I was away in Goa on vacation. And, it was a wonderful trip filled with fun. The next blog post will be about that :). We took the train on the way back and forth. We did online ticket booking, and our tickets were waitlisted. But, luckily on the day of the journey, we checked the PNR status and found that our seats were confirmed. Our excitement increased. There is something really wonderful about train journeys if you meet interesting people along the way and have a great scenery to view. The Western Ghats stretch offered great views, and this bunch of retired Brits vacationing in India offered the interesting company. There must be a dozen people in the group who were doing the normal tourist route of Agra, Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Mysore, Ooty, and Kerala.
There was this lady from a village near Cambridge (nothing village-like about her) who was telling us about her trips to Africa, South America, Mongolia, Silk Route in China and now India. She and her husband are traveling around the globe and especially visiting exotic countries or places with a culture and lifestyle very different from their own. Their zest for life and wanderlust made me want to wish to be just like them when I am their age. Polite to a fault; they seemed like such simple and wonderful folk. Another couple was from York and had a good sense of humor too. We had a nice conversation about how privatization of trains in Britain did not work to the benefit of the larger population due to exorbitant costs. I guess, we have to learn lessons from such countries before we wish for privatization of our own Railways. Some of them had RAC tickets and had to spend their night sitting, and we all felt very bad about that. Another one who had a berth complained that he did not catch any sleep. That happens I guess with train journeys. I hope they have fun in the rest of their trip and that they take back good memories of their trip here.
Then, we met this elderly couple from Goa who were en route to their daughter’s place in Bangalore. The man was telling us tales of scams and corruption in Railway contracts and ticketing, and how despite computerization crooks find their way around the system and still end up making a quick buck.
For once, I slept well during the night. The journey to Goa was good too. We had gone to Goa with a friend’s family and in all the chatting time seemed to fly. Most times, I do enjoy reading but not this time :). One does long for such journeys if they end up being so pleasant!