Whomever invented eyemasks deserves a medal.
22.11.2010 - 23.11.2010 31 °C
The train I'm on set off at 9am yesterday and doesn't stop until around noon today, Jodhpur to Varanasi, the Marudhar Express. We picked it up at Agra Fort, cattle class to the holy city.
It's been daylight for a while; with a few hours to go my considerable skill at sleeping late has for once been an advantage. The fluorescent lighting I employed the eye-mask to avoid has been exchanged for brilliant sunlight bouncing around the carriage. Had quite a nice sleep actually. Once I'd moved away from the doors, bloody freezing. And the toilets, say no more.
At that very moment, Mr Chai arrives, yes please thank you very much, ten-rupees-you-must-be-joking-but-it's-too-early-to-argue. Then I haul open the enormous door and stick my head out into the warm rushing air and nearly into a passing traffic signal but the bristles on my new beard act like whiskers and avert disaster.
It's cliched but irresistible, 'why cant I wake up to this every day' as green countryside, lush farms amble by, hazy silhouettes of bushy trees lining the horizon, clickety clack, clickety clack.
There's a pleasantly subdued atmosphere to the carriage now, rather than the jealous rush for bunks of last night. People in orange robes stretch and yawn and sit. Children look about, or scramble around the bunks stacked three high. For now nobody thinks it appropriate to subject the carriage to their taste in Hindi music, to demonstrate their ringtone 3 times a minute or have loud conversations about something that must, I guess, have needed urgent resolution at 3am.
But if the human race is to succeed, manufacturers need to get together and ban keypress tones on mobiles: don't they realise people are idiotic? I can only hope his concept of karma means he will be reincarnated as something suffering repetitive annoying noise. Perhaps a woodpecker living next to a grasshopper in a clock shop, near a 24-hour pneumatic drilling department where, on their breaks, the staff tap mindlessly on typewriters.
Ah people are annoying me again. I must have woken up.
The train, after another very long siesta, has decided 'forward' might be worth another try, what the heck? So we rumble on. Mr Chai is back: yes, five rupees this time please.
Actually, no rush, with scenery like this I'll happily stay on all day.