Kolkata is a different creature early in the morning. The streets are quiet, the streets are clean and swept, they almost smell clean! And for some weird reason there are no parked cars anywhere, except the odd taxi with the driver asleep in it.
So at 6am we go for a walk now to beat the heat and the noise and hussle and bussle of the morning city life. The adventure starts with getting out of the guest house. The houseman Salim, sleeps on the floor of the living room at night, the poor guy works almost 24/7 slaving away for his guests, and last night he was serving a new checkin dinner at 12am! So we have to slip past him, and get the spare key to let ourselves out.
This is Salim slaving away in his hot, unairconditioned kitchen:
[singlepic id=68 w=320 h=240 float=center]
In the foyer of the building and of the area on the 9th floor in front of the elevator they have the most strangest looking fire extinguishers!
[singlepic id=104 w=400 h=300 mode=watermark float=center]
God only knows how you work the thing!
So we get the elevator by ourselves, which is nice as the elevator men don’t like dogs, one of them rants and raves in Bengali until he finally gets out and lets us use his mighty elevator by ourselves… its automatic but still its dangerous without a operator in it apparently!
[singlepic id=107 w=400 h=300 mode=watermark float=center]
Moe waiting for the elevator
The streets are relatively quiet, this is Middleton Street:
[singlepic id=108 w=400 h=300 mode=watermark float=center]
[singlepic id=112 w=400 h=300 mode=watermark float=center]
The street is nice at this time of day, the guards of the buildings come out to look and stare, one of them already knows Moe’s name and calls him over. One guy surprises me and asks in perfect queens english if Moe is a American Cocker Spaniel! I of course say yes, but they normally are a bit skinnier!
This is Vardaan market , by day and night there are food hawkers outside it, selling everything, and inside its a airconditioned market mainly with clothing in it, and supringsly a store 6ft square that sells pet food and supplies.
[singlepic id=113 w=400 h=300 mode=watermark float=center]
The street we are in is a mish mash of old and new, at one end of the street is a old decripit mansion . People still live in it, although I dont think the wiring or plumbing is really up to code!
[singlepic id=106 w=400 h=300 mode=watermark float=center]
You see some strange things, like this , your morning coconut delivery boy!
[singlepic id=114 w=400 h=300 mode=watermark float=center]
Newspapers arent sold here during the day it seems, on sunday there are boys selling them on the street but I dont see them during the week. During the weekdays they are delivered by people on bikes, and it seems they do only 2 buildings each as its funny to watch the team of them ride down the street and slowly peel off one to a building.
[singlepic id=111 w=400 h=300 mode=watermark float=center]
There are some shop open at this time, like if you want breakfast, you come here to Indias version of a drive in Restuarant, that literally is a hole in the wall!
[singlepic id=105 w=400 h=300 mode=watermark float=center]
But first watch out for the cables that may strangle you or electrocute you !
[singlepic id=102 w=400 h=300 mode=watermark float=center]
It really is just like the email that floats around with pics of the wires in the streets here in India that states ‘ and we wonder how they operate the call centers of the world. ‘