Train to nowhere…
As we got to the station herds of people just waiting, not even for trains, almost like they’re just waiting to die, no life, no purpose, no possessions except a piece of cardboard sheltering them from the dirty ground below. Everyone starting at us as though we’ve just been on national news, whether it’s money they see, an opportunity to talk to a westerner or simply just amazed to see fair skin in their surroundings, which signifies wealth. Yet how ironic that so many of us go on holidays to get a tan!
As we collect our tickets and walk into the station and out to the platform it’s like the aftermath of a long festival night, clusters of people just scattered around, a few fairly well dressed, shirts and trousers but most with torn, dirty clothes laying on the ground…waiting, for what appears to be their last train to nowhere. The smell on the platform is intense as the bathrooms (hole in the floor) works well whilst the train is moving but not so well when stationary at the platform. Our train arrives and like when boarding a plane the first and business class, two tier and three tier, pass us by and the sleeper class carriage awaits. With backpacks, frontpacks some water and treats we enter the train: small open cabins with 6 beds, 3 bunks each side and two in the corridor adjacent.
The middle bunks are down so everyone is gathered around talking until we walk in and start to manoeuvre our ridiculously large bags. We start to work out how the bags and us are going to rest for the night and the options are great. With a fair amount of valuable luggage, leaving it under the bottom bunk doesn’t feel right, so head to toe we go. Bags pulled high and wide and barely enough room for a leg to squeeze in. Anyway we stay to settle and a few neighbours ask where we’re heading, just so happens they’re also off to Pushkar and know Lissie’s friends who she met 5 years ago – talk about a small world. The great thing is they are getting of at the same stop so if my phone dies from writing these words, and no alarm, I have a back up plan and that’s them!
We started to get ready for bed, pulled out the middle bunk visited the hole in the floor and laid on my middle bunk, fans blowing and the rickety tracks in the background with the odd train passing by. Before I know it I’m out, but then woken by some horrendous music and a guard asking me to pay extra for my fare, apparently the fares went up since purchasing our ticket, but what about an early saver ;0 anyway I paid the 60p, after removing my ear plugs due to the horrendous music and snoring from the old guy below, who just started again, although could be Lissie above me. I tried to start sleeping again but removed my ear plugs as wanted to listen and write this down… Fans blowing, hot leather seats sticking to my back, carriages squeaking, trains passing by with loud horns, people on and off at every station, bad music from bad phones, no space to fit my legs, no room to even sit up, no light to read a book (even if I had one), except the glimmer shinning in my eye, but despite all that — I love it, I feel alive, on an adventure, exploring, experiences new places, understanding new cultures and appreciating how lucky I am and what an amazing world this is to see and yet most of us only see a fraction of it and make judgments and opinions based on almost no experience. So get out there, see it, live it, breathe it. Now with all that still going on….goodnight! – I’m off to listen to the tracks.