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All I Want for Christmas...Is My Ass Groped (And Other Such Fun Things...)

INDIA | Tuesday, 26 December 2006 | Views [6772]

Gwen and I prepared heartily and enthusiastically for spending our Christmas stuck in the overnight train from Varanasi to Darjeeling. We bought yummy food, decorations, and headed down to the train station humming Christmas carrols to each other... It went down hill from here!

 

Firstly, our train was delayed by 3 and a half hours. Of course we found this hard to get drift of as the people at the "May I Help You?" information desk could not help us as they spoke no English - Luckily a nice guy explained the situation to us and informed us when the train arrived... (The downhill slant is starting to gain momentum now!)

 

So the train is on the platform, Gwen and I are charged with our big and heavy gear, and we can't find our carriages as they are not marked in any way. We are freaking out about it leaving without us at this point, frantically searching for someone who speaks English, when we spot a big group of army officials... We ask and one tells us which carriage to get on (The wrong one of course). But once we are in, there is a huge traffic jam and we can't move, especially not with our big packs. We finally make it to bunks 31 and 32 only to find a huge Indian family camped out in our places who inform us that we are in the wrong carriage -  AHHHHH!!! We push and shove our way back to the door and hop out, discovering that our carriage is locked... Then the train starts moving - without us on it! A guy is telling us that we "first must catch the train, then we can find our seats later" but there is no way I am jumping on a train with 20kg on my back, not knowing how far the next stop is... Luckily the train comes to a holt once more and we get back into another carriage with the hope of finding our seats at the next stop...

 

The train stops, we shove our way through what seems like 1000's of oggling Indian male eyes, only to fall upon another 1000 army officials between us and our bunks, laughing their heads off at the meer sight of us... So we start crossing the sea of men who are putting their hands where they shouldn't be. I'm nearly out of the thick of it when some asshole gropes my ass John Copawate style (It was amusing that just that morning I was thinking to myself that I still hadn't been groped yet and maybe the other female travelers I had spoken to had been exagerating about the groping in India!) - I shriek and laughter errupts out amongst the men. I am a little annoyed but happy that we had finally made it to our seats... We draw back the curtains to find another large Indian family srawled across our seats. We consider leaving them one of our places in our quickly waning christmas spirit, but am quickly loosing my temper as they appear not to even think of offering us at least one of our places... Finally through a lot of exagerated hand gestures, we manage to get them off our top bunk where we put all of our stuff, leaving pretty much no room for us... So we got a fantastically good night sleep, only to awaken to nature's call - Problem! About 300 people camped in front of the toilet door, impossible to get through! We wait another 4 hours and then decide that we can't hold on any longer and try to brave it... The corridoors seem to have a cleared a little and so I get through after soon extenisve pushing and shoving. On the way out, feeling 1000 times better, I get groped again... Great!

 

At this stage our favorite family on our bunk has fully awoken, and they start giving us greasy looks and saying things to us in Hindi... Then the mother reaches up and hangs a pair of heavily soiled baby pants (we could tell from the odour!) on our rail! Grrrrrr!

 

So anyways... We finally make it to NJP station around lunch time and brave the last 3 hour jeep ride to Darjeeling... We made it!!! I think that although it was the worst Chritmas of my life that it will be the one which I remember for the longest!

 

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