Monday, July 9, 2012

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

...with a focus on trains this go-round.

We decided to be adventurous today and not only visit one of the largest slums in Mumbai (post coming soon), but also have our first experience on the local train. Let me preface this by saying local trains in India often include the following --

1. Tons of people 
2. People hanging OUT of the doors of the train 
3. People sitting on TOP of the train as it is MOVING (what!?) 
4. Tons of people 

So, to say my anxiety was spiking would be an understatement. I have terrible anxiety. I get anxious when I can't sleep and when I know I should be. I get anxious when I don't know how The Vampire Diaries is going to end (will Elana choose Stefan or Damon? I'm getting anxious just thinking about it). I get anxious thinking about anxiety. So when we decided a train ride on a local Indian railway was on the agenda...guess what?  I was anxious. Me, really tight spaces, and the occasional uncomfortable stares directed my way do not result in anxiety reduction. Guess what? My preconceived notions were proven wrong yet again. What a surprise.  Luckily (for my anxious self) or unluckily (for the sheer experience) the train we took wasn't crowded at all!  It would have been even less crowded if I would have decided to take the "ladies only" car.   In India they have a ladies only car, a males only car, and a co-ed car. Ladies can ride the males car without getting fined, but if a man chooses to do the opposite he can be fined 500 rupees. Pretty intense, right?! The train was extrememly comfortable and fairly modern considering the city standards in some places. We had plenty of room and it was surprisingly comfortable making for a pretty refreshing train ride. Maybe not in the "I feel so clean" way, but defintely refreshing in the "I could probably sit on here for an hour or so and not overheat" way.

In We Are Like That Only, the author discusses how trouble may be looming ahead due to the poor infrastructure present throughout the country of India. Traffic stands still as drivers maneuver their way through the city at their own desired pace.  What is the point of an efficient road system when traffic moves as it wishes? I have had the joy of experiencing this first hand and will say without hesitation that I would rather take the train then sit in agonizing traffic for hours on end. Who would have thought that I would wake up this morning with extreme anxiety and go to sleep choosing train over car.   Don't let that fool you though....I'm still feeling a pang of anxiety...who WILL Elana choose? Damon? Stefan? Neither!? I need to go to sleep before my anxiety over the Vampire Diaries keeps me awake and consequently gives me anxiety about not being asleep.

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