Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bombay and Kolkata

As I begin to get settled in Bombay. I have had to learn a lot about my new city. I have gotten a seasonal train pass for the Bombay computer train/metro which will enable me to get around the city for only 340 rupees until May 15th. Although the train is very cheap it is also very crowded so I have also been learning about which trains I need to take when. For example some trains begin and end at my station, Bandra station, these trains are less crowded because they do not travel farther out and therefore less people can take them. But in general I find that the ladies train car (yes there is a separate car for women) is crowded and there is a lot of pushing but it is manageable and not as crazy as the men's car, where during rush hour you can often find men riding on top of the car instead of inside the train.

I have also been wandering around my new neighborhood and I have found a jogger's park where it costs 2 rupees to get in and use the nice dirt track. This has been great for my morning runs. I have also found a good and cheap restaurant near my house that delivers if I ever get hungry. Speaking of food there is also a place called The Bagel Shop, which sells... bagels! Although they are no where as good as the bagels in NYC, they are boiled and do resemble a bagel. I have also started carrying out my research with advertising agencies and have made inroads into new products and their ads.

But of course as just as I am get settled, I had to leave for 5 days to go to Kolkata for the annual South Asian Fulbright Conference, where Fulbrighters, alumni, and those who run the program from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan all get together for a conference. I have been able to listen and see other Fulbrighters present about their work and I was able to present mine as well. It was generally very well received which was so exciting for me. I have also been able to explore Kolkata a bit and even try some famous Bengali sweets! Its been a good trip but its back to Bombay early morning tomorrow for some frantic work before my parents are come for a visit! This means more travel. Get ready for some more commentary on Bombay as I explore it like a tourist, as well as a trip south!

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