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These opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Peace Corps, Rotary, or any other organization to which I am affiliated.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Excursions to Kolkatta and Bangalore!


Shout out to Kristen for an awesome trip far far away from Tamil Nadu.  It was a great trip with ups and downs.  I am an introvert so having to spend an entire week with a person every moment of the day is overwhelming at times…I needed some “me time” to rejuvenate… didn't always get it, but we had a blast nonetheless!  I wouldn't trade it in for the world.  Thanks for a great time J

P.s. to those of you who think I am lying about the introvert thing, I am not.  Even though I enjoy talking to people and am not shy, that does not mean I am not an introvert.  The difference between an introvert and an extrovert is the manner in which they recharge their batteries.  If you are the type of person who would like to go home and read a book, walk alone, watch TV or write in your journal…any activity, but just alone after a long hard day, you are likely an introvert.  If you want to go hang out with people and do any activity after a long hard day, you are likely an extrovert…you feel charged by getting energy from others around you.  I feel drained…sorry guys, but it’s the truth.  When my life is most overwhelming I retreat the most…not because I am sad, but because that is the only way I can get enough energy to face the world again.  Love you all…smooches! 

 Enough about hermits and butterflies…lol…Kolkatta!

The first leg of our trip was to Kolkatta…what an interesting time of year to visit.  We went at the end of the Durga Pujas (I think it was durga…it might have been another…I can’t keep them all straight in my head).  Nonetheless, it was a huge celebration of one of the goddesses.  Like I said, it was the end so we got to see the closing festivities when everyone was bringing their huge floats and shrines of the goddess to put into the Ganges.  How exciting!  It was also interesting because there was absolutely NO traffic anywhere.  Everything was calm…which from what I hear is not the case usually…traffic is as bad as in Chennai, but we at least came at a time to get a break from the hustle and bustle. 


 We spent time at Mother Theresa’s House, and went looking for Tigers in the Sunderbans!  We never found them, but had loads of fun in the mud, cruised in the beautiful Bay of Bengali for hours upon hours, and found lots of other interesting creatures.  Our final day in Kolkatta culminated with a little shopping, a visit to the Victoria Memorial and a SUPERB Italian dinner at a restaurant that I stepped into and forgot I was not home.  Food was awesome!  Pizza with pesto and chicken, a salad with spinach and smokey mozzarella…my mouth is watering just thinking about it! 



 The next day we flew to Bangalore…our number one goal there was to relax and get a much needed pedicure after romping around in the muddy mangroves!  Kristen had the bright idea to get a “fish spa” something that neither of us had ever heard of or tried, but it was on the menu of choices at the spa we found in the mall.  I took one for the team this time, but will likely never do it again…though I went looking for animals everyone knows I am not a fan of them and letting little fish eat the dead skin off of my feet was not my idea of fun…I was scared! Haha…But it was my choice…and well, I am not going to make the same one in the future…lol.  Bangalore is indeed a different world from the south of Indian, women wear mini-skirts, there are Café Coffee Day shops on every corner…it’s just like starbucks, and going to a bar or a club is just as normal as it is at home...  So we tried out a bar and I must say I had little faith that India was going to be able to satisfy my lounge needs, but I was pleasantly surprised that the place was pretty classy and enjoyable! 


   
 I had a mojito, it was lady’s night to entrance, appetizers and certain drinks were free…it was a nice time.  I am not a big dancer in public, so I mainly watched and it made me feel right at home…seemed pretty normal lounge/bar to me.  Plus it was on the rooftop which is always a nice touch.    We dropped in on a Rotary meeting and met some nice people.  The highlight tourist spots were the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens (BEAUTIFUL) and also the Industrial & Technological Museum.  Pretty cool experience. 

 











It was an awesome step away from Chennai with lots of interesting twists and turns: we got followed and then quickly lost him, met 4 very nice and helpful people on 3 different occasions, rode a bicycle driven rickshaw, got bitten by little bugs in the mud and then voluntarily put our feet in a fish tank to be bitten, I slipped in the mud and busted my bum, we got lost (nothing new to me, so no worries there),  took a picture in front of a Hard Rock Café, and I lost my shoe on the very last hour of our trip…good thing I had flip flops!  A trip to remember indeed!




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