LOG ENTRY 26
Experiencing my first overnight train ride, the chaos of New Delhi and by the afternoon I am already on a 41 hour train journey down to Goa province while Dad is flying back to Hungary for the Carnet.
Good morning New Delhi
This was the first time in my life that I traveled on an overnight train. Hungary is way too small to experience this feeling and whenever we traveled to another country we either flew, drove or rode, never took a train. I didn't think that I have to come all the way to India for this experience but to be honest, the location of my first overnight train ride just gave an extra to it. Overnight trains in India have many classes, some are private cabins which you can lock and basically super comfortable. There are also the berth classes, one with air conditioned cars and the rest with fans. Four and six person cabins are also available but I only found this out a day after.
The ride was surprisingly smooth. The food was probably the best Indian meal we had so far and falling asleep in a gently moving train after all the hassle only took us a few minutes. Just to complain about something, the air conditioner was set on such a low temperature that we both woke up a few times shivering and we had sour throats by the morning.
The train arrived to New Delhi station at 4:30 in the morning. One would think that the station is empty in this un-godly hour, well, not just not empty but so crowded that just getting out to the street was some sort of adventure. We kind of expected chaos already, as the train slowly approached to it's destination we seen hundreds upon hundreds crouching on the tracks next to ours and doing their morning big toilet. Being inspired by the masses of pooing Delhiites I had an un delay-able urge to do the same as soon as the train pulled in to the platform. Lightly speaking, the public (mass) toilet at the station is not where you want to spend your morning crouching, without any dividing wall between the holes on the floor.
After getting out of the whirl of morning commuters we headed to the ticket counter to buy me a ticket to Goa. During the ride last night I decided to go down to Goa while Dad is flying back home to get the Carnet. From the next LOG ENTRY I will write parallel stories, about his experience back home with the Carnet and also about my trip down to Goa. Buying the ticket to Goa seemed slightly easier than buying the ticket a night before in Amritsar. However, in the big mess, crowd and chaos 2000 rupees lost. Whether it was dropped or picked up by one of the people who kept pushing in the line we don't know, at least I got the ticket, that's all it matters at this point.
After the interesting morning experience at the station we headed to the Hungarian embassy. We got there around 6:30 am so the guard promptly made us sit front of the compound for two hours until the embassy opened. Surprisingly the embassy employees were very nice. This was the first good experience with any Hungarian foreign mission. The embassy compound is huge, it was designed for over 500 people as it used to accommodate a small army of electrical and radar engineers during the Cold War when we sold all those military equipment to India, now there is only a 6 people contingents including the son of the consul as well. No surprise they were very accommodating and helpful. Finally we had a good shower and most importantly a great Hungarian meal prepared by the Indian embassy chef.
Afternoon craze at the New Delhi train station
Feeling fresh, showered and a tiny little pampered and our mood is back to its fullest. We even got a driver to get us back to the train station where we had a last meal with Dad. Well, we tried to have a last meal but after paying for the food, what had to be done before actually eating, you can guess the food never arrived. Oh well, as the saying goes, bad feelings and memories are fading with the time so I won't go into endless lines how mad I got and how cheated I felt when my ticket was not accepted on the train and had to buy another one but as it goes, all the bad feelings faded away. Dad sent me away to Goa and continued his journey on a different path back to Hungary and I laid back and enjoyed my 41 hours train ride down south to Goa province.