We were sad to leave such a wonderful place but as it turned out, Kolkata was the best way to end our Indian adventure. We had lined up some CouchSurfing hosts that lived close to the airport. Managing our way to their apartment appeared to be simple enough, given our instructions were to take the bus that stopped right near their place; so we figured easy as, lets give it a go.

Walking out of the train station, shooing off the taxi totes offering rock bottom bait and switch deals, and to the hectic bus stand that would turn into our latest adventure. Although it appeared unorganized at first, the bus we were looking for showed up after only a few minutes. This was a reoccurring theme of India transport, appearance of no structure but somehow, it gets you where you need to be (but never on time).

Kolkata - courtesy if google!

Kolkata – courtesy if google!

Before we had to jump on, and I mean quite literally ‘jump’ on the moving bus we decided we’d better get a water. It was blistering hot, we were carrying backpacks and had been traveling for 18 hours. I reached into my pouch, grabbed 100 rupees and as I pulled it out realized there was a tiny tear in the top left corner of the bill. Our experience with ripped rupees was that NO ONE accepts them (at least from a foreigner). We had no extra money and no ATMs in sight. On the walk back to the station, we stumbled upon a man who tried gluing it back together, BUT we watched it fall apart within seconds. Luckily we found a kind old lady at the medical tent who went out of her way to get it switched out for us.

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Now, back to the bus stand, we grabbed a water and very kindly were told about the air-conditioned bus, only a few rupees more. We were hot , and spotted it right away so we made a run for it. Chels had fallen behind a little bit and had to stand in front of the bus to make sure he stopped for her lol (of course I was telling him to as well but they don’t always listen). It was a good thing that we opted for the air con bus because it took us 2 and a half hours at high noon, sitting in dead stop traffic to get to our CS, Roy and Arnav’s apartment.

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Roy and Arnav!

Roy and Arnav!

We spent the rest of the day getting to know each other, chowing down food (at this point we had not eaten for 24 hours) and exchanging music. At night we hit up this great hotel bar that had a live band playing some grunge and classic rock tunes. Roy and Arnav were absolutely rocking out dancing and singing and we happily joined in. After the close of the bar we went to the local late night food spot. They did all the ordering and it was delicious and fiery hot!

Compost-able cup!

Compost-able cup!

Rocking out!

Rocking out!

The next day we hung out all day together. Roy graced us with his chilled-out guitar skills, and we completely fell in love with one song, “Bana Bana Bana Bana, Bana Bana Bana” hahaha sounds silly when we write it out like that. It basically means “Keep Moving”. Keep moving along in life! He has a really deep southern sounding voice… Johnny Cash style in a lot of songs he wrote!

Bana Bana!

Bana Bana!

When we decided to grab some food, Roy took us to a local spot to get a Chicken Roll and it was the best thing ever!!! We broke our vegetarian-only habits on our last day in India but ohh it was sooo worth it!

Chicken Roll YUM!

Chicken Roll YUM!

A bit later on, we picked up one of their good friend at the airport. Roy was surprised at the amount of traffic for that time of day and as it turned out, a Haj pilgrimage, which is a Muslim pilgrimage to mecca was underway (wanna freak out an American, visit the airport during a Haj) and again bonded over our love for music. Roy picked up a bunch of beer and Indian snacks. Brad and I taught them some American drinking games (our specialty) before we all headed to the rooftop to light off fireworks! Probably NOT the best idea with a buzz on! The boys had a massive firecracker war…runing all over the roof, brad seriously burnt his hand on a sparkler, and we had another “Bana Bana” singalong sesh! It was like we had been friends forever!

On our way out the door to catch our super late flight, Arnav gave me a surprise going away pressie! A great big handbag! They both manufacture luxury handbags and wallets, specializing in leather, and made me one <3 ! So thoughtful, and it ended up being so handy throughout the rest of the travels! We were so sad to leave Roy and Arnav, and almost considered changing our flight to spend more time with them! We didn’t leave before promising a return visit to India sometime in the near future :) Thanks boys!

Fireworks Fun!

Fireworks Fun!

Looking back on India… well actually I hated it at first. India has extreme polarization of rich and poor and it is painfully obvious, there population is massive making things cluttered and it has some of the dirtiest places I’ve ever seen. Corruption is rampant and you will be ripped off in some way shape or form. Mostly everyone knows the bad stuff from either a travel show or having known someone who has been. BUT India is magical. By the end of our trip and soon after I realized how mother India’s fascinating people, places and culture transcend all the negatives. It breaks you down then builds you up, a constant roller coaster of sights, sounds, smells and emotion; I’m sorry we only had two weeks. Even though it started off tough,in the end India was exactly what we needed and had been searching for. It’s top on the list of places to revisit, and next time, I’ll be ready.

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3 Responses to Kolkata!

  1. Arnav says:

    It waz awesome having u guyz over n will be waiting 4 u 2 revisit, Gotta tell u it waz so nice having u guyz over that even v were missing u both after u walked into the airport.
    But a traveller to another- when u gotta go u gotta go
    so keep travelling n spread the happiness,


  2. oma says:

    looks like it was an exiting experience and luckily for you two it turned out great, Love your reports xxxxxxx

  3. Kelly says:

    love this post!!! hope you guys stay in touch with them. i’ll hit them up when i eventually get there! haha

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