Inadvertently Escaping the Monsoon

The rain pounded down on Kolkata, crashing into the pavement, buildings, cars and everything else. The perpetual pelting added to the already mega cacophony of the huge and crowded city.

The monsoon is here isn’t it?”

Yes. Very difficult.”

It’s gonna be raining everyday now huh?”

Yes.”

I thought: The taxi driver, one in perhaps 100,000 in Kolkata who drives a yellow Hindustan Ambassador taxi, already has a tough life of constant street chaos. Now with the daily rain, his toil has become more challenging.

I was in Kolkata for a few days. Two mornings ago, in heavy rain, I caught that cab to the airport.  It was the hardest rain that I’d experienced in Kolkata and during most of the six weeks I spent in north and east India.

I listened to the man speak Bengali on his phone. Bengali is one of 29 official languages of India. It’s spoken in the state of West Bengal which sits next to the country of Bangladesh.

I rolled my window down and felt refreshing rain blowing in, while smog from the street caused mild nausea.   With the window down I was able to people watch.  Some sported umbrellas or rain gear that acted as shields. Others didn’t bother, choosing to remain drenched. Like in other places where there’s a ton of rain, no one appeared bothered. Life went on almost as if the hot sun were streaming down.

My driver swayed, swerved and hit the brakes often.  This is par for the course in any Indian city, hard rain or not. After close to an hour, we were at the airport. I paid the man the 300 Rupee or $6.77  fare and and added a 50 Rupee or $1.13 tip.

I left India for Thailand, while miraculously avoiding much of the monsoon rain that had just become fully-blown in Kolkata.

–   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –   –

After six weeks of India in June and July, I decided that it was just too hot this time of year. 

I’m now in Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai where it’s still very warm.   However, about a week ago I checked with weather.com for the temps in both Varanasi, India, where I was, and Chaing Mai.  In Varanasi, where I felt wiped out from walking, the heat index made it feel like 110º F or 43º C.  In Chiang Mai on the same day, it felt like 90º F or 32º C.   Doing the math, the location change became a no-brainer.

In the following days, I hope to catch up on my India posts and then move on to writing about Thailand.

I may return to India. We’ll have to see where the drifting takes me as my future travels are far from being etched in stone.  

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