Jet Airways from Kolkata to Delhi (India Blog 28)
What did I enjoy in Calcutta (Kolkata)? I cannot say that I enjoyed the people very much because I was not around the type that one could actually make friends with. I enjoyed the beer. That was delicious after hard pounding the streets with my cameras for several hours.
I enjoyed seeing the Howrah Bridge and walking across it and back.
I enjoyed taking pictures and using my Leica M6 and old Minolta SRT 101.
I enjoyed walking, even with all the obstacles.
I enjoyed seeing and riding in those old Hindustan Ambassador taxis, like something out of the 1950s. Those old, quite solid, cars are fun.
I enjoyed the food generally, not eating meat, I think, hardly at all. The taste and spices in Calcutta are somewhat different than in the north.
I enjoyed seeing some of the historical record of the British in India here, like St. John’s Church, and of course South Park Street Cemetery.
At 5:07 in the morning the first call to prayer is going down from a mosque.
I enjoyed the visit to the Victoria Memorial and the people there were not harassing one for money. They were just friendly and wanted to make their pictures with you. That was nice, and I felt friendly toward them. I enjoyed taking photographs there.
In Delhi, I enjoyed seeing more of the old areas that I had seem before, like Pahar Ganj and Chandni Chowk.
I enjoyed seeing the old places in Connaught Circus like that old Kwality Restaurant and the old corner where the old Bobby’s was.
I enjoyed seeing the Red Fort again and getting some pictures of it from different angles.
And, I generally enjoyed the flights, except for having a hurting butt and the pushy crowds and sometimes rude people.
So I have to say that there have been many things in the trip that I have enjoyed.
I was happy that the telephone connections to Turkey worked quite well so it was easy to communicate.
6:20 Got a Shower, Shave, Shit.
I will get out of here before long.
I have to be organized, organisized. Get my organs sized. That makes travel a lot easier for sure, and helps make it go smoother.
I will be getting out about 6:45.
2:50 Afternoon. New Delhi. The plane was late. And then the traffic in Delhi was terrible all the way to Connaught Place.
I will rest up a little and go eat. I will use up the rest of my film tomorrow. I am happy to be out of Cal and back in Delhi.
I got out of the hotel in Calcutta a little before seven o’clock. Ali got a taxi for me to the airport. A young driver brought me to the airport. It was a more modern car than those old Hindustan Ambassadors.
On the way, I saw some things that I had not seen before. Man! It would take a long time to see all the interesting sights in Calcutta. There were some interesting things that I wish I had known about earlier. I wish I had seen these areas.
First was the chicken market that we came through. Hundreds of chickens in coops and being made into meat. A little farther up on the same street, it became the fish market. I could not see much of it, but they had the fish laid out in the ground on a cloth of some kind. There was no ice or anything like that. A little farther were the coconuts market. There were piles of them all down the street. I think it was a sort of wholesale place for them.
I wish that I had seen these places earlier as they were great for photography. I missed these markets totally!
After a lot of dodging traffic, we finally came to the airport. It is farther than I remembered when I landed here. And the driver took a totally different route.
I had to go through the airport security again. They make me take off my shoes every time. That makes me think that the shoes I am wearing are very good shoes. Perhaps they have some metal in them. But I need them for pounding the streets.
The flight to Delhi was okay, but it was crowded. The airline was putting some pressure on passengers to upgrade to business class. They wanted 100 US dollars for it. It is not very small money. They said it was an eighty percent discount. I don’t believe that. I would probably feel too much like a bourgeois babu sitting up there with all the lemons. So I thought that it was not worth it. I saved my one hundred dollars. But they made me pay for it in a way.
The seats are quite small. This young dunce of a guy came next to me. I had the window seat on the starboard side of the plane. I was just three rows back from business class.
It was the second time that I got a crude asshole like that next to me on Jet Airways. I couldn’t get lucky enough to have a decent person in the next seat.
I am not asking for a pretty girl, just a decent person. Should not be too much to ask for.
After we took off, this guy went to sleep and started snoring quite loudly. And this made it more crowded, since he would not take off his jacket. The guy snored. Slept and snored loudly. What a bore!
Then the food came and we got a snack. And some chai. That was good. But this guy kept snoring.
After the food was finished, this guy woke up and opened up his own food from a bag that he brought on board. It was smelling to high heaven. It was a sort of egg sandwich, it seems, but then he broke out another one full of achar, a real strong smell of achar (Indian pickles). It surprised me that the airline allowed someone to do that. And the flight back to Delhi was longer, since there was no tail wind. Anyway, I got through okay and got my bag.
But while coming out of the plane, I told one of the stewardesses about that incident. I said that I didn’t think that it was a good idea to let people bring their own food onto the plane. I asked if this was Punjab Roadways.
5:10. I went and had some food at that Punjabi Restaurant, Pind Baluch. That place is doing very well. It is full in the late afternoon.
Back to the plane. The stewardess said that people could bring some food onto the plane, like a sandwich.
The taxi was okay, but the traffic was so heavy that it took more than an hour to get to the hotel. Glad to be back in Delhi. Quite a bit cooler here than in Kolkata. It surprised me. Everybody here was wearing jackets or sweaters. It is a big difference from Kolkata. I just went out with a shirt and felt cold.
10:00 Evening. Took a nap. Felt a little cool in the room. The room seems to be right on top of some discotheque and more noisy than the one I had before.
I will finish up taking pictures tomorrow. Need sleep tonight.