Monday, February 11, 2008

India -- 8 February 2008 -- The Train Trip

We have made two round trips by train. The first was about 5 hours, and we were awake the entire time. The more recent trip we made in a “sleeper.”

The started at 11:30 PM and ended the following morning about 9 AM. When we boarded, we quickly set up our bunks. The beds are about 6’ long and perhaps 30” wide. While that fits the average Indian frame fairly well, it was a not quite so comfortable for us taller types. The coaches were fairly clean and seemed well maintained.

The Indian National Railroad provides a blanket and a packet of clean sheets, pillowcase, pillow, blanket and towel. There were six of us in each sleeping area, and perhaps 20 such sleeping areas in each coach.

Here, as many places in India, the train toilets are squat-style. They call our toilets “western toilets.” The concept is simple: you squat to do your business, and clean up with the left hand over which your pour water from the small pail and water spigot usually provided at squat level. It actually makes a great deal of sense. On the train a sink is also provided.

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