Varanasi and Kolkata

We woke up VERY early and took our things to a new hotel, one that was closer to the train station. We only had one car so we took shifts switching hotels. We were all down by reception by 5:00 am. When we arrived in the new hotel we went directly up to our two day rooms and passed out. We crammed on the beds like sardines in a tin. I couldn't sleep and went just tossed and turned until finally going up on the roof for some tea around 7:30. The others slowly trickled to breakfast and by 11:00 everyone was awake. The food at this hotel was VERY expensive, but at least they served meat. Everyone played 'colors'. I did not see the fun in it and listened to my ipod instead. Maybe it was because I was the only one sober, or maybe it was because I already did this stuff at camp during our Maccabiah games? Everybody was completely covered and after 2 hours we all had to take turns showering and changing and re-packing for our sleeper-train to Koltata. Nobody was able to get all the paint off their body and they still have it on them as of today...haha. Our dinner took ages to get, mostly because there was only one cook. Our waiter was drunk and stoned, which didn't help the matter. After an hour of waiting for our meal the waiter finally came out only to tell several of us that our meals couldn't be made and we had to choose something else. We finally got our food, which was average at best and paid the outrageously inflated prices. We took shifts getting to the train station. We got on the train and were on our way to Kolkata by 6:15 pm. I had taken the top bunk (of 3) and laid my sheets down first, before doing anything else. On all my other sleeper trains (6 or 7 so far) I have just slept on the bed w/o even using any sheeting. It's always so hard to make a bed when you don't even have enough room to sit up. And doing this when you're already tired, you can forget about it, as many people did. We chatted for a bit and I tried to get to sleep by 8:30 or so. That didn't work out too well. It was a crappy night's sleep.

When we arrived in Kolkata I noticed how much more 'industrialized' this city was. The train station was much more developed than the other places. There were no rickshaws outside the translation (any anywhere really). There were swarms of old fashion yellow taxis. We took 3 taxis and got to our hotel, where I shared a room with Dave. We went on an orientation walk through the city and we left Ajit 30 minutes later. We all went to the Victoria Memorial and we largely impressed with the architecture, but not so much the art exhibit inside. I walked around the gardens and then most of the group went back to the hotel afterwards. Debbie, Emily, Lisa, and I walked around to find a place to stay for the next night (and for the next two nights for me). We went to 4 or so places and I decided to let the 3 girls share a room and I would get my own (and maybe share one night with David). Sorry if this entry makes no sense, as I'm having a conversation with Emily right now (the twin). The 4 of us walked around and ate some street food. We walked to the New Market, and I bought some stuff. On our walk home we stopped in a bottle shop I spotted and got some wine and vodka. It was VERY cheap. We made some more shops at a few book stores and DVD shops and before we knew it it was getting late and we had to meet the group at 7:30. I found and bought a Lonely Planet for Ireland...what luck. We took a cab back to our hotel, but the driver couldn't find it and got lost for over 45 minutes. He would stop and ask for directions at EVERY damn corner. One time he had left his car to ask someone and we just all left, but we paid him and left the money on the seat. We walked the rest (asking everyone we saw for directions). At the hotel we started drinking and had a grand feast at dinner. Afterwards we drank in Ajit's room. He had to get up early so he had gone to bed and we all went out to a club. It was SOOO expensive. It was expensive for western standards. I only got one drink, but some guy was buying us drinks. I got 2 drinks from him and many others got one or two. He just saw us having such a good time he wanted to be kind i guess? I danced and danced for HOURS. Sam danced a little, but Dave didn't. Most of the girls danced on and off, but I SWEAR I danced the ENTIRE TIME. I danced with this GORGEOUS girl that I met in the bar. She lives in India. We talked a little and were flirting and I swear I could have married that girl. WOW. She was Nepali...I think that's where I'll go to next.

I'll keep this short because this girl next to me wants to go online. Basically we drank and danced all night. Back at the hotel, well after 2 am the party moved to Dave and My room. I wasn't up for drinking more and Debbie, Dave, and Astri (the girl from Norway) wanted to. I gave them my bottle of wine and went to bed in Debbie's bed. Emily, her roommate had woken up and saw be next to her and was a little curious, but all is good. They had spilled wine all over the bed and floor in our room. They didn't get much sleep and are trying to sleep it off now (it's 11:30). We're meeting at 12:00 in the lobby and then maybe going to the Marble Palace, but I still need to work out where I'm staying for the next two nights. I'll have pictures up sometime in the next day or so. Cheers.