Monday, December 21, 2009

Arriving at the City of Joy

The timing of my super cheap AirAsia flight had already ensured that I would miss the grand opening ceremony but the extra one and a half hour flight delay was unexpected and together with the hour long commute from airport to the city centre, that ensured that I would be late for the captain's meeting.

But once arrived, Kolkata airport was a breeze and I had great company on the 45 minute bus ride to the hotel with Satya Prakash Pandey who picked me (and the Singapore team who had arrived a little earlier but via a transit in Chennai) and did his very best to get me up to speed with all things Kolkata!

It may have been the late hour but Kolkata was every much as I remembered it from so very long ago and was perhaps even a little less busy (was it because it was Sunday night?) and with somewhat more orderly traffic.

(The view from my hotel window of Eden Garden - arguably the finest cricket ground in the world.)

The Peerless Inn is where we are all being put up - a very well appointed hotel centrally located some 100 metres from the Esplanade Metro Station, and next to Eden Garden and New Market - just a twenty minute stroll to the Town Hall where the Asian Team Championship would be played.

Catching the end of the Captain's meeting which was immediately followed by a short Arbiter's meeting, we then moved on to dinner at the excellent Oceanic restaurant where we would be having all our meals and also a chance to be introduced by DS Moorthy to the Monroi system that would be used for live broadcast of daily games.

Of course also meeting my good friend Niaz Murshed (Bangladesh's first grandmaster) meant that the night would not end in a hurry and so a cross city taxi ride took to the company of (and drinks) with another of his good friends who was staying at the Hyatt.

A fitting end to most pleasant and eventful start in the City of Joy!

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