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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Dimmock

City of Joy

After our wonderful time in Varanasi, we headed back to the airport for our Indigo flight to Kolkata on the evening of 7th January which left at 19.30 and arrived 20.45. I had really wanted to stay at the Fairlawn hotel but it was fully booked so ended up in the Treebo Tryst Dee Empresa which is just around the corner for £135 for three nights. I really didn't like it much upon check in but it did grow on me a little over the weekend, especially once we were moved from the 5th floor where the wifi didn't work to the 3rd where it did!

On our first day, Saturday 8th July, we didn't do an awful lot but it was good to just rest after so much traveling. We went out wandering around Sudder Street and the market, ate sandwiches and cake at the Kathleen cake shop which went down a treat and picked up red wine from the bottle shop on the corner of Sudder Street. After ages wandering around down the wrong streets, I also finally found my all time favourite place to eat in Kolkata, Khalsa Restaurant, where I tucked into tandoori chicken, butter naan, and Tiger had baked beans, cucumber (for some reason!), and chips. We did also pop into the Fairlawn, as it holds so many memories for me. I wanted to have one big beer and two glasses (for Robin) but they have stopped selling alcohol for some reason! Next time, I'll have to be more organised and bring my own! We finished off our day by taking a hand pulled rickshaw home from the restaurant (this was just around the corner but I wanted to get a hand pulled rickshaw ride in!!).

On Sunday 9th January, I had an appointment with Dr Dipa Saha at ADEA for an eye test (500 Rs) and recommendation of what on earth to do with my eyes next! It proved a fruitful appointment as we have now agreed on lens implant surgery which costs between 50,000 Rs and 90,000 Rs (£900) per eye. One eye can be done first, then 7 days recovery, followed by the second eye. So I am hopeful I can do this in October.

From ADEA we took an Uber over to Patuli where we had lunch and a wonderful afternoon with my teacher Samapti Sakar. Samapti had been teaching me Bengali online for a number of years, although I must say I am a pretty awful student and was always late! Still, I do actually know some Bengali in the deep recesses of my brain and Samapti and I now have a lovely friendship. It was also wonderful to see her husband and Bihu, her daughter, who is now 14 and an aspiring archaeologist who wishes to study history.

On Sunday 10th January, we Uber'd back to the airport for our 09.40 Air India flight to Mumbai (Bombay) but we will be back soon!

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