Monday, March 06, 2006

We Made it! Well...kind of

February 23, 2006
4:30 AM

"Mugulsari!?! Mugulsari!?!" we ask frantically. It is four am and we've just woken up. The night is dark and quiet except for our hurried yells. "Yes!" someone tells us. So up we go, grab our belongings and make our way over the sea of bodies that lay sleeping on the floor. Before I know it the train is moving agin and we are still on it. PANIC!! Lack of seems for a minute that Becc and Jess might jump. "WAIT!!" Matt screams from the back. Make a decision...we are picking up speed...what do we do? "This isn't it!" We are inbetween stops. "NO STOP!!!" we hear from behind us. So we turn around and tramp back to our seats that have already been overtaken by excited train riders. By now the whole car is awake... either because we have stepped on their precious hands or because of our loud unfamilliar voices. We wait. "Where are we?" "Why have we stopped?" "What a chaotic mess!" "How does anyone know what's going on?" Oh wait...they don't!

I take a moment to reflect on traveling experiences that I've had in the states. Nothing compares. Somehow in this mess a kind man walks off with us when we finally reach the station. "Wait here," he says "until at least six am. It isn't safe for you to be on the streets." Oh 18 hour train ride and now we are sitting in the Varanasi train station at four am...much safer. Eventually we make our way to the coed waiting room and find ourselves seat amidst the mosquitos and sleeping Indians. Only two more hours I remind myself. A rickety fan circles continually making this whole stiuation seem somewhat surreal. The walls are dirtied white tile that reminds me of a greyhound bus station.

Welcome to India I chuckle to myself.

First and most certainly not last problem to solve.... which bathroom do we use?
The signs are completely in Hindi and there don't seem to be any smiling faces here to guide us. My companions begin to drift to sleep but I am too agitated for that. It is so humorous that we are sitting- simply waiting for daylight. Welcome to India.


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