Mother Teresa's Tomb, laid to rest in 1997
After a quick trip up to Pelling to view the Himalayas and visit a peaceful monastery, I went back down to Darjeeling for a few more nights. Something about that place made it hard to leave. Maybe it was the fact they had toast (Pelling had no bread, and due to bird flu, no chicken/eggs). Or maybe it was the Himalayas that you knew were there (I actually saw a brief glimpse of them one icy morning from Tiger Hill). Or maybe, just maybe it was all the exercise I was getting going up and down those hills. The last day I could actually walk up the hill to my hotel without losing my breath! But after arriving in Calcutta, it is clear what I really miss most: the peace and quiet! Oh, how I long for it. And the weather. I grew accustomed to the 50 degrees and now it is 90 and humid.
I am beginning to melt.
Monks "chilling" in front of the monastery
Yes, I’m back in the thick of things here in Calcutta after a long journey (our train was 11 hours late). My week long break turned me sour on this place though. I feel so anxious to leave India for some reason. I think I’ve just had enough for now. I do love this country, but I want to be in a place where bathing and crapping in public is not the norm. And no, I don’t want to see anyone blow their nose onto the street anymore. Frankly a new cuisine would be nice as well.
To change things up a bit, I thought I’d spend a few days volunteering at Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity Homes, but due to my late train, I lost an entire day.
Then I found out the first day you must register and go through an orientation, which would leave me with but one day to volunteer, which just so happens is the day they don’t take volunteers. I told myself this was for the best as I doubt spending my last day in India at a dying person’s bedside is the way to bid farewell to this country. However, I have pangs of guilt surrounded by all those spending months here to do good work (or maybe it’s just my round two of stomach issues brought on by this fine India cuisine). Either way, it is probably for the best.
This place is under construction - obviously hoping to bank on the fame of the LP guide
Instead I’ve spent my time in Calcutta, well, preparing to leave really. I did visit Mother’s Home and spent time gazing at her tomb. Admittedly it was a nice and cool place to rest. I bought a guidebook for my next stop and picked up a Spanish book to learn the language over the next 6 or 7 weeks (ha!). Actually, I studied Spanish in college and hope to finally speak a language in a country I visit, so I plan to brush up a little in anticipation of hitting Colombia in May.
But first • SE Asia! Bangkok, here I come. New food, new language, new sights, smells, sounds…