Having been very inactive over the last couple of weeks as my left knee has been healing, I am feeling sore after a long day walking around Kolkata. I was ripped off at breakfast, then I was charged twice as much as I should be for a street meal. Both experiences serve as a reminder that locals have no conscience when it comes to extracting money from foreigners. It is so different from Myanmar where people are much more honest.

I headed west to the river before making my way southwards through a series of parks and green spaces. Things got hectic around Eden Park, towards which hordes of excited Indians were swarming to watch the second day of test cricket match between India and New Zealand. I had to dodge enthusiastic face painters who wanted to adorn my face in orange, white and green. Everyone thought I must be a Kiwi here for the game. I didn’t tell them that I find the idea of watching test cricket akin to watching grass grow. I continued on and crossed a field of grazing goats and sheep before reaching the Victoria memorial end of the park complex. I reached an entry gate, but it was closed. A sign said it was only open for a short time in the morning and evenings. I had to make do with a long distance view. It looks pretty impressive so I will try and make it back there.

I walked a roundabout route to Park Street where I caught up with Mark, the guy from Goa who I’d chatted to yesterday. He was sitting with the old guy who had pointed out the internet café to me yesterday (but this old guy was ignoring me today as I hadn’t given him any money). I went for a walk with Mark and bought the three of us chai. I learned that Mark also lives on the streets and has come to Kolkata to find work. I asked him if he would mind talking in front of a camera about Kolkata and he said he’d be very happy to. Tomorrow I will try my first ever little travel interview.

I have decided to stay in Kolkata long enough to see the start of Durga Puja. This means I need to book more accommodation. I decided to visit Galaxy Hotel, which was where I had originally reserved a place before my infection returned and I had to stay in Yangon longer than planned. I reserved a room there, which is a bit cheaper than my current place. It was nearly 4pm by the time I returned home. I had a shower and a stretch session (part of a campaign I started yesterday to regain some flexibility and managing some body problems associated with a cycling-only lifestyle).

Day 549 (pic)

Derelict

Accommodation $ Hotel
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 14,339km