Travel Bug

A three day journey.

At the end of my week’s stay in Kerala, I took a train from the very South of India to the very North, to a town at the base of the Himalayas.  The whole trip took three days.  Three.  Days.  On a cramped and crowded train.  At first I was very nervous, because I was traveling alone and I have seen a lot of movies about foreigners getting taken advantage of on trains in India.  But I found that that was not to be the case for me!  I quickly made fast friends with the people next to me.  There was a mother traveling with her three beautiful daughters; a father and his college-age son going back home to Assam, a state just north of Bangladesh; a young mother from Nepal and her baby daughter, just 2 years old and plump with happiness; the kind ticket-master who made sure that I was comfortable and taken care of.  Everyone was very kind to me.  They bought me sweets and shared their favorite recipes with me; the three young girls taught me songs in Malayalam – I have a video of the youngest, Anjali, singing a song devoted to the god Krishna.  The two older daughters were twins, and one of them had a condition where she went into seizures periodically.  It was amazing to see how her mother and sisters took such good care of her, holding her gently and stroking her to make sure that she wouldn’t get hurt.  I showed them some yoga poses to help relieve the stiffness in your legs that comes from sitting on a train for three days straight!  I was sad to leave these kind people when my stop came, but I left them a note telling them that I wished them well and thanked them for their kindness, and hoped to meet again someday.  When I stepped off the train, I found myself in a sprawling city at the foot of the Himalayan mountains, stretching so high up they almost seemed to touch the icy stars in the chilly air above.  The moon made the mountains glow with an unearthly light – it was so beautiful, I couldn’t wait to start the next leg of my journey.  I met my friend Sunitha and she took me to her house, where we would spend a day before going into the country.


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