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Friday, February 06, 2009

Kolkata/Chennai: quick recap

Won't write much, since I'm in a cyber(/copy)shop in Chenai, paying Rs 240/hour for internet access. Here's a quick recap of the past week:

Arrived in Mumbai late Sat night (local time), after the 14 hr flight from JFK. Uncomfortable 6 hour layover in the domestic lounge before flying to Kolkata on Indian Airlines. Went straight to Garia, luchi and aloo for lunch. Afternoon in Ballygunge, then back to Garia for the evening.

Monday: finally made up to Pishi's place (just north of Gariahat) early afternoon, spent all afternoon there, into the evening. Bought a cell phone at a Nokia shop in Gariahat, cab back to Garia. Up way too late, sipping Glenfiddich while kaku lectured/reminsced.

Tuesday: went to bajar (macch, fruit & vegetables) with kaki, then back out with kaku for a couple errands on the main road. Soma came over for lunch (incl elish macch), then took a car to their flat in Bhowanipore. Met mamas and mamimas, watched end of the 3rd India-SL OID, late dinner there.

Wednesday: finally made it out ~noon, first to a jewelry shop, then Metro from Rabindra Sadan to Esplanade. Some shopping on Chowringhee (memorably, at a curio shop which has been there since 1953--I asked the owner, turned out his father moved to Kolkata from Sindh during Partition and opened the shop). Bought a couple books on Park St from a sidewalk seller ("Enchantress of Florence" & "White Tiger"), then lunch at Peter Kat. Dropped off some stuff back at the flat, then took a cab all the way out to the bypass, to look at the shops at Swabhumi. Unfort most shops were closed, so cabbed back to the Forum mall--bought some chappals, some CDs ("Slumdog" soundtrack (for Rs 150!), 4 disc set of mp3s), and a DVD ("Ghare Baire"). Nice espresso drinks at "CCD" (Cafe Coffee Day).

Thursday: back out to the bypass, but on to the airport. Boarded Jet flight to Chennai..straight from the airport to the banquet hall for lunch, checked in to the hotel (just up the road..Aditya Hotel!), then back for a ceremony and dinner. A handful of Madras coffees from the 24 hr coffee service setup.

Friday: up early for the wedding ceremony, preceded by dosa/iddli/sambar breakfast in the dining hall, followed by lunch. Afternoon off..walked back to the hotel (better & faster than driving), and then back out to find internet access..

..which is where I'm at now, in the Rahaat Plaza. Should prob head back to the hotel..though tempted to see if I can get a beer at the Ponnusamy Hotel/AC Restaurant, just upstairs in the plaza here.

More next week, from Kerala (Cochin, Wyanaad), Bangalore, and/or Delhi..

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