Not often does the travel bug hit us and we simply thrust a few essentials into a bag and let wanderlust take over our souls.
Being a solo traveler can be challenging yet one has all the freedom in the world.
Being a Kolkatan, the inquisitive neighbours prying on us as we sneak into our homes during the wee hours of the night may be infuriating, yet these are the small things one tends to miss while traveling solo.
On a trip to Bangkok, the city of dreams and culture, the city of life and the world’s most gorgeous array of seafood, there is hardly a moment when you would miss home.
So you think! If you thought Victoria was everything you’ve seen in terms of architectural beauty, you’d probably be awestruck at the sight of the Grand Palace, the Victory Monument, and the Wat Pho (temple of the reclining Buddha) that leave you marvelling at the intricate detailing they underwent.
Yet no matter where you go, you’ll always hear a Kolkattan cribbing about how home is where the heart is. No matter how divine the Chao Phraya River looks under the starry skies, a walk down Princep Ghat in the evening is just food for the soul.
Here’s looking at the top 4 moments when our hearts went about drawing parallels right after boarding the flight back home from Bangkok. Trust me; our biased minds don’t rest even on a vacation.
‘Only hit the road when you’re missing home’– Passenger, Let her Go.
1. Sawasdee to Namaste
The moment one sets foot at the Bangkok airport, one tends to miss the sense of warmth that Bengal exuberates. The smell of dhunuchi and dhoop kathi is replaced by the smell of the unknown. Don’t get us wrong, the Thais are the most amicable people you’ll ever meet, but it’s the adda you miss when sipping on Thai Matcha Tea that leaves you craving for home.
2. It’s a fishy affair
When in Bangkok do as the Kolkatans do. Go fish hunting! The fishes here are HUGE! And they are served whole where your fish is staring at you blankly as if begging for mercy. Now the first bite may leave you salivating for more yet the chopped pieces that are easier to chew, fried in mustard oil made by ‘Ma’ will definitely transport you back to the roots of Bengal and thank God for the ‘Boti’ which makes eating fish easier.
3. Brazen comments over perfection
No matter how much you deny, the bus conductors in Kolkata are pure entertainment— ‘Aaste ladies, pete baccha!’ never fails to crack us up. The pin drop silence and the organized manner of everything inside the bus will actually leave you sore with nostalgia. Your heart will then secretly wish to be nudged and pushed at every jerk of the buses to Esplanade. If rustic is what defines Kolkata, we wish for it to be no other way (minus the asset pinching in buses of course!).
4. Ferris Wheel VS the classic ‘Nagor Dola’
Asiatique the Riverfront in Bangkok boasts of a 40 metre high Ferris wheel with air-conditioned cabins equipped with sliding doors and individual temperature & music regulation systems. Forget sharing, each person gets a single cabin, even if one is alone. Give it a minute sink in. No cramped up seats where with every turn you feel like you might just fall off and break your neck at the ‘mela’ during Durga Puja. The dizzy feelings as you escalate higher up will just go to waste as you’ll have nobody to squeal in glee with. And a whopping 300 Baht which translates to approximately Rs 600 will bring you back to the rather cherished ‘Nagor Dola’.
You may love the nightlife, the smooth roads, and the broad minded attitude of people. Bangkok may be your city of dreams but Kolkata will forever be the city with a soul. The moment you land back and you hear a Rabindra Sangeet being played at the immigration counter back home, there is no other place you’d rather be. ‘Amar shohor’, we swear by it!