Kolkata – day 79

Merry Christmas!!!Day 79 aHaving had fireworks going off from midnight to 2am, we woke early to the sounds of Christmas carols being blared out from someone’s room in the hotel. Turns out even Father Christmas had visited us in Kolkata as Jayne’s thermal tights (stocking!!) was bursting in one of the legs and there were a few presents wrapped in plastic bags and penguin decorated duct tape on our coffee table next to our tiny tree!! Got a knock on our door around 8am and was offered chai and fruit cake by the hotel staff. Sat on the bed and opened our presents to each other – Jayne got oranges, nail polish, plain paper and some drawing pencils; I got oranges sweets, cheese biscuits and a new (and desperately needed!) toothbrush. Settled down to eat some Indian Christmas Cake whilst watching an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Slowly got up and ready, sending messages to various people and looking at other peoples festive photos on Facebook.Day 79 bHad booked ourselves in to the Oberoi Grand Hotel for Christmas lunch as a special treat and to spend the Christmas money that Mags & Tom had given us. Sat down and were immediately offered water and sangria whilst we literally drooled over the food choice available (I was already eyeing up the cheese counter while Jayne had eyes on the Santa sledges full of sweets!) Weren’t really sure how it was supposed to work – we were told it was a buffet, but there was lots of waiters serving food and no one out of their seats. Sat back a while longer until Jayne plucked up the courage to ask our waiter what we had to do. He asked us if we would like some soup and offered us a choice of pea & mint or Thai chicken. We decided to get one of each and were feeling pretty special until he brought over 4 bowls of soup and 4 spoons – he thought we meant one of each for each of us… we were so embarrassed! Although he didn’t seem to think there was anything wrong with it. Both soups were divine and clearly a taste of things to come. After that, we followed the lead of hotel guests and started helping ourselves to food – squid salad, wild rice, figs, terrines, ham, prawn cocktails, vegetables, Thai salad, beef tenderloin… and that was just for starters!!Day 79 cMain dishes were a mixture of Indian and western festive foods but we got turkey which was the main thing!! I also had seconds of a beautiful almond crusted tenderloin, which after 3months of being without beef was mouth-watering! I then tucked in to the cheese platter while Jayne had plum pudding in butterscotch sauce. We then rounded off our meal with a glass of mulled wine and we shared some Christmas cakes, macaroons in a white chocolate heeled shoe and gingerbread. Feeling slightly stuffed and and a bit uncomfortable, we popped to the bathroom where Jayne saved a little girl locked in the cubical (to the delight of her mother who had no idea how to pick a lock from the outside – rich people!!!). Begrudgingly left the Oberoi and were back on the streets of Kolkata which looks no different on Christmas Day to any other day!Day 79 dHeaded to a cake shop and got a chocolate cake for the guys at Backpackers to say thank you for the jungle trip to the Sundarbans. Think the owner was genuinely touched and he took us out for chai even though my stomach was protesting at this point from anything else going in to it!!!Day 79 eHeaded to the metro station as I had sorted out a surprise for Jayne – the new Star Wars film was released on Christmas Day in India and I’d managed to find a cinema in Kolkata that was showing it in English!! A slightly longer walk the other end of the metro than anticipated, but we got tickets, drinks, popcorn (cause even though we were stuffed, you can’t watch a film without popcorn!!) and settled into our seats. Jayne really enjoyed it – I thought the story line was very similar to Episode 4… but, what do I know?!? Back to the hotel to Skype both set of parents (despite the poor wifi) before packing up our bags and heading to bed.Day 79 fFriday 25th December 2015

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