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Dubai Airport smells of feet...

Kolkata Travel Blog

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Fairlawn Hotel

...smelly ones. It's a strange place - smart, glitzy, shimmering with all things gold. Yet everywhere there are people lying on the floor, sleeping on little beds of newspaper. All with their shoes off. I tried to have a rest in the quiet lounge. There was one recliner chair without a sleeping person on. But there was no chance I could use it. The pong from the bloke next door's socks, was overpowering.

There was plenty of time to get the smell thoroughly into my nostrils, what with a two hour delay and three changes of gate. As soon as we got to one, panic would grip the staff and they'd pack us off to another. Never mind. They fed us tuna sandwiches and samosas to keep us on side. It didn't work for some.

Kolkata international airport .

Rickshaws
..hmmm...if I stopped to imagine my little commuter town having an airport - not now but in the 1950s, I would imagine it to look like this. Not what I imagined at all for one of India's most populous cities. But it was fine. Got some money... headed confidently for the pre-pay taxi line, totally innocent of what awaited me. The journey from the airport to Sudder street took years off my life. Nearly ended it there and then. The taxi driver clearly thought that he was playing a computer game where the aim is to wreak as much death and destruction as possible. Pedestrians, cyclists, trucks and other taxis...I swear he actually deliberately steered towards them in a bid to get more points. It's not as if I'm unused to Asian traffic and driving styles, but this was something else.

The hotel was old raj era. I doubt anything's been touched since it's heyday in the 30s. I almost took a photograph of the wiring in my room. And the lovely (once) victorian bath stands on  bricks. It isn't the cleanest place, nor the safest possibly - but it would be hard to beat for quirkiness. The grande dame (Mrs Violet Smith) is obviously very proud of the guests she's had. The photograph gallery was somewhat dominated by Felicity Kendal, who beams down at you while you eat your breakfast.

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Fairlawn Hotel
Fairlawn Hotel
Rickshaws
Rickshaws
My guides at the church
My guides at the church
Making a call in the car
Making a call in the car
Kolkata
photo by: sky69