Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bodh Gaya to Kolkata

My final train ride in India was scheduled to depart at 4:45, so I got up early than I go to sleep on some nights, and dragged myself and my bag out to meet the rickshaw I'd arranged to be waiting earlier.

Like a fool, I showed up at the Gaya train station on time, made my way passed the other ass standing in the mud, headed to the platform, and waited, and waited, and waited. After a while I started wondering if the train had actually been early and I'd missed it, but I knew that couldn't be!

After three trains went by on the same track, one of them even stopping, making me wonder how it had got passed my train, before, finally, the train to Kolkata arrived.

I arrived in Kolkata with just enough cash left to get a taxi to a guesthouse and rent a room. I hadn't been in any places where I could withdraw cash for a while, so I needed to find an ATM in Kolkata. Unfortunately, there was a service strike in the city, which included the service of all ATMs, People kept telling where some random ATM might be that is from such and such a bank that should be open despite the strike. I walked miles around the city looking for the elusive open ATM but it was futile. Finally, after walking through half the city, either I got lucky, or I out walked the strike... I'll never know!

I was worried I won't be able to get cash for the ride to the airport tomorrow, not to mention food and other things. Now that I had money, the only thing I really wanted to do was eat, so I searched out a little Bengali restaurant recommended in the Lonely Planet for its coconut prawn curry. I wasn't used to sweet, white curry but it was one of the best things I've ever eaten.

After the places I'd been between Delhi and here, there wasn't much I wanted to do or see in another over populated, impoverished city. Just about exhausted, I'm ready for the flight to Singapore, tomorrow. I sort of wished I'd stayed the extra day in Bodh Gaya, but I didn't want to risk missing the flight.

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