Friday, August 27, 2004

Calcutta Times
I am paying special attention this trip to observe the differences and changes that exist between San Diego and Kolkata and no - I am not trying to be one of those US returned Indian's who find the whole system flawed and express complete dismay at how they ever survived in India - to me this whole process is more a sociological exercise where I am not classifying the differences as good or bad but am merely trying to spot them.

It's the driving that caught my attention today. The cab drivers in this city have one of the most amazing sense of precision. Not once, nor twice but at least 5 times during my one hr cab ride(s) today the driver stopped a few meager inches prior to hitting an object and none of these stops were sudden, they were calculated to the precision. The multitudes of cars and people on the road left little option but to bring out the "survival of the fittest" spirit to the forefront. To make the best of the squeezed gaps in the lanes, the cab drivers are forced to use any form of space. Impressive (though a little scary).

I also spent a good one hour in Kolkata's acclaimed College Street book area this morning. For people who haven't been to this place, try visualizing a one mile stretch of road that has pretty much every book you can imagine and in prices you can't imagine. I stood in queues, made sweet talk with small vendors and gaped at the perfect functioning of a system of finding books where people rely on positioning and memory rather than databases and other technology. Impressive!

A refreshing change, reading observation rather than judgement of most US returned people. Since have loads of time, am browsing through the archives (and also because your blog is worth it).nice work
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