For my 1st train rides, I got the ticket with the travel agency and didn’t mind about the hours of departure. I just wanted them to buy me the tickets. So, this train ride to Agra was at 6 am. It’s not a cool hour…
I need to check out from the hostel at 5 am, as the guys from the travel agency told me to be at the train station at least half an hour before departure, but ideally 1h before (until today I don’t really understand why). I would walk to the station alone at 5 am, as it was just a 5 min walk. I was going to check out and the guy from the reception tells me that I haven’t paid. I’m like: WHAT?
I had paid the hostel owner once I checked in, and it looks like no one wrote that fact in their old book, so this guy is now telling me that he doesn’t have information that I paid my stay. It’s 5 am, I have a train to catch and the owner isn’t there to say that I had paid. It was surely another stressful moment. I was getting really anxious while he is telling me that at the same time he was trying to call the boss to check my assignment. Of course, no one picked up at that hour… I swore to him that I had paid and he had no other option than letting me go with the register of my cell number and in case he hadn’t confirmation I had paid, he would contact me. He never contacted me of course.
Now it’s time to hit the dark, scary and almost empty street to the train station. I wasn’t walking alone. I was walking along with fear by my side. I put my hood in my head so no one notes I’m a woman and there I go. Tuk-tuks run all night, but I haven’t seen much people walking on the road. There I stand with my terrifying thoughts of what could happen to me if the wrong person intersects me. I’m totally alone in the dark.
I’m so happy that I reached the station without problems. It was very confusing, crowded and dirty. It’s my first train rides in India so I don’t know how things work. I see a man standing at the door and I head to him with my ticket to show. He states that my ticket has some problem and I should head to balcony number x. At that time I can’t believe that is happening, I can’t believe that this ticket isn’t ok and I was cheated by the travel agency…
I go to the balcony he mentioned, but no one is there. I go back again talking to him and try to understand what is wrong with my ticket. He tells me one more time to head the balcony. There I am looking like crazy walking from side to side not knowing exactly what I’m doing while many people stare at me. It was a true panic situation. Walking from side to side with my backpack is also not pleasant. 2nd time at the balcony and no one there, so I ask the guy on the next balcony why no one is there and I explain him the situation. “There is a man at the station telling me to come here because there is something wrong with my ticket”.
As per my surprise, he states that there is nothing wrong with the ticket. Wtf, so why the hell is this guy telling me to come to the balcony next door. I don’t understand. This is making me so confused. That’s when he says that the man at the door of the station is trying to fool me. He told me it is a scam!!!
OMG! I can’t believe how unlucky but at same time lucky I am right now. Lucky because if there was someone on that balcony at that time I would have fallen into a scam. Unlucky cause I went to this man when I don’t need to head anyone to enter the station. My ticket is totally valid and I can just get in.
After all this stress I finally get to the train station and wait for my train sitting on the floor. Surprisingly the train didn’t get much delayed and I got to Agra almost in the predicted time. Meanwhile, I’m already seated in my scheduled place inside the train when a man comes and claims that’s his sit.
C’mon I’m so tired already and the day barely started, and now I have to deal with this men. I show him and another men sitting next to me my ticket, and then I handle it to him so he can check. Just then I remember that I had read before about not delivering my ticket to no one in hands as it could be a dangerous move. (they had this warning wrote on the ticket) When I realize it I start asking this guy to give me back my ticket but he took a little longer analyzing it, and after many insisting, he gave me my ticket. –I was already fearing my move– During that time there were already a few people talking Indian discussing my ticket, and his ticket, until I see they reached a conclusion. That man was on the wrong train. UFFFF I was so relieved at that moment that you can’t even imagine. Finally, I could rest on this train rides and feel safe while next to this not so good smelling Indian lady. Not a nice one either.
The train takes approximately 2h to reach Agra. I wanted to check the view so I haven’t slept during the ride. Getting closer to Agra I start seeing some men sitting really close to the railway. I start seeing more and more men, all lined up with a distance between them of around 5 meters and they are all sitting in a defecal position. How weird was that? They can’t be pooping I think…
I need to make sure what I’m seeing so I focus on them while the train moves. My suspicions were right. Their pants were down. Now I know what they are doing. Still, I didn’t want to believe it, so once I got to my hostel in Agra I asked about what I have just seen and they confirmed. All those men were pooping in front of the railways. I’m shocked! Can’t they just hide somewhere where they can be unnoticed? Why the hell do they come to the railway to make of it their bathroom!!?? Honestly, it was disgusting. I don’t think there is a need for it. Now I laugh about it!
Finally I’m in Agra and I survides this train rides. Next challenge: get to the Big Brothers hostel.