2 Days without a bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Trip Start Jul 31, 2005
209Trip End Sep 05, 2007
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We checked out of our room with the hardest beds ever at 11am on Saturday, and made our way to Varanasi junction for our train to Kolkata at 1650, we waited, and waited, and waited...until 2050 when our train finally turned up,at this point we were both tired and stinking from the exhautive heat that we had been sitting in almost all day!
We boarded the filthiest train that we had ever been on in India, seriously and no exagerration - you could barely see the floor for the bits of food and junk on it...there were the biggest cockroaches that either of us have ever seen crawling around, our beds when we eventually got them, were conviniently placed right next to the toilets...great you say...if you need to go in the night....think then of the smell of urine and poo for 15 hours in 35 degree heat....nice....then also think that there is a small area at the end of our beds right near the toilets with a light on all night, and where all of the world congregates for a smoke and a gossip at 11pm, 3am, 6am...you get the picture
To make things worse...there was people in our seats...who eventually moved under protest and then people were moaning and pointing at us for the rest of the 15 hour journey to Kolkata....that is after...a group of men in there mid twenties I would say, dragged a younger guy down the aisle of the train to the bit at the end of our beds...kicking and punching the life out of him, one went to throw him out of the door of the moving train, they were all screaming and shouting at the top of there voices in a language both of us are unable to understand...a little later, the guy walks back down the train in only his underpants....they stole his clothes...with blood dripping from his head....it was THE MOST terrifying experience ever...and if we ever thought that we might be beat up or robbed it was that night....the train guards came around and told us various times in one sentence to watch our luggage, then 2 armed soldiers were obviously made to come and sit just across from us...needless to say we diddnt sleep hardly at all that night...we were shaking and scared...the first time in almost 8 months of travel we have EVER felt like that.
Im sure that it doesnt happen all of the time, we never had an experience like that before on the trains and never heard of it from anyone...we were just unlucky...or lucky that at 12 midday the next train sprinted off of the train at Howrah station in Kolkata with bags in tow...desperate to get the hell out of this country!
Upon arrival in Kolkata, we decided that were too tired to explore the city and took a cab straight out to the airport, we sat in the air con lounge all day and eventually boarded our plane at 2130 that night.
We flew jetstar asia, a budget airline..a really nice airline...and I fell asleep for 2 of the three and a half hour flight to Singapore.
We took the MTR from Changi airport into Singapore, it was so nice arriving in a clean, modern place, without any hassle, where everything is so efficent......its the same Singapore I knew and loved when I first visited this island almost 7 years ago....and Matt is loving his first visit here.
We found our hostel, and chilled on the benches in front until 8am when reception opened, our room wouldnt be ready until 12midday, so we offloaded our bags and walked down to Orchard Road...the main shopping thoughfare in Singapore, we visited a few of the huge air con shopping centres...stocking up on all of our toiletries and things, then we found the biggest bookshop ever, and at last I was able to buy books!!!!!!!! Sooooooo exciting!!
So, India on a whole.....
We were glad that we included it in our trip, our trip wouldnt be the same without it, it was an amazing country, but it was a hardgoing country, in places it was filthy, people beg everywhere all of the time, and they are persistent, people try and rip you off all of the time, they see a westerner and see rupee signs...they want whatever they can get off of you, dont get us wrong, some people we met were lovely, and we met some really nice people, but you never really know whos genuine or who wants something....nothing in India is free.
Also being lucky enough to have been brought up in the western world, means that we arent used to a lot of things that are in this country, the main one being the almost constant smell of poo and urine, there is only so much one person can take, we were delighted to be on that plane out of Kolkata...like you wouldnt believe....but looking back....it was experience that we wouldnt have missed for the world, its the whole reason why we are travelling right??!
But now, we are happy and content to be in lovely Singapore and on Thursday we are headed to Hong Kong on a mid afternoon flight...from Hong Kong the rest of China beckons...
Ali and Matt