Madras to Calcutta non-stop by train

Trip Start Nov 12, 1980
Trip End May 1981

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Friday, January 30, 1981

Up over my eye balls with fascinating India; frustrating Indians
Booked second class non-sleeper all the way from Madras to Calcutta. Unfortunately, Bypassed some really terrific archeological sites along the way but I'd had enough of Indians and its aggressive culture. But had to see Calcutta before I left, perhaps never to return. May never come this way again but can't see it all.

Great deal to see here. Density of humanity, poverty. living in streets, RR stations, etc. dirty, jammed traffic. Raj much in evidence, Capitol bldg, Maidan, Hotels,

Bus tour of city. Sat next to a PhD Physicist from Bombay, He lived in USA for a time working on atomic energy, "What do you think of India?" "Very interesting" "Interesting!? What do you mean, Interesting?" What an ass. One of many. Like the twenty something man who spotted me walking along a back street one night. He rushed across the street: "How can I help you, Sahb?" I assured him I was in no need of help. Insulted and angry he went on for some minutes: "I want to help you and you refuse my help! Why do you not let me help you?" etc.

Took an inexpensive half day bus tour of the city. Sat a good deal of the time stopped in traffic jams but the bus was air conditioned and was opportunity to watch the hectic passing scene. Eclectic architecture of Jain temple, housing project decaying before completed. Temples, etc.

Spent a couple hours in the cluttered but great Museum of India. Visits to Botanical and Zoo gardens. The zoo of course featured Bengall tigers but also a liger, tigon and litigon. They are offspring of a male lion and female tiger and vice versa and the litigon is off spring of a lion and litigon. I thought hybirds were sterile. They were weird looking. Not attractive at all unlike interracial human children who are often very handsome. There was a Banyan tree, claimed to be the 'largest in world'. There was a quarter mile road around it. It was like a small forest all by itself.

There are were several other museums [eg. Nehru], worth a look see depending on your tolerance for museums.

I still had a long way to go and not much money. So I settled for a Dollar a night room, with shower and huge roaches. The sheets were clean though.

Bought air tix to Rangoon with a stop over in Dacca. Agent assured me tix bought in Dacca to Rangoon same as his ticket Calcutta-Dacca-Rangoon. He lied. Wanted to go to Dacca by bus not so much to save money but to see the territory in between.
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