Monday, March 28, 2011

I heart riding Indian trains.

 I finally got out of the house!! Went to Ahmedabad to visit an American girl who has been living here since January. I found her on the Expat Blog website a few months ago and we became chatty, chatty FB friends.
 On Saturday morning, Husband took me to the train station and helped me find my car. I had to kick someone out of my seat and I was one of two women in the whole car. The staring is still a little hard to deal with. The journey was about 4 hours, and I just read the whole time. I didn't have a window seat and when I did look out the window, the person sitting next to it would turn and stare at me. So strange. In the US, we would just ignore each other.
 I thought it would be easy for two pasty white girls to connect right away, but the mass of people at the Ahmedabad train station made finding each other a bit difficult. We called each other but the loud speakers announcing trains made it impossible to hear. We finally resorted to texting, and found each other near the entrance.
 Then came the inevitable crush of autorickshaw drivers asking us if we wanted a ride and quoting exorbitant amounts as we are obviously tourists. Ha! C had just taken an auto to get there so she knew how much it should be. After a lot of haggling, we were on our way.
 We went straight to her place to drop off my bag, and then headed out to find a bookstore. Yep, thats right, all I wanted from the trip was some new books. :)
 It was fun trying to fill each other in on the stories that brought us to India, and the things we find silly , difficult and outrageous about it here. Our conversation was all over the place, jumping back and forth between many things. It was so nice to be understood, and find some sympathy for the cultural things we are both dealing with.
 After we bought books and Hindi movies (with English subtitles!), we just went back to her place and laid around reading and watching Hindi MTV. My favorite kind of day.
 We ordered food to be delivered, had some beers, and visited with two of her friends that stopped by.
 The next morning was a lazy one , and the afternoon found us visiting a mall, where we were the only white people and the source of amusement for the young Indian boys who hang out there. Especially after we found a Scary House and came out of it screaming with delight. I wont tell you where we had lunch, it is too embarrassing to mention, but sometimes the familiar in an unfamiliar place just draws you in. ;)
 A little more of hanging out at her place and then it was time for me to catch my train. Her friends came to give us a ride and help me find my car, which is always appreciated. They left me safely in my window seat and I settled in.
 Window seat!
 I love the window. Watching the countryside fly by, feeling the wind and dust on my face, having a front row seat to the action at the stations. It is perfect for daydreaming. The older man sitting next to me took me under his wing, buying me peanuts, asking me questions, and telling me when my stop was the next one. There was a couple with a toddler sitting across from us and it was fun making faces at her, smiling at the parents. Smiling is my main form of communication here, and I am getting more comfortable using it. :) I am also getting more comfortable traveling in India by myself, and can't wait for the day when I can just spend a few months just wandering this beautiful country, speaking Hindi, and making friends of all ages. I think that I married him just to be married to India. :)

1 comment:

  1. I loved having you visit! Can't wait to see you in Ankleshwar soon.