This is part of an ongoing series in which Seattle duo Brain Fruit travel through India, Istanbul, and Berlin. You can find all the previous entries here. —Eds.
New friends in Kolkata, thanks to Line Out! Adam and Brandon (from Bellingham & Arkansas respectively) emailed us as a result of this blog. After buying and ingesting some 1 rupee "mystery candy" at a nearby street stand, we hit the streets with these fine fellows on Holi. Every surface was running purple and red with cheap chemical dyes.The group of purple Indian party boys pictured above did us all the favor of making sure we had plenty of heavy metal seeping into our skin and hair. The below photo of Garrett and I in red face is actually taken after we'd cleaned off the first time.
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By the time we were colored, most Indians had already been drinking heavily for about 5 hours (~8 am is when the party began). Instead of drinking, we decide to get some street food for lunch. Most travel books and tech-fabric tourists will firmly warn you against this type of food. My advice is: fuck those people, if you don't eat the street food you are seriously missing out. When I finished eating a spicy mutton roll from the corner, I was firmly in the camp of "if this makes me sick for a day, it was damn worth it." And hey, no parasites or dysentery yet!
At one point we were lucky enough to run across a huge 20' bonfire in the middle of an intersection. Traffic was light in comparison to the usual madness, but cars and bikes continued to effortlessly wind their way around the fire like it wasn't even there. At the tail end of the afternoon, we retired back to Adam's apartment for an hour or two of cold hard chilling. Nothing to do but kick back and let the sweat on our chemical burns dry until sunset.