Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The amazing Indian train

We went from Khajuraho to Orchha to see the beautiful Orchha Fort.  

We then took the train from Orchha to Agra, to see the Taj Mahal. The trip was quite an experience.  First of all, our tour bus was stuck at a railway crossing for more than an hour, on our way to the train station.  When the bus arrived at the railway crossing and found the gate lowered, we were not worried.  We were just a few cars away from the crossing and a train soon arrived, and passed.  

When the gate was not lifted after the train passed, we were puzzled.  About 10 minutes later, another train passed.  We found it annoying that they would keep the gate down in between the two trains, but we were still in good humour.  But then the gate still did not go up.  And we started to worry that we might miss our train.  We inquired.  Some said there was some malfunction.  Some of us started to panic.  But our bus was stuck.  About an hour later, another train passed, and the gate opened again.  We made a mad dash into the train station when we arrived. 

It turned out the train was delayed, for a couple of hours. So we waited.  Many people seemed to have been waiting for a long time as well, because they sat down, and even went to sleep. 

The platforms were filled of people.  We had to hire porters to help us get our luggage into the train.  It was because the train would stop only for 5 minutes.  In the mean time, we had to fight to get on, find our seats, and get out luggage onto, and subsequently, off the train.  We figured that it was an impossible task.  

The porters were amazing.  Some carried as many as 4 big pieces of luggage - two on the head, and one on each arm.  I only caught the one with 3 pieces, one of which was ours.  They had to walk up and down stairs, fight through the crowd, and find our tour bus in the parking area.

Even with 3 pieces of heavy luggage, he was walking faster than most of us. 

Taking the train in India was quite an experience.  It was stress-inducing.  But it was worth it.  

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