Kolkata - Howrah Terminus


My train arrived with the usual delay. This time it was 8 hours as there were some problems, nobody could explain - as always. Traveling by train in India is an adventure of its own. Finally the train rolled into Howrah terminus, the end of the Grand Trunk Line at the mighty Ganga river or Hooghly river, how this side arm was called. Howrah is a multi cosmos of its own, a city within a city. When I jumped off the train the masses on the platform sucked me up and without control I had to follow their direction. When all the passengers disembarked the rattling old carriages of the 3rd class, the cleaners were fighting for the first entry to grab the leftovers of the public. When I reached the exit of the station everybody walked directly into the rickshaw wallahs trap. Hungry for customers there was a maze of haggling, explaining and convincing. Some minutes of bargaining later I was on top of Mr. Chitras rickshaw, pulling me in the direction of Park Street, where my room was. He managed the chaotic traffic magnificently, navigating the potholes, cows and buses in this sea of humans without touching something or someone. At Park Street I payed him sixty rupees, which was about double the local price, for what I earned a big smile and thank you. For both of us a good start into a hot and long day.