Kolkata the last bastion of foot rickshaws

Trip Start Jan 31, 2012
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4
Trip End Jan 31, 2012


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Flag of India  , West Bengal,
Monday, November 14, 2011

Kolkata :

Taxi

Arriving into Kolkata though the airport whivh is old, small and very much a reflexion of communisim. but . what a delight  compared to arriving in Delhi. Customs was fast and easy, luggage fast and easy.  Taxi ride to the flat in Goal Park was fast and easy 250 rupees.

A new Taxi service found in Delhi, Mumbai and a few otyher cities as well as Kolkata is called Mega cab 41414141. They are prepaid and on the meter taxi. Much more expensive then the yellow ambassadors which Kolkata is known for but at least you don,t have to worry about getting lost or arguing with the driver.  A bit like the yellow and white taxi in Cairo.

Airport bus

From the airport there is a great very inexpensive city bus, which is very comfortable and modern which costs from the airport to Goal Park a bout 50Rupees with room for luggage

Metro

West Bengal from 1977 till 2011 was a communist state in a demogratic country.

Kolkata's metro system is just like that of Cairo and both are Russian well more specifically Soviet style Métro systems.  Love the Métro at a few ruppees its is fast runs on time and there is no traffic to deal with.

Buses

Went downtown by bus twice this week…You can tell that Bengal until only recently was a communist state.

The buses look like they come from around World War II. I call them the death traps. Bars on the window from outside so you can’t escape, suspension well you are lucky if there is any.  Manual shift with all sorts of gods and goddesses on the dashboard, with loose pieces of metal flapping around. We took the bus from Gharihat to Park Street and came back alive...

Street signs are yellow if any. Policemen have no idea where main streets are.

7rupees for the ride…

Saw one of these city buses drag a motorcycle for some distance without knowing i twas under his wheel… Sparks flying..

Everyone got out to help and see who was hurt… no rider but he must have been somewhere around

The buses have blind spots everywhere and you have to be an Olympic athlete to get on these buses that just go go go and there is a huge step to take barely any place to  to hold on to… hilarious

Of course in Kolkata the last city where bear foot rickshaws are pulled by a man running through the streets… I know they are poor but I think it is beautiful to see. The bike rickshaws are every where  as are the autos but  you have to negociate and know what you are doing…

Mumbia in this weekend’s newspaper has gotten rid of the famous Victoria. The horse drawn carriages once used by many now used by visitors to the city.. Well things have to change and modernise but I wish they would take care of the phone rather then the horse drawn carriage and rickshaws first. 


Motorcycle
Another crazy ride is all I will say!!!
Kolkata Architecture :

Kolkata’s beautiful but run down colonial architecture and musuems :

Sometimes I have to wonder if I am in Russia when i twas soviet or modern India with the left over of British colonialism.

Downtown Kolkata really has some beautiful architecture left by the British. Then you have these adorable little streets in the neighbourhood where I am living with narrow streets and life.  Then you have in the North near the airport, Vedic Village this awful highrise flats with colours… in the middle of a field of cows. Lololol. These new areas look like new areas of Cairo again. It just shows Indians are getting wealtheir.

The imposing Victoria Momument which is a museum has a huge green space.. only there is so much dust every where in dry season that you can hardly see the green. What a magnificant sunset in large part because of the pollution was in the sky. This large huge perfectly shaped  round ball… Magnificant!!!

Will explore Kolkata a bit more later….
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