Guess what? Its hot! Believe it or not we are having another hot day in Kolkata. Its on 51C/124F.
But its never hot enough for the beggars to stop doing their job, here is one at work in the traffic…. I swear these people make more than a lawyer here!
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We went to the mall yesterday, to check some of them and that was exciting. We were slack this time, or rather Chris was slack as he didnt order one of the nice airconditioned cabs, instead we went out to the street and hailed a yellow cab… ie a 1950’s Austin Ambassador . The cab we got going to the mall, which is a good 30 minute drive away …. was a little in need of a clean. The seats in these things surprisingly have cloth seat covers, now think of 50 people a day sitting , rather sweating on that seat cover…you can imagine the rest. Vacuum cleaners are still a new thing here, even at the gas/petrol stations they dont have those self serve car vacuums, so you can guess what the floor of these cabs look like.
The driver excelled in his skills, he managed to only use the clutch when we started off from a standstill, but they still refuse to use first gear for some reason, so the starts aren’t that smooth. And this fine gem of a Austin had brakes once… every time he stomped on the floor to brake this hideous squealing metal on metal sound emanated from the wheels and we would grind to a stop always in the nick of time.
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A might Amby cab outside Silver Springs, a mall and apartment complex here in Kolkata
But 30 minutes later and for 80 rupees ($1.60) we arrived.
We still havent figured out why the fares are so low as diesel and petrol here costs a lot, about $4 per gallon, or $1 per litre..
The mall was full of the normal strange sites, from a couple sitting in the food court watching a Fred Astaire movie on their laptop, to the little men in Spencer’s food store who run around with electrified tennis rackets killing flies, imagine putting this on your resume! This is something to see, they almost seemed possesed, and run around after each and every fly until it is zapped to a quick and sudden death. Mind you they never actually clean up these dead flies that litter the store, so really whats the point.
Here are some of the sites on the way:
The trams, most of them are gone now, but there are still some around town…they are really old
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I just know they could have put some more bags on their truck if they had of tried…
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Anyone for some roadsite chow? Yep looks like a enticing place to eat doesnt it!
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Rickshaw drivers having some time out…
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It looks like this scene is from 1950, but no its 2009!
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