I’ve sorted a Bajaj Scooter (tuk-tuks are difficult to drive because of licensing; my boner was set on one, but what’re you gonna do?) and will likely head out of Kolkata tomorrow.
I’m having superfuntime and I’ve made a lot of friends. I’ve also learned a bit of Hindi, which is rad. I can count and ask for stuff. It’s strange to think, but I will probably have as much Hindi as I had Vietnamese by the time I leave here. People are so much better about practicing language. Plus, it’s atonal.
Having been here a handful of days, I can categorically say that India>Vietnam. It’s fucking amazing the difference a little culture makes. People here have conversations on the street! They have neighborhoods and friends and shit like this! I was walking home last night and some dudes and ladies were singing to themselves in the street! That’s shit you’d never see in VN. Traffic is a bit crazier here, but, again, it’s better. Largely because in VN, a million people are trying to jam their scepters into a single hole, whereas here everybody is aware that there are other people; they look and make decisions as to their driving based on meta-data. People ignore one another here, but they realize they’re being dicks. That’s another nice thing. Culturally, there isn’t an “ignore it until it goes away” ethos.
That said, a little kid threw a rock at my god’am face the other day. And this creepy kid came onto me on the street. Got really intense and asked me what shape I thought his face and nose were. I think he was trying to hypnotize me like Kaa from Jungle Book. I’ve tried to maintain one rule while in India: don’t get raped. So far it’s going okay. This kid had me running scared, though. He looked like a living boner pulled on a Vincent Price skin suit and took a bath in Drakkar Noir before rolling out into the night air. When asked what brought him downtown (I returned the question to him out of politeness) he literally said, “The instinct of all men”.
Anyway, I’m gonna try to stay unviolated and I’ll talk to y’all later/soon.
Be sure to check out my first set of photos! If you want any, just email me and I’ll get you a high-res version.