by Nic Olson

Dear Mom,
I haven’t talked to you since I left so I figured I’d at least write something to you so that if malaria does indeed get me, you’ll at least know I made it to Kolkata.
The second roundabout Kol is much nicer than the first, so I recommend you return for a repeat tour, except with less actual ‘touring’ and more actual ‘being’…
I know that you are probably sitting at home worrying and baking cookies for a household that doesn’t appreciate baked goods, so I thought I would come up with a few reasons of why you need not worry any longer.

My Iron Stomach. Somehow yours and dads genes came together to give me less than desirable social skills and a head the size of a small beach ball, but a stomach that can handle the worst of curries. Today I had this drink off the street, all I saw was ice, lemon, water and a package or two of some green stuff. The end flavour was similar to what I think cow blood mixed with raw egg would taste like, but it wasn’t that bad. We have also enjoyed many other street foods and the worst thing that has come of it is a mild case of extreme heartburn. All about the good times.

Another reason you can put your worries to rest is because here in Kol we have had numerous legit Indians show us around. Hassle free shopping and commuting. Today we rode in at least eight different rickshows and bought tons of crap in the market. Tell Melissa that I bought her those black bangles she wanted, although a few of them broke. Tell Jerms and Kris that their VIP frenchies were purchased, and because of their incredible cut and lowerlevel support more will likely be had by the end of this trip. Our Indian friends took us to Mother Teresas place today, the tomb was open as usual, but the exhibit was closed so we only stayed a short while.

I read somewhere, or maybe I heard it in a news bulliten, that after 126 total days in a country you are almost nearly pretty much a fulltime guest resident, which is another reason you can go worry free. After Mother Teresas place today, we hit up a Bollywood cinema and saw the box office hit ‘Tashan’, and epic dancing action love-story thriller. Some was English but I even caught some of the Hindi dialogue. I didn’t know exactly what was going on, like when they had sexy dancing times in the middle of a rainstorm but the dancing was on a nice warm beach in their heads…, but that didn’t ‘stop it from being the best movie I’ve ever seen. After the movie and some shopping we headed back to Muan’s. We played cricket with some kids for a while and headed to bed. Muan woke us up at 11pm for supper, and there was no way he’d let us go back to sleep without taking our rice. He also made FrenchFries, except they were probably called IndianDeepFriedSaltedPotatoSnacksServedWithRiceAndDal or something. After the meal we went and sat ourside because it might have been .01 degree cooler outisde than inside. A drunk motorcyclist stopped by for a chat. I spoke Hindi with him and then he asked if I was Indian. He then told me I should become a movie star because I’m smart and handsome. Not so bad.

And the final and only reason you have not to worry is that tomorrow we go to Guwahati and meet Ray and Ellen. Maybe we’ll do less stupid stuff with them around, but I doubt it. It didn’t really work last time. Anyways, talk to you soon. Tell dad that I watched pingpong on TV today. Later,

love Nic