are renovating it and the guys in orange jackets climbing a white building look pretty cool

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Surprisingly to me, there were many animals in Kolkata. See the squirrel on the tree and a bird just hanging out?

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The entrance to the park and museum for foreigners is 200 rupees and for the locals the entrance to the park is 10 rupees. Right. So many couples come here to chill and some of them even hide under umbrellas! On the picture below there is a couple on every bench!

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Just pretty

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There is also an evening show in the park with light and music, but they have a break in the non-touristy season, so I didn’t get to see it. But music still plays in the part even during the day, which is pretty nice, and here is a hidden loudspeaker.

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Like I said — many animals (and birds)

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Final view

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Outside of the memorial there were dogs, beggars, taxis and an enormous miliraty vehicle

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I took one of these yellow taxis, it is pretty used inside, but the driver had some little statues and decorations

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Monument to Indira Gandhi (took a picture for you, mom!)

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Shopping in India is definitely less of a challenge that in Bangladesh, no surprise Bangladeshis like everything Indian. For example, you can get a saree with busses!

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None of the locals would believe me that I saw cows on one of the main streets, but here they are!

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There are many temples right on the streets and in the morning and in the evening the priests are going from one to another and pray. This is a random temple right around the corner where I lived

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I mentioned already that my hosts were super cool and for dinner they took me out to the Calcutta Swimmin Club. It was build in the 19th century and was used by the British only (of course) until the independence. To become a member one should pay 20 000 euros (right, 20 thousand euros!!!), and then you can use the swimming pool and eat cheaply there for the rest of your live. And the family gets access to it as well.

Parking for the president and past presidents. Pff..

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The food was very good and very affordable. The funny thing was the bill. See this looong sheet? Well, this is our bill for about 8 items.

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This was the day #1 in Kolkata

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