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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kolkata

It was amazing to be disconnected in India. Most places we stayed said they had wifi, but when we got to them it was almost never working. So, I am publishing the blogs from India now that I am able to upload photos to help tell my stories.

Angela and I left Bangladesh on February 12. On our way out of the country our van was badly rear-ended by another van, throwing us forward into the large work truck ahead of us and then bouncing us back again into the van behind us. Lots of damage to the cars and whiplash and probable mild concussions for Angela and I. However, we were determined to get to India so we loaded our luggage into an EZ bike and made it to the border.

From the border town we boarded a bus for Kolkata. The bus ride took about 3 hours and got us pretty close to our hotel. Once we settled into the hotel (pretty dirty  but very cheap) we went out to find dinner. There were lots of restaraunts near our hotel and we chose a Chinese place that was pretty good.

The next day we went to get our ongoing train tickets and were able to get our tickets to Varanasi but nothing onward of that. We would have to wait and try again when it got closer. We took a cab to visit the Kali temple which was really beautiful. However, no photos were allowed inside.

Next we visited Mother Theresa's house. They had her life story depicted there with photos and stories. It was really interesting to read about her. What an amazing soul. Her tomb is there as well and that's the only thing you are allowed to take a photo of. Luckily for me, I didn't see the "no photos" sign until after I snapped a picture of her statue.

The following day we got up early to hit the flower markets. Lonely planet claimed it was a sight to see. There are hundreds of merchants selling strung flowers that people come to purchase daily for rituals in the local temples or sometimes even just to decorate their cars with. The flowers were really pretty and the whole sidewalk was filled with color.








The next stop of the day was Rabindranath Tagore's home. We felt we had to stop there because he wrote a poem which the song we had to perform one of our dances for was based off of! The house was huge and beautiful. He also seemed to have quite an amazing life.

HeWe found a great place for lunch after that. This was valentine's day and we had decided to stay in Kolkata one extra day because there was a One Billion Rising event there on Valentine's day. This event was to stop violencce against women. We went to a little park where the gathering started and were then going to do a march. While at the park with the opening events I thought I saw a familiar face but brushed it off thinking it couldn't be....Then I saw several other western women most of whom had at least one piece of Lululemon gear on their bodies, and I realized that I had indeed seen a familiar face. It was Seane Corn and her "off the mat into the world" tour group. They were in India this year and when they heard about the One Billion Rising event, they took a detour to come to Kolkata and be a part of it. Of all the famous yogis/yoginis out there, she is my role model. She strives to make a difference in the world and shares those experiences with others. I made friends with one of the girls in the group and she helped me get my photo with Seane (super dork!!! I know). Later in my trip I would run into that girl again!
Heather with Seane Corn

During the march for One Billion Rising we met two girls that we chatted with quite a bit. The march was really long and the by the time it was over we were really tired. These girls told us we were really close to the Indian Coffee House which is kind of a famous place for people to meet up and talk politics, so they took us there to check it out. We were going to order but service was extremely slow and Angela and I had a train to catch! They took us quickly to a sweet shop to get a snack, we tried to treat them but they wouldn't allow it and they even bought us a few extra sweets for our train trip! In addition, they took us to the metro and got us tickets and rode the metro with us to our hotel (had we known about the metro sooner we could have saved SO MUCH money in Kolkata). These girls were so sweet. We offered to buy them dinner, but they also wouldn't have it, so we said goodbye and promised to keep in touch (which I have).
Many women had signs like this during
the OBR march







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