This Post Isn’t a Tribute to the Rickshaw
If you look closely, you’ll see a self-portrait in the picture above. Masood and I were in Surat, Gujarat, and we took the auto-rickshaw because they are skilled navigators, slithering through the jam-packed roads of India. This means we get to our destination in half the time. Most foreigners may find this mode of transportation unsafe and even fatal, but trust me – these guys know what they’re doing.
This post isn’t a tribute to the rickshaw, though.
I’m writing after three months.
We flew to India on New Year’s eve and we are still here. I’ve often heard and read about how planes are practically devoid of passengers during Christmas and New Year. I was so excited about having the entire cabin to myself that I planned on stretching across the middle seats, and falling asleep the entire way.
It was a full flight.
This has been the longest I’ve ever stayed in India. And it’s been the most fun, too. The weather has been perfect. Masood and I traveled to Bangalore, Surat, and Delhi. We traveled by train on three occasions —56 hours of total travel time.
Indian Railway’s Rajdhani Express in my new favorite.
If you’re following me on Twitter you may have noticed that I’ve tweeted about how there was a rat in the air-conditioned car. The poor thing was trapped and couldn’t find its way out (although it didn’t appear so poor when it was terrorizing the women that evening by hiding in their luggage and eating their biscuits!).
We sought out the guy responsible for providing our bedding and towels. We told him to take care of the rat problem. Facing the lady who appeared the most scared—blood drained from her face, feet propped up on the berth, and refusing to move an inch—the guy calmly told us, “This is nothing compared to what happened not too long ago. There was this woman whose fingers got bitten by a rat while she slept.” Way to put the ladies at ease, buddy.
Someone from the Indian Railways actually responded to my tweet and the matter was brought to the attention of the department responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the trains. I’m impressed by this.
Appreciate it when authorities take a complaint seriously. Thank you.
In other news, we had to have our marriage registered for the third time (required for visa paperwork, etc). Masood went to his maternal grandmother and announced that he’d just gotten married for the third time. “That’s enough!” she scolded him, “Keep the first one and let go of the rest!”
I love her so much.
Visitors to India, did you know that you can book and pre-pay a rickshaw through an app in your smartphone? It costs less than a cab and it’s super convenient! No need to waste time haggling over the fare with the driver. I also love how the newer rickshaws are more spacious, aren’t as noisy, and doesn’t emit dangerous black fumes. Traditionally, the black and yellow rickshaw ran on diesel, but the newer green and yellow ones run on compressed gas (CNG) and are environment friendly!
But this post isn’t a tribute to the rickshaw.
The main objective of this post is … well, there isn’t any. Just wanted to publish an I’m-okay-and-hopefully-back-to-blogging-regularly post. I look forward to catching up with my favorite bloggers and sharing pictures and stories from Bangalore next!