Thursday, December 22, 2011

An American's view on Kolkata - Day 1

Woke up around 6:30. Damn scheduling, so used to waking up for college. Wasn't up to much in the morning except for my normal good morning texts. Atique showed up not too late after I got up, but he didn't stick around. Breakfast was yummy (Yes, yummy. Yummy train food. No sarcasm.) Everyone started waking up and getting about the business of getting up and ready for the day.

The day was uneventful, since most of the new things I had experienced were yesterday. Played more Uno with the lovely ladies across from us, now joined by two more cousins: Alisha, and Rohit (Not the same one Gourav knows). I didn't join in, though. I had finally gotten my laptop out and was finishing up Howl's Moving Castle. They later switched to a card game called "Not At Home." I got the basic gist of the rules, but it was most certainly the longest game I've seen in quite a while. One game of that and it was quits for then.

Lunch was good. After that, though, Gourav decided a nap was in order. On my bunk. And I was still sitting there. Granted, he did ask me if it was cool. But still... The dude almost pushed me off of my seat O_O;;. Afternoon saw a fully-charged laptop and more Uno, while I charged my 3DS. And, as for something new: My baby finally has her first major aesthetic damage - the palm rest is cracked. My voltage converter for my 3DS charger (sold separately) fell and hit my lappy. And that thing is a heavy little mother. No worries, though. It's a pretty thin crack and it's hardly noticeable unless you look for it. All in all, I'm strangely comfortable with it.

Evening, more Uno. And I'm still not tired of the game. By this time, however, I was getting tired of the jokes on me. Both Gourav and Atique have come up with several "nicknames" for me over the course of our staying together. And, thanks to Atique, they wore out rather quickly and now, they just annoy me. I don't mind people making jokes about me: I mind it when they pull those jokes way too far. Gourav is cool, but Atique's the one who gets on my nerves, and I don't wanna snap at G just because he didn't know how pissed I was. Gotta keep it together, Kade.

Train got to the station later than planned, but we expected that. Didn't have much to pack, as I had already arranged my backpack. My luggage was quite light - all I really had were clothes. I think my backpack was heavier than my luggage >.> Not sure, though. We got to Howrah station around 8 PM, and Sneha was there waiting for us. She's Gourav's girl. We said goodbye to Divya and crew (I didn't get their numbers. Gourav and Atique think it's because I forgot. But I've already got someone I'm interested in.)

Howrah station is the biggest train station I've seen in India. 23 platforms is no joke, especially when Pune Junction has, like what, 8? Yeah... Massive. Outside, the wait for the taxi was annoying. Had to get the 3DS up and running for musical accompaniment. We finally got one, though, and threw our luggage in and took the ride to Gourav's house. He showed up some of the city while we drove, some of the more famous shops and restaurants (And a place for Atique called "Gaylord". Don't know, don't wanna know). The city is half-new, and half-familiar. I don't mean to put Kolkata down, but living in the States has got me used to places like D.C. and Boston, with all the crowds and the skyscrapers and the roads and stuff. I know what cities are like back home, so half of Kolkata wasn't new to me: It's just like any other city. It's like a customized laptop: The basic model is the same. What makes it fun it the little details that are different from all the other models. Like the pot-bellied cops. Never see many of those in Pune. Arms, legs, neck, torso, face: all in proper shape. And a big-ass pot belly. Couldn't help but laugh.

Rickshaws aren't that much in use in this city. Taxis and buses. Rickshaws are only used like small buses: Set route, set fare, and you have to share with other people. It seems like if I wanna make this fun, I've gotta see the common Kolkata. Not the tourist places, not the famous sites. I wanna walk the streets and see how much normal Kolkata differs from regular Pune or regular Germantown.

We got to Gourav's place around 9:30. It's a pretty sweet house, although we could definitely use some heating. The place gets cold at night. But his mom and dad are both very cool. I didn't speak with them much, and most of the talking that was going on was in Bengali, so it was over my head. I can't really form an opinion of his dad, since I didn't talk to him enough. As for his mother, though, she seems awesome. We got home, had some tea and rested up, then headed out for a walk around Gourav's old hangouts. We met up with two of his friends, Ronojoy and Devanjan (I think I spelled those right). They seem like cool kids, so we might be hanging out in the future as well.

After hanging out for a bit, we came home to dinner. Amazing, amazing food. I don't even know all the dishes that were cooked, but they all tasted great. And the sweets were delectable. I felt like I just left IHOP after dinner: That kind of full stomach that makes you just want to lie down and sleep it off. I started settling in after that getting my laptop set up, checking out the internet (Server problems do not leave good first impression >.<) Set up his uTorrent to pick up Nikki and the rest of the latest anime I'm missing. Got him set up with Firefox and IDM as well. Server died before we could get any proper downloading, though. Will try again later. Eventually, knocked out around 3:00 AM.

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