I guess I got off easy.

Over four months in India, and besides the daily annoyances like getting ripped off, yelled at, stepping in human excrement, being inconvienced by lack of tp, baby wipes, faulty internet and phone, and vast cultural misunderstandings (etc etc) I have largely escaped most of the things that travelers are likely to fall prey to.

No malaria, despite only taking medicine every once in a while. No loose stools that lasted for more than a day, despite being quite adventurous with food and drinking some unclean Rajasthani water. I've only been groped by a couple males (nothing that some rock throwing, water bottle boinking upside the head, and yelling couldn't take care off...). And nothing lost or stolen, despite entrusting total strangers to watch my bags when I go to the bathroom in a train and trusting bottom of the barrel hotels to keep my luggage and passport safe when I go out of town. Oh, and I generally trust autowallahs and taxi drivers to take me where they say they are taking me- like yesterday, the taxi ride from Darjeeling to NJP (the train station) is about 3.5 hours long. I took a share jeep on the way up to Darjeeling, which was pretty intense because 2 of the 15 people in the 7 person jeep were puking the entire way...so I payed for a personal taxi to take me down the mountain. Anyway, I got to the train as it was taking off, and other than having to sprint through like 16 boxcars, everything went smoothly.

Upon arriving back in Calcutta around 6am this morning, my first real Indian accident happened. So I'm walking around outside the station with an Israeli girl and man from the Czech Republic- we've decided to share a taxi as we are going in the same direction. It's pretty chaotic, as always, with cycle rickshaws, walking rickshaws, autorickshaws, taxis, motorcycles, and people all going in all diections. My two compadres decide to stand and watch the luggage while I dodge traffic trying to find a taxi for the "right price," which is 40 rupees, but each driver is asking for 150ish.

I find a taxi and wave for the other two to come over. They don't see me, so I start walking their way. Suddenly I'm caught in a big cluster(****) of people and cars. And as I try to break free, it feels as if I'm caught on something. Turns out I was caught on a damn beggar's stealing hand. Pushing everyone away, I looked down at my purse and realized the outer zipper section was open. Of course I have so much junk in there, I had no way of knowing if anything was actually taken. The important stuff (passport, camera, ipod) are in the main compartment, and were all still there. I figured the punk just got some lipstick or hand sanitizer (if he had only asked I would have bought him some value-size Purell so he could share with his whole damn clan of friends who wipe with their hands...)

Anyway, this other man who is evidently mute, starts going nuts and pointing over to the field where all the beggars live. He's really frantic and I'm like "did they actually steal something?!" I really didn't care because I have a cold and didn't sleep on the train. Anyway, so then the good ole corrupt po-pos get involved. They seize this teenage beggar boy with brown teeth, and he's yelling and showing that his pockets are empty. Meanwhile, the policemen are raising their batons and appear ready to go to town on this boy. And, as far as I know, nothing was stolen, so I'm telling the police "it's TK, TK" and to let him go because nothing was stolen. But they are not having it- I think they just wanted to get their first beat-down of the day on. And then I'm like, why is this mute guy so concerned about getting some justice for this theif? So I tell the police, "maybe he's the one who stole..." Anyway, they don't understand English, and evidently don't need evidence to beat the hell out of someone, so my talking was futile.

Well, about an hour ago I'm digging through my purse trying to find my phone so I can figure out what time it is. AND, that's what was stolen. I hope that ass enjoys it since the Sim card has decided to not work in Calcutta and there is no money left on it. Also, I'm about to go cancel the phone. Some people should just stick to begging.


macdaddy said...

Sounds like your time in India has been quite an adventure. I will enjoy your pictures, your stories and cross India off my bucket list. Take care & be safe.

Casey Lord said...

:( ah man what an experience, im sorry you had to go through that. but it does explain why you havent been replying to my texts! ive got a new number: 9943628079 so get in touch when you can. am in cuddalore working with ssp, just been here a couple of days and have a surprising amount of work to do...

feeling a bit homesick these days :( would love a chat soon. take care ole kali cat and watch out for those crowds

c xxxxx