Love Affair with Everywhere--Kolkata

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with friends :))

Flag of India  , West Bengal,
Friday, April 20, 2012

India was recently added to my territory for work, so from Dubai I needed to be in Bangalore. I mentioned in my Delhi/Agra/Jaipur post from Nov 2011 ( that I was in Kolkata then for the wedding of a dear childhood friend of mine.

Since I had the weekend between Dubai and Bangalore, I figured (and hoped) it would be the perfect opportunity to go see them in Kolkata--not for a wedding or an event (which is also fun, but usually so busy there is no real time to catch up), just a weekend hanging with good friends.

I arrived on a warm Friday evening; it was already 30C/90F in April--I can imagine the summer will be brutal. Anyway, my friend, R, came to pick me up and we spent the drive home chatting as though we had just seen each other last week (when in fact it had been more like 8-9 months). For a minute I forgot I was in India, much less realize that we had been sitting in traffic for most of the time.

We got home, had a lovely Thai style dinner (I forgot the name, but it was delicious) and had every intention of going out to a coffee shop Friday night, but we got so caught up in talking that 10pm,  became midnight, which turned to 2 am...still sitting on the couch chatting :) There are those friendships that no matter how much time passes between meetings it is as if no time has passed--our friendship has always been that way (I am glad to see that even a move 10,000 miles away can't change that :).

Saturday, I had a few things I wanted to pick up and she had some things she wanted to send home so we embarked on the city, but before doing so, we stopped by J's office. They are in the tea trade and were in the middle of a tea tasting! It was one of the cooler things I have seen in a while! They kindly stopped their tasting meeting to tell me what they were doing, what they were looking for in the different types of tea and answered my many questions.

I say in almost every post to ask the locals where to my friend is now the local, so off we went to Vardaan market and Forum Mall, followed by lunch at Conclave deli and then a super cool designer boutique called Bombaim.

I was so impressed by how she has made Kolkata home and her ability to navigate the chaos that is any city in Hindi :)

Since I almost always talk about food in my posts, I feel should mention that the food at Conclave deli was all listed as dishes I know burritos, quesadillas, baked brie/apples and walnuts, pizza, etc but none of what we ordered tasted like what we expected. It was very good, but just not what you think of when you imagine a specific food. It was like ordering a burrito and getting something that looks like a burrito, but tastes like falafel :)

Following a productive day of shopping and wandering we went home for a break and to catch up with J. Those of you who know them and are reading this can likely guess where we went for dinner...correct, their fave, Fire and Ice. I was glad to get to go to the place I have heard them rave about. Was a great Italian joint, I can see why it is their favorite.

The next day, before heading to the airport we went to the iconic Kolkata tearoom, Flurys, for brunch. Everywhere I went after, when I mentioned I was in Kolkata for the weekend, they mentioned Flurys and their infamous cakes and specifically the rum balls. The establishment is on Park Street, full of restaurants, shops and bars.

From there it was back to the airport and off to Bangalore.

I had a fabulous time in Kolkata with R and J and their family. I hope to make it a regular stop (if they will keep letting me stop in :)) while in India. Thanks for an amazing visit! Can't wait to see yall soon!!


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