Off Season Tourist - India Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
Two weeks in India, 2003 Notes from the Off Season Tourist
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Days 2 & 3 in Darjeeling
Our first Monsoon Rains and my experience with a nonfriendly amoeba

On our second day in Darjeeling, we visited the zoo and the Himalayan Hiking Institute - we walked over 2 hours in the pouring rain, ate bad food and got amoebic dysentery. Lovely time!

It was the first week in June, and most of India was in the throws of blistering, record-high heat. The heat in the plains, along with it being the 50th Anniversary of the first Mt. Everest summit, meant that Darjeeling was packed with more Indian tourists than usual. So we fled to the zoo, thinking it wouldn't be as packed as shops on the main streets. We had fun with the Himalayan Bear, who responded to Julie's voice, coming closer and flopping down in front of us! He was so cute!

Bear Bear Bear

We walked around in the rain for a couple of hours - we really enjoyed it at first, as we had been in the desert for awhile and the rain felt great! We saw tons of prayer flags which were beautiful flowing in the wind. We were walking off the main road, wandering in and out of little neighborhoods built into the hills, and didn't even care that we were lost! We eventually made our way back to the hotel to change into dry clothes and then go out for dinner. I wish we had stayed at the hotel that night, because I ended up getting food poisoning from dinner - amoebic dysentery, to be exact!

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Our third day in Darjeeling was no fun at all. I spent the night prior racked with pain and the following day was no better. Luckily, it rained all day so we didn't feel that bad about spending the day in bed. We watched the Rambo series of movies from the first one to the one with the Predator. I felt like I was in one of the movies and had been gutted. I didn't know at the time that my illness was amoebic in nature and wouldn't go away until I took the proper antibiotics.

We flew out the next day from Bagdogra to Calcutta. Instead of going straight to what we knew would be spartan accommodations at the IIMC campus, we decided to have one more night of luxury. We went straight to the Taj Bengal, one of the nicest hotels in Calcutta, after negotiating a 50% rate at the airport with the hotel's representative. The clincher was that we knew we'd be able to get a doctor to come and check us out.

The doctor diagnosed me immediately with amoebic dysentery and sent a hotel employee out to the pharmacy. The medicine worked instantly and we were able to enjoy a nice room service meal of dhal and pakoras with fizzy fresh lime soda. Marcus enjoyed a swim in the morning and we set off for campus in a taxi IIMC sent for us.

To read all about our campus adventures, please visit the IIMC section.

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