Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Train ride from Kerela to Mumbai

Monday, May 24th
Ok, I actually slept on the train. Like I stated on my last post. Thank you I-pod and Melatonin for relaxing me and ear-plugs later for silencing the noise. I said to myself a quote that Tom told me earlier that Sunday morning: "Adapt, Improvise, Overcome." So what do you do on a 24 hour train ride. Here are some tid bits:

"keeping India beautiful, one train ride at a time" = a slogan born out of the lack of trash cans on the train. even well-educated Indians just throw their trash, biodegradable, plastic, aluminum, whatever - it all gets chucked out the door on to the tracks, whether it's a city or previously unspoiled countryside.

"squatting in style" - one has the choice of an 'Indian style toilet' or a 'western style toilet'. either way, you can't miss the fragrance of Indian eau de toilette.

Many chai-wallahs were there...the men who carry big canteens of chai and announce their arrival in a distinctive voice: 'chai, chai, chai, chai....

My favorite part was watching the scenery pass by from the seat between the trains. just a trip to watch the scapes pass by with the wind in your face. I have fabulous photos of the scenery above.

Julia and Dani were on cell phones at the same time - Julia to change her ticket to an earlier departure date, and Dani to extend. Julia's back (and throat among other ailments) have been giving her trouble, and india's not the kindest land at times. so last night she left around midnight, and hopefully by now or very soon she'll be in her comfy home with no more backpacking for a little while. dani, on the other hand, after hearing about how many things there are to do in dharamsala in the north (home of the dalai lama and tibetan refugees, and many chilled out travellers), decided to stay in the motherland for another week.

we landed in mumbai after a 1.5 local train from panvel to the city (after a 24-hour train ride from kerala to panvel), and found our hotel without relative incident, always a blessing. Went to the Dharavi Slum today. Slum stats to come in next post!

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