Friday, May 16, 2014

We Made It!

We arrived in Kolkata around 1am last night. With all of the time zone changes, I can't even tell you what time that meant for the US - and I'm still too jetlagged to do the math. The flights were pretty crazy. 15 hours on the first flight to Mumbai and then another 2 and a half from Mumbai to Kolkata. All in all it was about 24 hours of travel time, including driving to the airport, waiting, flying, more waiting, security, customs, immigration, more flying, more waiting, and one crazy van ride at 2am in the morning through the streets of Calcutta. We were sandwiched in like sardines with all of our stuff. Here's the proof:
Poor Muxuan was shoved in the back with all of the bags! From left to right, Phillip, Anjali, Kris and me. This was after 24 hours of travel, stepping off the plane into 100 degree weather (even in the middle of the night!) that was so hot, it felt like steam was getting stuck in my throat. Seriously crazy humidity, I've never felt anything like it in my life!

On the plane they gave us really cute dinners:
I'm still not sure what I had for dessert (upper left corner) but the man next to me was kind enough to warn me that I was eating dessert first when I grabbed that one and started eating it first! 

I like how they say "veg" or "non-veg" here. "Veg" means you want vegetarian, "non-veg" means you want meat, but I think it's kind of funny because they don't specify which kind of meat!

After we got here, we were able to see the apartment and it's very cute and compact and perfect for us. Phillip and I are sharing a room, this is what our room looks like:

Yes my friends, that is an AC UNIT in our bedroom! We are so lucky, as all of the bedrooms have AC units. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Auntie Kumkum! I don't know if I'd be able to sleep in this heat.

Once we got here it took us awhile to get sleepy, but when we did, we SLEPT. Until about noon. And then we forced ourselves to get up and get out and about. Jetlag. It's a real thing. So is not showering for 36 hours:

After we woke up and readied ourselves, TJ (our professor)'s mom and Nirmal, the house attendant (must find out his actual title...) took us to a lovely lunch place, and afterwards Nirmal walked us around a bit to show us where we could find the outdoor bazaar and also an indoor mall, plus the metro station. At the mall we did a bit of shopping and I found a new outfit:

Serious Face >.<

And then the man in the store tried to sell me like, every single thing he had. Literally. I actually ended up only buying the teal outfit because I didn't have enough rupees to cover both - we haven't exchanged our currency yet, but Auntie Kumkum gave us each 1000 rupees (about $15 USD) to hold us until we get to the bank tomorrow.

First impressions of Kolkata: extremely HOT, a lot of people staring at me, a lot of people sleeping on the ground- last night as we drove through the city at 2am, there were just bodies all over the sidewalks of people sleeping...something I've never really seen before. The police that I saw here had machine guns (or automatic rifles, or something like that?) Really, it's all a bit overwhelming to take in everything, but we're taking it slow and making small trips out of the apartment to acclimate.

It's 6pm here and we're about to go get some coffee so that we can try to stay awake until at least about 9pm. This jetlag is no joke! Kolkata is 9.5 hours ahead of EST.

We're here, we're safe, and we're ready. If you have a chance, leave me a comment and let me know you're reading! I have no idea who's following this aside from my family and those who have already commented.

Much love from India!


Moureen said...

I am so glad you arrived safely! I am so excited to read about your adventures! And I am glad you picked the teal outfit - it looks beautiful on you!!!!! Love to you!!!! Moureen

Meghan LP said...

What an adventure! Love your new duds - the teal was the right choice. Adorbs. XOXO

Eleanor-Rigby. said...

Yay! I am so glad that you're there safely! I can't wait for another update.

Raeford said...

This is so cool! I'm excited to follow you on your adventure. The course you're taking sounds so interesting. Have fun, Chips! :)

Stephanie Seate said...

So excited to follow you on your journey. Have a great time!

Courtney Marsh said...

I'm glad you got there! I'm excited for you and will be reading along the way! :D!

Grace Pusey said...

I love the blue kurta on you. Looks great! And I'm so, so glad your apartment has AC.

Anonymous said...

Love this blog! Thanks for all of the pictures too! Marcy

JustJude said...

Awesome!! Cute outfit and the adventure has begun! Love you, Mom <3

Toni Lupro said...

Oh, thank goodness for the AC! I love the outfit too, :).

Rachel Penn said...

I'm reading every day! As you can see, I finally figured out how to leave comments :) It is only working on my laptop, so you may just get a bunch of comments from me all at once. RLK!