India..... I don't even know where to start. We left Bangkok flying with Indian Air express. The word express conjures up images of a speedy jet whizzing through the air. It was anything but. In fact, take off was so slow that I was worried we wouldn't make it into the sky. the ironic thing was the plane wasn't full and it transpired 21 bags didn;t make it to Calcutta so not sure what was weighing us down! We met a lovely boy on our flight called Joe. He is from Shefield but we haven't held that against him. In fact- he became a bit of a hero when our cards were blocked for suspected fraud and he paid our taxi fare, accomodation, dinner and phone call to the bank all in exchange for some deodrant and a tooth brush (his was one of the 21 bags lost!)
Our cards now work again and we have set about exploring Calcutta. The streets are very dirty. Rubbish is piled up high on the side of the roads and in the hot weather it does begin to smell. The weather as not too bad- only about 35 degrees so depsite only having a fan in our dorm we are coping! We set about doing the lonely planet walking tour on our first day taking in the general character of Calcutta; the Victoria Monumnet; the big old fort (which we couldn;t go in but looked impressive!); a large park that had 30 odd army men just hanging arounnd with a large herd of goats and a few dozen horses. Most bizare and what I like most aout India so far.... you never know what you're going to get!
We went to Mother Teresa's house which was pretty awesome. over 200 sisters still live there. You can see her bedroom; the momumet/ grave where she is burrived and a really interesting museum that documents all her life. We were given some info on her and I wrote in the prayer book for everyone. We also visited Park Street Cemetary which was very old and interesting.
Today we went to science city which was meant to be in modern Calcutta... if this meant it was off the freeway instead of in a random little street then it can be called modern! It was really wierd but highly entertaining; with the evoloution of man; a mirror hall and volcano simulator to name but a few of the highlights!
Tonight we are off to Darjeeling which promises excelent tea and cooler climates. Will update you from there xx