Day 10 - off to Indore
Indore Travel Blog› entry 12 of 17 › view all entries
Woke up at 8am and ordered breakfast from room service, had slept ok but got woken up by people going to their room, sounded drunk but whose to know?! The bed was like sleeping on a rock, lumpy and hard - Rs 1200 for a slab of rock, hmm. Checked out and headed to the station. I found my train on the boeard although it had a different time on it - ominous.... Went to platform 5 surrounded once again by thousands of people mainly trying to sell things. What I thought was my train arrived but I couldn't find my carriage so I asked a man on the train if it was the 9715 but he just looked me and shrugged. I wasn't happy that it was the right train so I didn't get on, it looked more like a "local" train. I went back to the main booking hall, against the flow which wasn't easy and asked at the enquiry desk which platform I should be on and had I missed my connection. After a lot of chatting with his colleague he told me that the train would now be on platform 3 at 10.40 instead, great, I hadn't missed it but now had over an hour to wait. Went to platform 3 and found a place to sit in the shade and was approched by two young men who wanted to know if I was going to Indore for the cricket - was it that obvious?! We chatted for a bit and gave them my life story as usual. One of the men was a sattelite engineer for NEO sports, the main sports channel in India and he gets to travel around the country watching cricket - lucky sod! Bought a second hand book from a small booth on the platfrom, another John Grisham and sat and waited fro the train. At 10.50 one turned up but once again it looked like a local train so I didn't get on.
Finally at 11.15am the right train arrived so I got on and found that I had the whole berth to myself. I nodded and said hello to an old couple on the side berth but got ignored by both. Bed linen man camed round and offered me a pillow, thank you very much and also bought a lunch tray from one of the many vendors passing up and down. It's a mixture of vegetable curries, a portion of rice a chapatti and a yoghurt called Thali which I think I'd had at the restaurant in Ajanta. The meal was barely hot but it still went down well, no cutlery, fingers all the way!
I settled down for the 5 hour trip after leaving at 11.35 and set my alarm for 4pm in case I fell asleep. I reckoned that we should be there by 4.35, only 2 hours late! I fell asleep - surprise surprise and was woken by a ticket inspector telling someone to bugger off trying to sit in my seat as I was legitimate - nice man! I read my book for a bit until I started getting cold, the A/C was turned up full but this time there were no blankets on hand. The old boy seemed to be staring at me every time I looked over while his wife just stared out of the window - this was going to be a long fun filled trip! It got colder and colder, I actually got goosebumps for the first time in India! I fished out a beedi whilst being watched with a disapproving look from next door and headed off to the toilet and some warmth! Went to the other end of the carriage in search of the western toilet as I figured that no-one would be using it therefore less chance of being caught smoking.
I got into a routine of trying to stay in the ice box carrige and read for as long as possible then wandering out to the carriage intersection for some warmth. As I went out for another warm smoke, I approched the toilet only to be beaten to it by a very large woman and had the door slammed in my face! I waited, and waited but she must have fallen asleep in there so I went back to my seat in time for my 4pm alarm to go off - half an hour to go, or so I thought. Pretty soon after 4pm the train stopped for no apparent reason in the middle of nowhere, we got going again and pulled into a station where we waited for around 20 minutes, no bloody wonder the train was late! We finally pulled out then almost immediately stopped again, this time for 45 minutes - wtf!? When we got going again I slipped of for a smoke in my favourite toilet but my god, someone had shat all over the seat and the floor and made no attempt to clean it up - thanks very much! Had my smoke anyway and just hoped that there was no-one outside waiting to use the toilet and think that it was me! Back to my seat where thankfully the A/C had been turned off only to be replaced by the old woman openly sneezing in my direction, no hand over mouth, full blown spray follwed by sniffing and endless coughing - great. Add to that a couple of screaming kids running up and down and I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get off! After another two staions and only one more unscheduled stop we finally arrived at Indore at 6pm, 4 hours late!
The sun had set so it was off to find my hotel with the help of taxi man. I showed him the hotel name on my scrap of paper but he insisted that it was full and that I should try some other places, obviously friends of his, kuckliy I had agreed on Rs50 for the journey so it was a complete waste of time for him as I kept telling him to take me to my listed hotel. I knew that the hotel was about a quarter of a mile away but we must have driven around for about 2 miles even stopping at a similar named hotel where he disappeared inside and came out with another man who tried to take my bag in. I stopped him and showed him the name of the hotel and told him that is where I wanted to stay, "but we have rooms here" he said, "good for you but I want to go here" I said. Taxi driver man finally got the directions and the message and off we went. When we got there I let a porter take my bag whilst I went to check on his story about being full, surprise surprise there were rooms available, even a choice of rooms! I went back out to pay but only had a Rs500 note which he snatched and said "don't worry, I'll get change" and disappeared around the corner. I think that he thought that I would get bored of waiting as he took over 5 minutes to return and find me sat in the rickshaw. He handed me Rs450 and looked like he wanted a tip for driving me for so long so I just smiled and said "thank you" and walked inside.
I got my room and had my bag carried up in the lift by the porter - the staff here are far too helpful! He came back and knocked on the door and brought in a jug of water, they keep doing this and I'm never going to drink it! Then the 'hall monitor', a guy who sits at a desk on every floor, knocked on my door to give me my passport back then started to try and turn on the tv and the air conditioning and generally fussing over everything before asking if I wanted to eat etc etc, when I eventually persuadedhim to leave he hung around waiting for a tip! Bugger off!!
Went for a wander and found the usual organised chaos of push bikes, motor bikes cars and buses all trying hard to kill any pedestrian who dared to be outside! ~Went back to the hotel for a meal in the LP recommended restaurant, food was ok, once again nothing special. Went out for another wander and found an internet cafe where I sent a couple of e-mails and chatted on FB for a bit. I chatted to Ellie at home and told her that I'd had a shit day and was thinking of moving on instead of staying here for the next few days, I think arriving somewhere at night gets to you like that, very disorientating. Told her that I would go back to the hotel and try and ring her for a proper chat. I got back and had my keys snatched from me by the hall monitor who opened the door and started turning everything on again - F*ck off!!! - Got rid of him and sat down to use the phone - no dialling tone for international calls so I rang reception who shoted "no line, no line" and hung up on me! The tv did not work so I guessed that it was all linked together. Oh well nothing to do but read and have another early night, 10.30pm! Surprisingly quiet room considering that I face onto the street and there seemed to be some sort of party at the building next door. Time for a good night's sleep with no alarm call in the morning ... we shall see! Goodnight