The Train from Chennai to Goa

Trip Start Apr 17, 2001
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175
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of India  , Karnataka,
Sunday, February 5, 2012






With 1.6 million workers, the Indian Railway System is reportedly the second largest employer on the planet. In my train loving mind it's a fabulous system. You can travel almost everywhere. I do suspect though, that when the British left in 1947 that they dismantled the cleaning department and perhaps took all of the cleaning staff back home with them.

 

I'd been lulled to a wonderful sleep by wonderful train sounds and woke up refreshed. I was drinking a masala chai, reading Alan Furst's latest novel, 'Spies of the Balkans' when I came across a particularly suspenseful, nail biting sequence. I was about to stick a finger in my mouth for a good little chew when I caught the dirty digit out of the corner of my eye. Each and everyone of my finger nails, even the ones that had already been chewed to the quick looked as though they'd scratched a chunk of coal all night.

 

I looked at Elenka, who even after twenty-some hours of chugging across the sub-continent, was still fuming about being on the train.

I placed my hand on her shoulder and said, “It's only a 30 hour journey. We'll be in Goa just after dark.”

“We could have flown from Chennai to Goa in an hour.”

“I did this for you, Elenka. Remember all the white people on the Andamans? The ones you didn't want any part of.”

“What's your point?”

“Have you seen any of those white devils since we walked into Chennai station?”

She glared at me for a moment and then said, “Just one.”

“And the wonderful spicy somosas and coffee that we've enjoyed on the train. We'll never forget that.”

“Oh yes, the somosas. If the hotel we've booked in Benaulim doesn't provide toilet paper you're going to be in for some rickshaw riding until you find the White Swan.”

“Don't worry. Train food in India is of the finest quality.”

 Elenka was looking out the train window with her palm glued to the under-side of her chin. She
didn't respond.

When we got to our pre-booked hotel at Benaulim Beach, I said,”There now this is much better isn't it?” A British woman with the voice of a goat was belting out the old Eagles tune, 'Take it Easy' on the Karaoke machine just steps from our door.

With orange ear plugs already deeply inserted, she said, “Tomorrow we're moving to the Blue Corner – the place we stayed last time we were here – and I don't care how much it costs.    

Photos courtesy of the WWW. Our camera was out of juice.
 
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Comments

Daniel & Sara on

Hi again
It was really fun and interesting to read about the Anderman Islands. We were unsure if we did the right thing by not going there but it seems that we made the right choice this time.
At the moment we're in Goa too. We decided to surprise Daniels parents after all, great fun! So we'll stay here in Agonda until the 17:th of Feb. when we'll go by train (22 hours) to Hyderabad.

Take care

Love Sara and Daniel

P.S Loved your comment about the LP treating every destination as their child.. D.S

Margo on

Umm.... I don't think so.

Vickie on

Wow! What a vivid mental image! (I'm talking abut the nail-biting paragraph - excellent writing!) Sorry about the train ride, Ellen.

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