Bhopal Travel Blog› entry 10 of 17 › view all entries
Was awoken this morning by the call for prayer singing out across the town, soon to be followed by the horns and loud music, thank the lord for the early night! Slept ok but bed not that comfy, a very thin mattress on a wooden board. The power was off again which pissed me off as I was hoping to watch the cricket before leaving. Had a cold shower due to the power out and as soon as I stepped out of the bathroom the power came back on - great! Watched the cricket (painful!) for as long as possible whilst eating breakfast then got a rickshaw to the station.
Found my seat only to find that the whole berth was taken up by a family eating a meal. I said hello as I dumped my bag on the upper bed and asked if I could sit which they seemed happy for me to do so I squeeezed in on the end. I think that they were in different berths but came together to eat before moving back. Once the others had moved out the son told me to move over onto the other seat and spread out. Popped the i-pod on and fell asleep but woke up feeling cold so I grabbed a spare sheet and covered myself up as the son had done. It seemed that everyone was snoozing as all the curtains were shut in the whole carriage! Read my book for a bit then bought a tea from the chaiwaller, only Rs5! I bought the son a cup too which then set the tone for the next 9 hours as we exchanged teas everytime he appeared! The family came in and ate while I moved out of the way or just came in and lounged around chatting to the son.
On one of the longer stops I hopped off the train to look for somewhere to have a sneaky ciggy. The son was off too as I think he did on every stop and I asked him about smoking. He smiled and said "no way ... but you can try and sneak one in the toilet"! I'd already been in the Western Style toilet (one out of four in every carriage) and seen that there was a small fan on the wall so when we set off I risked a half of one, put it out under the tap and threw it down the pan, then spent 5five minutes moving the fan around! When I got back to my seat the son asked me if I'd had one so I smiled and said yes, just a quickie. When his mother had left he asked me if he could have a ciggy, bless! Throughout the trip I supplied him with cigarettes and in return got tea, crisps and food. It looked as if they had been away a long time judging by the amount of luggage they had, the food just kept appearing out of a different bag every time! Nice family.
after the nine hours was up (and after the linen man had been round and apparently complained about how many sheets were used - oops) I got off the train and outside the station to light up and was immediately surrounded by three taxi drivers - if only it was this easy to get a taxi in England! I jumped in with the first one and showed him my scrap of paper with the hotel name on it, he didn't look too sure about it but off we went anyway. This was probably the second longest station to hotel trip I'd taken so I thought it would be rip off time again - Rs50 - bargain! We drove down a very dark back street whilst I was thinking that he was going to stop and mug me, then remembered that LP had mentioned an alleyway to the hotel - phew! checked in and got a huge room, basic but clean. Ordered up a veg biryani, read a bit then hit the sack ready for the 9.20am to Indore - end of a long day! Goodnight