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traveling by lonesome rail

Varanasi, India

Well, its my first day traveling on my own. Originally there weren't supposed to be any of those but long kept plans went to pot when my travel companion Betsey got a very tenacious fever that she couldn't seem to shake. So the day before we were to leave I treked out to the train station to make every possible attempt to change our tickets a day later or two. Unfortunately its summer break in India and every one goes home, which means no free seats anywhere.
Finally, it came down to me taking off all by lonesome while Betsey stayed back to recover in the comfort of air conditioning and and a few friends still around till the group flight. Vague plans were established to meet up again in Darjeeling in 3 or so days.
So here I am, all by my lonesome. I wanted to know what it was like to travel alone. Here's the lowdown (at least for me). Its not as scary as you might think but its not as exciting either. For me traveling alone tends to involved greater stress and less to laugh about.
The interesting thing about traveling alone is that you are more susceptible to bad behavior and more often the recipient of people's kindness. Crooks and touts target you (which I avoided thanks to my intellegence and logic and...) kindness from other travelers does too.
Well, enough cognition, let me tell you that I made to Delhi safely by wonderfully air conditioned bus and then booked it to my friend/acquintance, Nick's, house where I was leaving my extra bag for the remainder of the journey. Then I as off again to the Delhi train station (the biggest and most hectic I've ever seen). I ate at a little tiny joint with two tables, greasy food and no other white folks (or women). But it was good enough and no one stared.
The train was absolutely pleasant (class 3AC for you those you are curious) and my car had a nice international feel. With me were a yound Indian man, an elderly business man, two Japanese girls, and another American expat who I ultimately learned was named Dana! The train was on record time as well...only half an hour late.

permalink written by  Drie on April 25, 2008 from Varanasi, India
from the travel blog: Adventures in Hindustan
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