Monday, March 06, 2006

River Dolphins and when Adults aren't

So in my ever continuing quest to get out of Kolkata. I went in on a hash trip to the Gadhiara, an area about 2 hours east of Cal closer to the Bay of Bengal. The cool thing about this place is that there are river dolphins.

6:00am- My phone alarm goes off and I call Sohini (friend of mine who I convinced to come out the day before in exchange for going out to The Underground [really cool club atmosphere, good music for about 40mins, slightly annoying showy crowd] and dancing when I was actually really sleepy. I kept yawning even on the dance floor)

6:05am- I fall a sleep thinking I had my snooze alarm on.

6:30am- I wake up realizing my alarm didn't go off. Make PB&J and throw some fruit and other lunch/snack food and water into a bag, take a shower, and head out to pick up Sonini and Emanelle on the way.

7:30am- We get to the bus, get on, Aneruit and I start a lively conversation (as we tend to do) and we wait for Neela and the others to get there.

7:50am-8:25- We all wait for that one guy who said he was going, and Neela woke up when she called at 7:45

9:30-10:30- We stop for food at a Dhaba (road-side eatery) that was really clean and have omelets and cheese Nan for breakfast.

12:00am-1:00pm- Arrive at the "Tourist Welcome Center" and hotel. The whole place was structurally nice but pretty old and run down. The hospitality isn't really so hospitable, but we tide ourselves over by swinging on the swings (or at least Sohini, Stan and I do). We drop our stuff in a room and head out to the pier to take a ferry to the island. When we get there about 1/2 of us get off while the others of us (confused when some people got back on the ferry) stayed on and went right back to where we started from. Apparently some of the older aunties were intimidated by the long thin plank people were using to go from the ferry to shore. The good thing is that we saw several dolphins leaping through the water on the way back. We think they were Eriwadi dolphins because they didn't look humpbacked.

1pm-2ish- Sohini, Aneruit, Stan, and one of the older ladies and I take a small boat out into the river. Much nicer than the enclosed ferry where we were right next to the engine. The little kid who arranged it was great. The older guy who was rowing was pretty sketchy. First he started telling us his life story. Then he decided to serenade us. . . badly. finally the kid told him to be quiet and let us sail in peace. About 15 mins after that he said that he needed to get back and was huffy for the rest of the ride. We think he was more than a little drunk.

2ish-4:45pm- We get back and meet up with the island group. Aneruit, Neela, Deep(a 10 yr old who decided to join us) and I sit down to the scrabble tournament. The first game I lose miserably. Probably from always playing for cool words and good plays with my family and friends and not caring about the points. The second game I re new my scrabble name by wining.
Lilly grabs one of the aunties and buys 2kg of either small lobsters or huge prawns. They end up having to de-claw them all before they put them in the crate on the bus because they were fighting each other and breaking the bag they were in.
There's a bunch of drama with the servers who fist bring out the tea, pour it, spill it on me and have to come back with another cup. When he brings it out it has already been poured and slopped all over the saucer and tray. The auntie demands another small pot of tea that we would mix the milk and sugar ourselves. This worked out well except for the fact that milk pitcher was really dirty on the outside (only we hoped) and there were ants in the sugar.
Since we were planing to head out at 5 we get ready to go.

5:00pm- Neela gets a call that the 6 people who decided to go over to the island late (around 3) missed the ferry and the next one isn't until 6:10pm.

5pm-6:25- We all sit around and complain about those who went to the other island and how we should leave them. Apparently they asked if they should go and were told that they shouldn't because it was so late and we were going to leave at 5pm. Neela and another auntie tried to call them but they refused to pick up the phone after the initial call. The aunties were really upset since they had planned to be home by 6 or 7. Neela, Sohini, Deep and I end up playing an unending game of crazy 8's until they arrived.

6:30- The other crew finally arrives with a lot of dirty looks from everyone. One of the crew happened to be a school teacher (which surprised me). Sohini gets concerned because Sunday is usually her day to be with her parents and they would be upset with her and worried.

6:45-9pm- We get on the bus and one of the aunties who was waiting makes a small speech about the disrespect an irresponsibility of others. One of the guys who was with the group says "lets not start a shouting match." Thus showing how sorry the crew was that they held up everyone. It is obvious that some people had never been left behind before or left Jr. High apparently. Their entire behavior was pretty juvenile. Sohini and I talk about family and men until we get back.

9:35pm- I finally roll into my flat, check to see that all of Andy's stuff is in place since he came back last night, and fell asleep not soon enough.

Fun though it was, I would've it rather been more of the crew I hang out with than the others. It was a lovely day trip and nice to have some time in the country side. Though you would think adults would behave like they are. It seemed funny to me that the youngest people there (Aneruit, Sohini, Stan, Lily, Me) had the most mature attitudes. . . or were at least more mature than those who left and held us up. Talk about school field-trip flashbacks.

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