Well well well! I never thought I will write about my experiences during my first visit to Kolkata. I consider myself reasonably well traveled but I had never been to Kolkata. Last week I spent a couple of days in the city.
The Ubiquitous Queue
I landed in Kolkata close to midnight. I was staying at ITC Sonar and as soon as I collected my bag from the carousal I Iooked around for a prepaid taxi booth. Stepping out on the streets at close to midnight in a strange city and than trying to hail a cab was not something I fancied. Soon enough I spied a counter, which said Pre Paid Taxi and immediately my heart sank. There must have been over 60 people standing patiently in a queue that wound its way almost across the terminal. There was no chaos that you would expect in Delhi. I mustered as much courage as I could and joined the queue at the fag end. After about 15 minutes I realised that I was in the middle of the queue only because more people had joined in behind me. Realising the futility of this I plucked up some courage, left the queue and stepped out of the terminal. I crossed the street right outside the airport and was soon approached by a cabbie, who readily agreed to take me to the hotel. And he also kindly directed me to a pre-paid counter, right across the airport terminal. And guess what, this counter was completely deserted. I readily paid my fare and was off to the hotel wondering about the oft heard and now seen Bengali enterprise. Continue reading