Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Last Minute Tourist

Against all odds, I finished packing before the last minute. I know...shocking, right?

So today I got to be a tourist in the city that I've lived in for 6 years. Since the clock was ticking, I decided to finally get around to seeing some of the things that most people see within a week of arriving.

I went down to Kumartali. This is where artisans make statues, animals, and goddesses out of mud, straw, and incredible skill. it was really amazing to see the amazing things they could make out of straw and mud, and to see works in different stages of completion. I saw elephants, giraffes, lots of goddesses, and a Ghandi bust in progress! I'm so glad I went. I took some back alleys and had a lovely wander around what is essentially my back yard (oh, yeah, i didn't mention that, did I - Kumartali is literally about a 5 minute walk from my flat and i've never been!)

I ran a few small errands, and then i took a bus ride to a cafe. It was great to travel by bus and see the city one more time in that unique way. Fueled by my delicious lunch, I headed to a salon to get a pedicure, and to relax.

And then i headed to the South Park Street Cemetery. Rishi has been telling me for months (years?) that I would love it, but i never made it down was the day. It is such a beautiful, peaceful, haunting place. I'm so thankful that I got to see it.

And then i took a walk to New Market and picked up a few odds and ends. someone asked me today if there was anything i wanted to stock up on before i left Kolkata and i said "no" but then i realized there was one thing...noserings. they're so cheap here...i paid less than $5 for 7 (i was stocking up, remember?) and they're so much better than the ones i've found in the states. so consider me stocked up on nosepins!

oh, and while i'm thinking of things that i'm about 6 years late on discovering...

1. Coconut water...when my sisters came to visit Angela really liked it, and now i'm totally hooked. how did i live here for 6 years and not realize what i was missing?!?!? i've been doing my best to make up for lost time.

2. Buying local potato chips. i know...sounds weird - but they're so good! and you just walk up to the guy and say how much you want, and he pours them into a little bag, and salts them...and they're cheaper (and more delicious) than store chips (okay, maybe its a good thing that i didn't know this before last week) sorry, the chips are in this picture...had to leave them out in order to get the scale.

I ended the day with an egg roll...I just needed on more!

as i walked and rode, and roamed around this City of Joy, i listened to the 3 albums that Kyle Scott wrote while he was in Kolkata. it was the perfect soundtrack for my day of being a tourist, visiting familiar places, and being present in the reality of today.  i'm so thankful for this day to be a tourist in a city i've called home for so long.

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