I woke up in the afternoon, around . After lazing a bit more in bed, I got showered and dressed, and I left to go change some money so I could pay the hotel bill. I was planning to leave before on Sunday, so I wouldn’t have to pay for an extra day. Although I had consulted my Lonely Planet
Anyway, I bought one bag initially, gave half of it to the security man at the hotel gate, and bought another bag. I then went into the hotel restaurant and bought a bottle of Aquafina (bottled by PepsiCo. Coke’s brand of water is called Kinley, I think. Pepsi seems to rule over here in
Riding an auto rickshaw is pretty amazing. It’s a tiny little vehicle on three wheels, about the size of a golf cart. However, just like a normal sized car, it seats the driver and one person in front, and three people squeezed in at the back. J I think due to regulation stipulations, most of them are painted green, with a yellow snout (front). There are no doors on the sides, just bars on the right passenger seat at the back. We all enter from the left. If you ride in front with the driver, you have to hold on to a metal handle just above your head. The auto rickshaw drivers navigate the road as if they have no care for their lives. Almost like motorcycles, they weave in and out of traffic, and most of the time cause big buses to stop within two inches of them, easing through slowly to avoid being crushed by the big, obnoxious buses. LOL! They get you from point A to B pretty fast, and cost around Rs. 3-5 depending on the distance covered. Plus, the feel of the wind as you ride through the streets is just lovely! I would like to own one for fun. ( I won’t drive it in the streets of Kolkata though! Sheesh!)
Once we got to the stop where I had to get down, the guy told me, and then paid my fare for me. He introduced himself as Rohan, and I told him I was Denise. He explained to me that the connecting road to
So, Rohan was on his way to New Market, which is apparently the place to get different outfits. I had heard about it from many people but I hadn’t gone there yet. I asked Rohan if he would mind waiting for me to change money, and then allowing me to tag along while he went there. He was really nice about it, and took me to a place to change money, after asking me whether I wanted legitimate or illegal money changers. LOL! I should have lived dangerously and gone to the illegal side; they apparently have better rates. To cut a long story short, Rohan acted as my unofficial guide, pointing out various streets and their significance, till we got to New Market. It wasn’t that far from
Right after I left him, I saw everyone looking, no staring unabashedly at me. J New Market is an indoor market, a storey building filled with various little stores and stalls. I went to the first stall I saw, as the guy there looked friendly and the clothes there were on sale. My main aim was to purchase some Salwar Kameez or Salwar suits, which consists of a top, pants and a scarf, and is won by many of the women here in
The store owner came to my aid, and pointed me to those that were my size, and those cost Rs. 300. I didn’t think he was trying to rip me off, as I had done my homework and been told that that was the normal price. He introduced himself as Guudu, and was very nice to me. I looked at a number of the outfits, picked one out for myself, and one out for my mother. On a whim I also bought one for my sister. He was very excited, and tried to get me to buy more of the ones I had picked but discarded. I was satisfied with my purchases, and so I was not in the least bit tempted. He even sent someone out to buy me some chai, which was lovely, and was served in this tiny clay cup. Guudu took me around to look for male shirts, but I didn’t find any I wanted as they were all western style shirts. He finally gave me his business card and said I could come whenever I needed to. I left the building and saw just on my left, a boutique where this lovely green and pink Salwar suit was being displayed. I went in and of course, caused a pretty big stir as the streets are not exactly teeming with black people. LOL! I was asked for the third time how I comb my hair, and I had to go through the whole spiel. I tried on the salwar kameez that I wanted but it was too tight across the chest. ( I didn’t my bust was THAT big!). I left that boutique feeling a little sad.
Oh well!! The sadness didn’t last too long. I was excited to be shopping. I went on to buy two bags, which were absolutely beautiful. I also asked about other salwar kameez suits but none were in my size. After browsing through other trinkets, I went into a clothing store to look at materials for sewing my own salwar kameez. I found three sets that I really liked but I decided to go sleep on it. The store keeper was really nice, and he asked me to teach him some words in Twi. I asked him to teach me some Hindi words, and then I took some pictures with them. I left the store and got onto
I shook it off and kept walking. I realized it was past and I hadn’t had anything to eat, really. I saw a fruit stand where they made juice for you on the spot. I ordered some orange juice, and they blended the orange for me with ice. It was so good!! I asked the man selling the juice if there were any good restaurants around, and he directed me to one right next door. I ordered plain rice, chicken do piyaza and tandoori roti. It was a very delicious meal. When I finished eating it was a little past . I thought that since it would take me a bit of time to get to the hotel and then walk to the internet café, I should just use the café that was on that street.
The café was pretty big, with almost twenty computers. It was in a big well-lit room. In addition, it sold different clothing and souvenirs. The computers also had Skype and microphones and all that good stuff. I was quite excited. Since the connection was pretty fast, I was able to update my blog for the first week, chat with Kwadwo from AC, and then call Twum on Skype. I was so thrilled I lost track of time, and by the time I realized, it was almost . I got up and paid my tab, and asked one of the workers if he knew any reliable taxi driver to take me home. He took me to a taxi driver who invited his companion along. I was a little hesitant, but since the guy who directed me was the one who had taken me to the café, I felt I could trust him. Well, I could trust him but not the driver!!!!!!!! It turned out that the neither the driver nor his companion were clear on the directions to my hotel, and so they got lost. To make matters worse (and my blood boil with anger!!) they said I made them get lost, so I should pay extra. Honestly, I wanted to smack them both across the head. I told them that I shouldn’t have to pay extra because I am the tourist, I gave them the address, and they said they could take me there. When I got to my hotel, I gave them what they asked for and slammed the car door with all my might. The companion was trying to say goodnight with me. If I had been a little more crass I would have told him what to do with his goodnight. (Hehehe…).
I got back to my hotel room still fuming. To relax I turned on the TV and watched several episodes of “The Simple Life”, and the movie “Fools Rush In” (you know it’s a good movie!). I ended up staying up till ! J