Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Margaret is an American studying in Pune. She is very pleased with her India experience. The following passage from her blog is testimony to that:

"Margaret, why did you not want to take a 30-hour train ride?" you ask. Seek and ye shall receive. Trains in India are kinda dirty and broken, sort of like everything else. We were riding second class non-a.c., which is only a small step above cargo. The seats are '70s era vinyl, and they're bench seats, so you're pretty much cheek to cheek with the people next to you. Now, this would be uncomfortable enough. But to add an extra dimension of fun, the entire ride smells like poop. Why? Because people shit on the train tracks. The entire ride, back and forth, I never went more than seven or eight minutes without seeing someone outside dropping trou with their feet on the track to use this nationwide toilet. It's disgusting. Like, I'm sort of getting used to the whole idea that there's poop all over the place here, but I'm still having a hard time with actually having to see the people shit on the railroad. Yeech. If these close quarters and the all-India poopfest weren't enough, people wander up and down the aisle begging and hocking stuff. I can understand selling food and drinks and crap. But socks? OK, maybe your feet get cold on the train...even though it's 90 degrees. Key chains? OK, maybe you, uh, need a key chain. But whips? Who the fuck buys a whip? Who buys whips in general is one question, but who buys whips on a train? Then cue the 9 jillion beggars. I just couldn't take 30 hours of it.

Flattering. No?