I arrive at Kolkata in the morning after this nightmare train ride. I just want to get in the Hostel I have booked and rest.
I get out of the train station and find myself in a very different scenario. You barely see tuk-tuks and the taxis are all the same. A yellow car looking like a very British memory. There is a big taxi line outside the station so I went with someone else as I was immediately approached as I get out of the station. I’m sure I paid much more for this trip but I was so tired that I didn’t mind.
I always asked the drivers if they know the place before deciding to go with them. This time was no different. Of course, he said he knew, but after all, we asked 5 different people where is the Hostel. This one was really hard to find, but I was comfortable inside the vehicle so I didn’t stress much. As I’m on the way to the Hostel, I find a very different scenario from the other cities I have visited in India. The traffic lines in Kolkata are kind of respected. They respect the traffic lights and overall the city has a much cleaner look than the other cities. Kolkata is even named the city of joy and for the ones that don’t know it, it is, as we know it in Europe, the city of Calcutta.
I finally reach the Hostel I booked, its actually not a Hostel, it is a guesthouse. I have a reservation for a dorm, but once I try to check in, they state is not available. How it’s not available if I had booked it 2 days before? I start stressing while they try to figure out what’s going on. The solution is to offer me a private room for the same price. You certainly don’t understand why but I freaked out. I DON’T WANT TO BE ALONE IN INDIA! I don’t want a room for myself as I will not have any travel partner or meet no one in this city. We were there arguing for a few minutes when after a lot of ponderation I decide to stay. I was really unhappy with this situation, I don’t care that I pay same for a whole room, I just don’t feel like being alone. It looks silly but it was my mood at the moment. For this reason, I didn’t like this place at all. My luck was that I had met in Agra an Indian guy from Kolkata and we had agreed that he will show me the city, so after all, it could have been worst.
After taking some rest and slept, I adventure myself on the streets. I actually think this was the city in India where I more walked alone on the streets. They feel safer, but maybe that’s also the reason why it was in Kolkata that I felt more staring. I haven’t walked as much on the other cities so I understand. I also haven’t seen any tourist on the same street so I understand why the looks. Actually, I haven’t seen any other foreigner guest in that Guesthouse I booked.
I need to walk for 20 min to reach the place with things to visit, and there I go. On this day I visited d few gardens and there is one I liked a lot. It’s next to Victoria’s Memorial and there’s Indian music in the air. I loved the ambience of this garden. So chill! I really feel it deeper when there is local music playing.
This was a place for lovers. There were a lot of young couples walking around and sitting on the grass. I also sit on an empty spot and then I lay down to chill. I start listening to whistles but I was listening to them before so it’s ok. My surprise is when I hear this whistle really close to me so I open my eyes and there is a garden guard next to me: NO SLEEP MAM! I’m like: what? why can I sit but I can’t lay down? Makes no sense but I follow the rules. I stay there until the sunset and then I go back home.
There isn’t much to see in Kolkata, so next day will be enough.