kolkata is one of those places like mumbai (bombay) where for a long time, it was referred to by the wrong name - or rather, the colonial name, calcutta.
our time there was short, i was happy for it, because kolkata is very different from the other big cities we visited in india (mumbai, delhi, agra).
and we rode the bus. i love public transit and i love taking transit that locals use. the bus was only 4 rupees (about 9 cents) and i had to run and jump to get on because the bus never really stops. and there aren't bus stops, not really. you kind of just stick your arm out like you would for a cab.
someone was trying to explain to us how to get on the bus. i told him i was confused because there wasn't a bus stop and he said, "this is india, there are no bus stops!"
oh blessed india.
when we left kolkata, i couldn't believe our time in india was already over... a place i been hoping to visit for many years (or at least since that wes andersen film came out *wink*).
at the kolkata airport, someone took our survey about india. why did we come? what did we like most?
we came because we were drawn to the rich culture and sights and people and food. i liked everything most. but i also disliked a lot of things.
for a westerner, or maybe just an american, india isn't for everyone. or for the faint in heart. india is so many things and you have to embrace and accept and love and tolerate.
i would like to return someday. and maybe someday bring children ben and i may have--- but not until they have been many other places and experienced different kinds of places, people and travel.
i loved india, i really did. i actually feel nostalgic for it already.
things to remember about kolkata and india miscellaneous:
at one restaurant we went to, all of the employees were deaf. it was really neat and reminded me that someday i want to learn to sign (will you teach me, linny?).
our last indian dinner was incredible, masala and butter naan.
at security checkpoints there is always a line for ladies and a line for gents.
barter your way through most everything.
people who are selling things will follow you for a long time, even after you've said, "no thank you" thirteen times.