We make the (Wait) list

Trip Start Oct 18, 2009
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Train from Varanasi to Satna

Flag of India  , Madhya Pradesh,
Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 82 – 27th March          

           

Rach had spoken to Monu's parents last night and they had said we could stay until 10:30 pm tonight before leaving for our train to Satna.  This was really good news and we slept as long as we could until around 9am.  I was still feeling bad but as the temperature rose decided that having another cold shower and then heading out was probably best.  We got to the bakery and as feared it was busy and full of people just like ourselves: Westerners wearing ethnic clothing, sitting cross legged on cushions and eating organic muesli, hiding from the sun, the Varanasionians and the dodgy hygiene.  We joined a couple of rough Aussie girls from Newcastle which was good in a way.  I was feeling pretty bad and it forced me into conversation, laughing and not feeling sorry for myself.   The fans weren’t working due to the electricity being off, is it ever on in Varanasi? But we sat for at least 2 or 3 hours ordering a coffee once in a while and making a slideshow of our trip so far for my mum, due to the fact that she is still operating, like the Indians, in the dark ages and gets this blog on a paper copy delivered by a carrier pigeon called Pat!  Thanks Pat, I really do appreciate it, though I wish my mum would just get t’internet!

Around 2 we headed back to the oven for a rest and more trying to keep cool.  Although still pretty rubbish I was in general feeling like I might be over the worst and so we were sticking to our plan of heading for the train tonight.  It would be air-conditioned and might actually be the best thing to happen to me in days.

In the evening we headed back to yesterdays lunch place and had another Mediterranean combo and a roasted aubergine pizza.  Yes the vegetarianism continues, but in India it’s not a hard choice for various reasons. 

Once back at the guesthouse we slowly packed up and said farewell to Monu and family.  Not before paying a little extra for the additional time we spent in the room.  I didn’t mind as we were going to do this anyway but it’s annoying when you hope someone is being extra nice and then it’s proved that yet again it’s all about the money.   Always remember 'If it’s too good to be true it probably is’.  Not that I was shocked when he asked right enough.

Michael Schumacher’s Indian cousin took us to the Varanasi Junction station in an auto-rickshaw and how we didn’t hit something I’ve no idea.  Actually I think we did hit another rickshaw but the load bang was just another in a deafening cacophony of sounds so I’m not sure.

And so yet again we go through the ‘Wait List’ lottery, late at night in an Indian train station.  Oddly this time, I had a confirmed berth but Rach had remained Wait List 4 instead of being the one behind me and being RAC 1.  To start with we had been Wait List 5 and 6 respectively.  The train arrived at 11:20 and we had approximately 10 minutes to track down our carriage (well my carriage) , check the list, find the ‘TT’ and try and bribe Rach onto the train if need be. 

We found the carriage and the list and Rach was still WL3.  Her name was mentioned and so we hoped that meant she was actually allowed to board the train.  We got on and headed for my berth hoping we could share as the journey was only 6 and a half hours.  One of the other berths was free and I ran outside to check the chart on the carriage.  The berth should have been occupied from the first station so this was a promising sign.  Later the ticket inspector arrived.  In the dark he looked at us and the berths.  I had a hundred rupee note ready as a sweetener but I knew that the free berth should really be given to us, after all we had paid for two. I think he expected a bribe but after what seemed like an age nodded towards the berth and said okay.  Result!  We thanked him with our usual ‘we’re too stupid and innocent to realize we should give you some money’ demeanor and quietly went to bed looking forward to a whole 5 and a half hours of coolness on a rickety train full of coughing, sneezing, farting, talking Indians.  Ahh bliss!  It’s amazing how relative comfort becomes.
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