Travel by Train

February 7, 2013 § Leave a comment

January 9th:

I had my first experience with the Indian railway system and let’s just say I’m still in shock, some five hours later. Yes, it’s extensive, expansive, and relatively inexpensive, compared to most forms of transportation in the area, but yikes! Luckily my introduction was brief, as I arrived in Agra after only three hours. Had it not been for the cute little girl tugging on my ponytail, kissing my hands, and insisting we play patty-cake, I might have jumped out the window.

The station was a zoo. I stood there trying to make sense of it all, when a gentleman approached me and asked to see my ticket. When I confirmed that he worked for the railway, I handed it over, and he proceeded to give me directions to the terminal, along with some fatherly advice: don’t talk to anyone until seated – no exceptions. He made very clear that every man beyond that point had ill intentions and that I was to look down, ignore everyone, and most importantly, not let go of my bags for any reason. He forgot to mention the metal detector ahead, so you can imagine the look on my face when I had to place my bags on a conveyor belt surrounded by 100+ on the other end.

I dropped my things, made a run for it as if I were Usain Bolt, and literally shoved me way to the front in order to claim my things! Sometimes it’s the simplest of tasks that cause your heart to skip a beat.

It’s difficult, because the train was something I would have loved to photograph, but doing so would have been very risky, with elbows flying and feet kicking. After all this time, I still don’t know when it’s worth taking a chance with my gear. Maybe next time. I did happen to snap a quick shot of the little girl, thanks to my iphone. Such a doll.



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