Kolkata23 Jan 2011, by Made By Survivors Programs in
I am in Kolkata, which was once Calcutta. The name was changed some years to the now more phonetic spelling. The drive to the hotel from the airport looked very similar to the drive into town in Bangkok; very polluted air, cars driving like maniacs, honking like crazy, people trying to squeeze through the traffic on foot and bicycle, and store after store selling fabric, cell phones and other various supplies and nick nacks. It was chaotic, but I’m used to chaotic. To others who haven’t experienced anything like it, I can only imagine the drive would be considered insane.
This morning, I met two of the wonderful women I’ll be volunteering with on this Made By Survivors trip and we set off to explore the area. Again, many merchants line the sidewalks trying to sell their goods. Would you believe that I even saw them selling some Ugly Christmas Sweaters!?! I may have to go back and pick one up for the next Sweater Party.
We made our way to an open air market, selling all kinds of fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. If you’ve ever been to one of these kinds of markets in a third world country, you know how alarming the sights can be and the smells alone that permeate the air from the meat and fish sections can be gag worthy. We saw chickens being killed, plucked and separated, their various parts being weighed and purchased. Lamb and goat heads were on display, freshly chopped from their bodies. This kind of market is quite the sight and not for those with queasy stomachs. I couldn’t hang in the fish department too long myself, so on we went exploring.
Back at the hotel now and about to do some reading. Our first group dinner is tonight and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.