Our neighbors in the train
The country we were most eager to see in Asia was India. It was almost like India was calling us with it’s people, festivals, nature, food and it’s countless cultural diversity. We started our Asia tour in Sri Lanka and were very excited to go to India next. After having spent our first few days in Chennai, it was time for us to go to our next destination: Goa. The most logical way for us to get to Goa from Chennai was by train. We booked 2nd class, sleeper tickets and were on our way to the train station.
We arrived 1 hour before departure, after being ripped off by a taxi driver. If there were no delays, the ride would take us 23 hours in total. It’s impossible for trains in India not to have any delays, but we weren’t aware of that yet. Along with a lot of eyes on us we found our wagon and settled. We were very excited. It was going to be our longest train ride so far. The train left Chennai without any delays at 14.30.
After some time we started having conversations with the people around us, as much as their English allowed to. We used gestures where we couldn’t use words. Most of the people were friendly and liked a little chat. Still, we needed to look out for our stuff, in case of any robbery, as we were warned. Our beds were located on the side (one upper and one down).
We chose to put our bags on the upper bed and sleep together on the one below. At the same time, we could sit next to each other. This was very entertaining as we watched the sellers and other people walking by. We saw them selling tea, chicken curry, chicken biryani, peanuts and some other food we didn’t know the taste of. They all passed us by, one by one. It felt the same as watching people in a crowded street. We started getting hungry in the evening and ordered one chicken biryani to share. It was enough for both of us. After our meal, we were getting sleepy. We did feel a little uncomfortable about our bags in fear of something happening to them during our sleep.
It was past midnight when we were just halfway on our journey. We arrived at Bengaluru, the biggest train station after Chennai. Bengaluru is a big city between Kerala and Chennai. This is why the train waited longer at this station than at the others. While we were observing the sellers, our new neighbors settled at the beds in front of us.
A lady and a gentlemen, who I both estimated to be between 40 – 45 years and 3 kids. I think the children where around 5 – 7 – 9. Two little girls and one boy. This family got our interest. After settling in, they immediately started to prepare the beds for their children. The youngest girl chose the lower bed and fell asleep after her dad told her some bedtime stories. After this her brother was put to sleep with a book still in his hands. And on the other bed, the elder sister was put to sleep by their parents. I felt peaceful watching the mother and father of the children taking care of their children. At times we looked at each other and smiled. We liked our neighbors very much. There was only one bed left, but the parents chose to sit for a while. The man played with his phone and the lady had a look at her phone too. Then they closed the curtains of their compartment and slept too. It was 2 o’clock at night and the only sound we could hear was snoring and the noise coming from the train rails. In this broken silence, we decided to sleep as well and closed our eyes to this dreamy journey.