Chai Talk - Kolkata

Saturday, February 18

Location: A stand on the road somewhere north of the New Market in Kolkata
Rating: ***.5/5

It's been a hectic week of traveling. Getting to Orissa took me 25 hours instead of 17 because the train was late and I think I might have been on a slow one. The train ride was long and after about 10 hours the cars started to fill with garbage. I ordered lunch and got a prisonesque meal of rice and some spicy red water in two different shades. Yum! On the second night I was walking around trying to get the blood back into my legs after begining cramped on the top bunk most of the day because people kept sneaking on the train and taking my seat when I noticed cockroaches crawling all over the place and then a rat ran past my foot into the next peoples area. In any case Orissa was worth it. It's a very nice place full of temples and nice people. The Sun Temple at Konark was amazing. Kinda like a carved porn magazine / sex manual for Hindus I guess.

After Orissa I was off to Kolkata again on a train that was 3 hours late. I've read allot about how dirty and awful Kolkata was so I had to see it for myself. I've been amazed at how nice it is in fact. It's dirty just like everywhere else in India but the people are very friendly and there are tons of great things to see. It also has the biggest garden and most public space I've seen anywhere in India. Outside the Victoria Memorial there is a beautiful garden, a polo ground and just down from it Tata Steel has a nice public garden and at night there are street stalls with behl puri and peanuts all over. It's great. The flower market under the Horwah bridge is amazing and I got lost for an hour wandering around all the flowers and down to the ghat under the bridge.

And the chai. As I'm sure you read the chai in the south was sadly lacking in flavour and masala. However as I was told by my fiend Kent, Kolkata is where the chai is at. Mmmm, I've been having one about every 3 hours I think. Generally it comes in a porcelain cup that you throw away after using. This gives an earthy flavour even if it is only in my mind. The chai is pleasantly sweet but not overpowering and tea is nicely flavoured with cardamon. It's good to be back in the north.
nicholas, 4:37 AM


Glad you finally made it. Kolkata certainly is a great city...try taking the metro up to the north end of town and you'll hit the mean streets.

The chai on sudder street is the best, but I do understand your addiction. I usually had about 8 cups for breakfast and that was enough sugar to get me through the day.
Blogger kent, at 10:57 AM  
I wandered in the north today. The streets are a little meaner but everyone was so nice and all wanted me to play cricket with them on the street.
Blogger nicholas, at 5:47 AM  

Add a comment