Indian Rainbows

Fans in the Air

If you really want to go to India you shouldn’t go before autumn and take care to head back north by the end of spring. Or just go into the mountains, Nepal, Bhutan or whatever. Summer ist just to hot. In June, the temperature in Dehli reached incredible 47.8°C! And since the summer in India starts earlier than in Europe I took a flight back to Spain in the end of March. There I spent a rainy spring on a rainbow in Portugal and finally headed back to Germany in May. But India wants me back earlier then expected thus I had to travel back to Kolkatta  in the middle of the rainy season.

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The area around sudder street is one big market. You can buy everything from chicken to iPhone.

Thanks to monsoon it’s a bit cooler than in summer but the humidity is so high that after climbing the hotel stairs I am already soaked with sweat. In my room the ceiling fan provides a bit of fresh air but on the other hand I am always a bit scared of it. Scared that it detaches from the ceiling, falls down onto the bed and cuts off one of my precious limbs.

But that is probably just my remaining German safety thinking that has reestablished itself during my three months visit of my homecountry. Being in India is cultural shock and it will take several days for me and my intestines to have adapted to my new environment.

Coming from comfy Berlin I am sitting in my taxi from the airport to Sudder Street asking myself, what the hell am I doing here? The 16 kilometers drive takes us one hour, the driver isn’t really communicative and an enormous thunderstorm is pouring buckets of water down on car.

In Sudder Street things don’t get better. I want to go into my old hotel but they have only a room without a fan. Also, the cover of the mattress has a big rip and everything seems somehow dirty and disgusting. Additionally prices have doubled since my last visit. Appalled I turn back on my heels and start looking for another hotel. But turns out to be more difficult than expected – every hotel is fully booked. A lot of Bangladeshis have come back to the city because the festival season – probably Ramadan – is over. After trying five hotels I go back.

There the manager tells me that the fan will be repaired soon and till then I can use her small fan. Also a new sheet is put over the bed and at somehow suddenly the room has a much nicer feeling to it.

Well, I make myself comfortable and start unpacking as, after maybe one hour, someone knocks on my door. The technician has arrived! In his hand a working ceiling fan that he must just have removed somewhere, after all the motor is still hot from running.

He doesn’t have ladder with him instead he puts the only chair in room on the bed. The construction seems a bit unstable to me and I fear for my fresh sheet. So I raise up the mattress and put the chair on the ply wood beneath. Meanwhile the technician is looking for the right switch to turn the electricity of the fan off. Since the switches are not marked he just puts them all but the light switch in the downward position.

Then he climbs on the chair, asks me to hand him the fan and attaches the device with a small screw on the pole which is hanging from the ceiling. He uses pliers to fasten the screw, connects the two wires to the motor. Finished!

He climbs down and switches on the fan, that immediately starts rotating and creates a small storm in my room. He laughs content and, holding the small fan under is arm, leaves me alone in my room. The fan is running on the highest level and the bar connecting it to ceiling is shacking menacingly. But meanwhile I am to tired for any worries to remain, switch the fan down two levels, lie down and fall asleep.

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