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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Tuesday 21 November 2000 (Day View)

21.11.2000Tuesday 21 November – Train

I particularly chose this train because it would arrive in CALCUTTA at 7:30 AM. It is supposed to be hard to find a good room in Calcutta so I wanted a whole day to look around. After a nice sleep onboard the train, which I really enjoy, we stopped at MASAGRAM around 8 AM. It is a very small place, not much more than a group of shanty shops and a concrete platform. We didn’t get moving again until a quarter to one. A Welshman, and American and I nearly set out on foot to find a road and hitch, as we figured we couldn’t be too far from Calcutta, having been supposed to arrive at 7:30 AM. Apparently there had been another engine further on which had broken down on the line, and because of this delay, when we did get going again already scheduled trains kept stopping us. That’s a serious limitation with rail; it’s really hard to pass another train on the same line. This made the train trip into a 22-hour saga.
We arrived in Calcutta at 3:30 PM, some eight hours late. The station isn’t far from the river, and a quick ferry trip brought me to the other side of the river, and a short ten-minute walk from there took me into the tourist area of SUDDER ST. There are no cycle rickshaws in Calcutta; instead there are human drawn rickshaws and automobile taxis. This means it’s very expensive (in Indian terms) to travel about the city, except by bus or tube. The people who draw the rickshaws have an average life expectancy of something like 25 to 30.
After a good two hours of walking and asking, I finally found a room within my price range. It was a very small 100-rupee room at the grandly named Central Guest Inn, just off Hotel Plaza. It seemed a nice clean, but very small room and I was happy to have found it. I collapsed into bed shortly after, at 8:45 PM.

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