So we have said goodbye to India. We have moaned about some things, been shocked and dismayed, had our eyes, ears and noses assaulted by nasty sights, sounds and smells and endured often ridiculous bureaucracy. Having said that we have loved this place. India gets you in a way we never expected and as soon as you can adjust to the alternative universe that is India it is a wonderful, vibrant, colourful, astonishing, beautiful, intriguing, intense and amazing place that is so much more than the beaches of Goa or the Taj Mahal (which we didn’t bother to go to).
From leaving Darjeeling our onward journey has been one night in Calcutta (sounds like a film but looked like a shit hole). Hotel Ok but next to a busy beeping road. We did venture out to a nearby restaurant and as with every foray saw a quirky thing worth a note. A milk man reached up to a bag that dangled by string from a 5th storey window (this was one of three bags, each with writing on which I assume were to contain different things). The milkman then put a container of milk in the bag and tugged the string which rang a bell and the bag was hoisted up and returned down a couple of moments later with money inside. Ingenius!
One night in Bangkok (Arrived about 7.00pm, knackered so ate in hotel and fell asleep early – However…This action does not really convey what we felt. To be back in Thailand (We were here on holiday in Feb) was wonderful. Everything is clean, ordered and lovely. Officals are helpful, queueing (as a concept) exists and is understood. People are smiley, there are equal amounts of men and women on the streets and the glitz and techonology of the city makes us Ooh and Arrgh. We are now on the train heading off to Ban Krud (sounds shit but looks lovely). This is a beach resort and we will recharge our batteries before having to rough it in the luxury housesit apartment in Singapore for three weeks. Just a couple of things to finish this off. Last night we had a beer served in an iced, chilled glass and after 2 weeks of no alcohol it tasted like nectar. We followed this with pad thai and chicken club sandwich and chips (first non veggie food for almost 10 weeks) and this was like ambrosia. We then went to bed in crisp white sheets, on a soft bed with fluffy pillows in a decent sized clean room with windows that closed out the noise of the city. Viva la Difference!