Thursday, June 17, 2010

Agia! (“I arrived!”)

For future reference: This blog’s update rate will be sporadic, paralleling my internet access.

Well, I’m here in West Bengal—right at the Eastern corner of India, where Calcutta/Kolkata (where Mother Teresa had her base of operations) is located. Minor delays in Germany due to that unpronounceable Icelandic volcano acting up again, but no real issues—well, aside from a scary mustachioed AK47-toting security guard temporarily stopping me at the Delhi airport and demanding to see the stamped tags on my luggage certifying I had nothing suspicious in my baggage. These khaki sporting policemen armed with rather heavy weaponry for a civilian force seem to be the norm in India, and run the gamut from benevolent protectors to corrupt “baksheesh” seekers (“Gift” in Farsi, now having spread to Hindi, meaning tip/bribe). Thankfully, they tend towards the former. India has an issue with violent Maoist revolutionaries (Naxals) periodically committing acts of terrorism—planting bombs, killing policemen. A few weeks ago, they even managed to either derail or bomb a train somewhere. Hence, policemen tend to be very heavily armed here in Central and Eastern India—not sure about the rest.

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