Monday, June 20, 2011

Week 13 - end of part 3

Mon. June 25    Calcutta
Went to the bank in the morning. Our money had arrived so, after a lot of formalities, we cashed it.
After lunch we went to the swimming club and got ourselves signed in without too much trouble.
Halfway through the afternoon it started raining with a vengeance. For the first time we were out of the water before dark. Spent the evening at the Y.M. writing letters
Weather - warm and wet.

Tues. June 26    Calcutta
Went to the shipping office and paid for our tickets. From there we went 'home' for lunch.
Lay around after lunch and I eventually drifted out. Walked around the market, then the museum and met Jackie, Dulcie and Dereck.
Had a snack and then went to meet Leslie. Took her to see Psycho and she found it rather scary. Afterwards we had a meal at the Kwality restaurant and I took her home in a taxi. Later found John and Dulcie in the Mogambo Club, from there we repaired to Isaiah’s. We saw Dulcie home and then went for a meal.
Weather - hot and humid.

Wed. June 27    Calcutta
Spent the morning shuttling between the shipping office and The A.A.
After lunch managed to get into the swimming club. We are becoming quite expert at this!
Met a lad from Wallasey off the M.V.Rosebank.. He invited us back to the ship for a look around this evening.
Left the pool about 6.30 and set out for the wharf where we found the wrong jetty and had to pay to get out to the ship.
Once on board we had a couple of beers and a conducted tour of the engine room. We left the ship at 11.30 and went for a snack at the Lahore. And so to bed - a very pleasant evening
Weather - hot and sticky.

Thurs. June 28    Calcutta
Spent the morning at the botanical gardens and found the great Banyan tree, 200yrs old and with so many roots that you can’t tell one from t’other.
Back to the pool after lunch at the Y.M and gained entry with little difficulty, and immediately became involved in a rum and coke drinking competition with Les and Doug, 5th engineer and Chief electrician off the Rosebank. We had a very enjoyable afternoon.
Back to the Y.M. and then took Dulcie to see 'The Big Country' after tea. After the pictures went for a walk down Chowringhee. Saw an owl, Dulcie got very excited.
Weather – hot a.m.., overcast p.m.
Fri. June 29    Calcutta
Went to the shipping office to make final payments and then straight to the pool for a swim.
Had a gorgeous steak lunch with an American guy called Marty. Spent the afternoon loafing, and then went back to the club in the evening for the social and dance. A very enjoyable evening was had by all.
We have scored a visit to a jute-mill tomorrow afternoon and another evening of drunken merriment on the Rosebank to follow.
Weather - fine morning and wet afternoon.

Sat. June 30    Calcutta
Met Leslie at the market and took a taxi out to visit a Jain temple, which turned out to be a really beautiful building.
From there we went back to Chowringhee and thence to the Victoria Museum. It was very hot.
Leslie gave me a silver 'laughing Buddha'; a Bengali good luck charm, and we said goodbye.

Sat. June 30    Calcutta
Met Leslie at the market and took a taxi out to visit a Jain temple, which turned out to be a really beautiful building. From there we went back to Chowringhee and thence to the Victoria Museum. It was very hot. Leslie gave me a silver “laughing Buddha”-a Bengali good luck charm-and we said goodbye. 
Figure 3.23: Leslie at Jain temple
Met Johnnie Davis after lunch and he took us out to Jardine’s Jute Mill. After showing us round the mill, he introduced us to the swimming pool and gave us an excellent meal before dropping us off at the docks.
We went aboard the Rosebank but nobody else was there, so we had it to ourselves. Went back ashore. On the way had an argument with the boatman - we won. And so to bed.
John took the land rover to the docks this morning. It was like saying goodbye to an old friend
Weather - hot and sultry.

Sun. July 1    Leaving Calcutta
Had a lie-in until 10 a.m.., and then went to the swimming club. Swam and loafed until lunchtime when a beautiful salad appeared, which we made short work of!
Swam and played until 3 p.m.. then did the round of goodbyes to all our friends: Mr and Mrs Mukerji, Dipak Roy, Mr and Mrs Sinclair (The Chief Engineer of the Rosebank and his wife) and all the other friends who had helped to make our stay such a pleasant one.
Took a taxi to the Kidderpur docks and, after the usual formalities, went on board the M.V.Santhia and settled in.
Quickly found the bar and made the discovery that beer only cost 62 pice a bottle. (approx 10p) We thought that maybe we had died and gone to heaven without our noticing!!
Had a couple and then went to dinner. And very good it was, too. Spent the evening drinking beer.
Weather - hot and sunny.
Figure 3.24: M.V. Santhia
A Confession
The only time we got seriously ripped off financially was in Calcutta.
The official exchange rate was 13 Rupees to the Pound, but we had been getting 23/24 to the pound in the bazaar. Just as we were about to change a large sum of money to pay for our passage to Singapore, we were warned that we would have to produce a banker’s receipt to show where we got the money. We could see no way round this so we changed at the official rate, at a bank..
Later we discovered that for about 5 pounds we could have bought a banker’s receipt! As they say, you live and learn.

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