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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for West Bengal, India

Nov 22, 2018 - The Motherhouse

Day 10: Kolkata The Motherhouse I fully admit that I didn’t know a lot about Mother Teresa before this trip. Sure, I knew that she worked with the poor in Kolkata, but that’s about it. The tour to her mission today, known as the Motherhouse, changed all that. We started with a visit to her tomb and then walked upstairs to visit the room where she lived, worked, and died. At first I was thinking that she and I had a lot in common, and I could probably do what she did. Then I read the sign that explained how she refused to get a fan even...

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Nov 21, 2018 - It’s All About Color

Day 9: Mayapur - Chandernagore- Kolkata It’s All About Color I’ve been fascinated with the caste system in India ever since I read the book, A Fine Balance. It gave me a glimpse into a world unknown where one’s station in life is set forever just by virtue of your last name. Sumit’s lecture today expanded my understanding to include the history and the current status of this system only found in Hindu culture. Arranged marriages are still very much a thing here although modern times do allow for an occasional love match. Sumit cracked...

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Nov 20, 2018 - Crazy Is As Crazy Does

Day 8: Murshidabad - Mayapur Crazy Is As Crazy Does I took the liberty of skipping a couple of on-board presentations this morning to work on trip journals. Sure it would have been great to lounge on the sun deck and just soak up the view. Or maybe hang out with Vince and John from California or Bob and Walter from Texas to continue getting to know them. But no. As an unprofessional travel journalist, this is my job, and the fans come first. I did tear myself away from writing, however, for lunch and again in the early afternoon for a...

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Nov 15, 2018 - The Face of Hope

Day 7 Murshidabad and Baranagar The Face of Hope We saw a different face of rural India today. Still some of the same things we’ve seen in other villages—poverty, poor living conditions, questionable food safety issues. But this time, we saw it all through the eyes of some of the children we met there. We met Subodeep shortly after we entered the village. Ten years old with deep brown eyes, a shock of dark hair, and a confident smile, he and several of his friends followed us for a while and proudly tried out the hand full of English words...

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Nov 12, 2018 - Monkey See

Day 6 in Mariano-Khushbagh-Murshidabad Monkey See You know, I don’t ask for much, but how hard would it be for India to hide 50 million monkeys for two weeks? Evidently too hard for them to even try because I saw my first monkeys today. I’m still thinking my Little Baby Jesus prayer is working because I only saw them from a distance, and no one got brutally attacked. There they were, long tails, dark faces, and beady eyes sitting on rooftops, climbing in trees, and watching curiously as group members with questionable sanity oohed and aahed...

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Nov 11, 2018 - A Happy of our Own

Day 5: Kalna-Matiari A Happy of our Own So is it just me or would you expect “Yoga for Beginners” to be a series of gentle stretches and poses? Given the fact that we managed to get ourselves up and ready to join the Sunrise Yoga class at 6:30 a.m., we were not amused (the Royal we of course) when we got there on time, and class was already started. I thought for sure I must be on the wrong deck when I saw a small group of our fellow travelers gasping for breath as they followed the instructor through a series of vigorous jumping jacks and...

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Nov 10, 2018 - Temple Socks

Day 4: Kolkata-Bandel-Kalna Temple Socks Nothing like waking up in the morning and pulling the drapes to see what the morning brings. Today it brought laundry. It’s not every day you wake up to find people brushing their teeth, bathing themselves, or washing their clothes in the local river. But today we did. Feeling rested and excited, we joined Sumin at 8 a.m. after a delicious buffet breakfast. Our tour bus followed some of the same city route we had covered in the dark, and it was very interesting to see a more detailed view in the...

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Nov 10, 2018 - Oh Kolkata!

Day 3 Delhi to Kolkata Oh Kolkata! Who knew that a day of transit could be just as tiring as a full day of touring? We started with a delicious breakfast at the hotel then finished packing to be ready for our bus transfer to the airport bound for Kolkata, (formerly known as Calcutta, in the West Bengal region of India.) And just because I know all of you are worried sick about me and monkeys, I’m pleased to announce that I haven’t seen one yet. John saw one in a tree while we were on the bus, but clearly Little Baby Jesus heard my prayers...

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Dec 19, 2016 - Train to Kolkata

12/19 We head to rr station @ 7a.m. ___ Luckily, B & M suggested I get on their coach which was 8 coaches away from mine (it was the only way to get all 3 tickets on the same train). For the 12 hour trip it would have been a long, long ride by myself not wanting to leave my bags even chained in a coach so distant from B & M. All went well, I stayed with them the entire time and even when the conductor asked for tickets he never batted an eye. Mare & I played cards almost the entire time! I won just about every game which was very...

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India One More Time

Dec 18, 2016 - Sumo to New Jalpaiguri

12/18 We head to sumo/taxi stand after checking out of Hotel Broadway. It's getting colder (relatively speaking) so good to move on - down...soon to be hot and humid again, ha! We humans are so little adapted to multiple climates, reptiles seem to have an answer, maybe! But we are not related by evolution so I guess our fate is in the hands of M.N. Arrived after a thrilling downhill ride at train depot from whence we left ...2:30p.m. asked at the tourist help place for hotels nearby! A very friendly fellow pointed and said "Just 2 km that...

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India One More Time

Dec 16, 2016 - Onward by train to Darjeeling

12/15 Our train tickets have us boarding at 11 p.m. on the 15th but we do not arrive in JNP train station for the 'toy train' leaving at 8:30 to Darjeeling until 7:30 a.m. on the 16th. ___ Later: We paid 800 r, to stay in D & Js room until 10 p.m. when we went to the train station - 15 min. walk. It was very wise to hold the room since train stations in India are 'an experience' to be missed. Crowded, noisy, really uncomfortable seats, if you can find one, and at one time in the past they even let cows wander in and around - yuk! Luckily we...

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India One More Time

Nov 11, 2016 - Flying to Calcutta via Delhi

11/11 Spent yesterday teeth checking, blood testing, and 4 hours in bank lines changing old 500 & 1000 rupees notes for the 'new' 2000 rupee notes...only could change 4000 at each bank, one bank was so short of new notes they only allowed you to change 1000rupees! We catch buses(4) to Goa airport early even though our flight isn't until 2pm. As it turned out, it was 4 bus rides, 8am - 10am. We were fortunate on the 3rd bus Panjim to Vasco, that a nice lady told us where to get off for the 4th bus to the airport before going all the way to...

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India One More Time

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