Monday, May 31, 2010

Coimbatore Express

My last day in Mumbai was uneventful. I read a book and walked around admiring the architecture of the city- it really is quite impressive around where I was, but you can tell that it's a showcase city. No rickshaws allowed downtown and all the streets are very clean- not quite the India I've grown accustomed to! I kind of missed the din and chaos to be honest- it's a whole lot more interesting than Western brand name stores and clubs. My train to Bangalore left at 1030 at night, and I got to the station I needed via local metro. That was crowded, to say the least, and everyone laughed as I struggled to shove through the crowd with my big bag. All those metal mosh pits were good practice for that trip, actually. For this journey (Mumbai-Bangalore), I was forced to book an upper class berth, as no sleeper was available (I did this about a month ago). I got into my berth of 4 seats, and was the only one there. I decided to lock the door, as every 30 seconds I was disturbed by some sort of vendor. I was very tired, and unintenionally fell asleep, which would be the cause of much stress an hour later. Apparently, another passenger of my berth got on, and I didn't hear the knocking. The crew had to unlock my window with a screwdriver to get in, and I awoke to 4 random Indian guys yelling at me. When I say random, I mean that they didn't work for the railways, and they weren't even in the same compartment as me. They were from a different berth, and came to yell at me for the purpose of winning the respect of the rich guy who I had so barbarically barricaded out of his bunk of oppulence. These guys were all in my face, yelling at me that I was now disturbing everyone on board (they were the one's shouting, not me), and after a while I started yelling back and was preparing for the worst. I explained that I had never taken this class before and would apologize to the gnetleman I'd locked out, and also told them that they could piss off because it was none of their business, they were just kissing ass. Then the guy I had locked out came in- I apologized to him immediately, but he continued to guilt trip me. He was a senior citizen, quite well off, and because of my selfish actions had to sit in an air conditioned booth that wasn't his own for 10 minutes. I decided enough of this; told the guys at the door to chello (get lost), and told the old guy that I had apologized already and that I was done talking to him. Bit akward from that point on, but the funny thing was the train people didn't say a thing about it! Anyways, that was a stressful start to an otherwise easy journey. Now I have a day and a half to kill in Bangalore- a very Westernized city- and I really don't know what to do. They have a decent bar scene here so I guess I'll go for a beer tonight and talk to some locals and foreigners- whoever's around. That's all for now, folks.



  1. Glad it didn't escalate further than that Nick, I guess sleeping on the springs without a mattress the night before didn't help not being able to hear the knocking!

    We are anxiously waiting your return for more details on this truly incredible adventure!!

    Love You and see you soon (counting down!!!) Mom

  2. I must admit I had to laugh reading about the scene on the train, but you certainly held your own Nick. I guess they have little patience for 'westerners'. You should check into the airport early to ensure a good seat and no foul-ups with your reservation.
    Can't wait until you are back on Canadian soil (i.e. HOME)