Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Eve

Arrived in Ahamadabad this morning at 5AM.

It seems that with every previous night train that I've taken in India - I've been lucky enough that the train terminating station happened to be my stop.

Not so in this case, and so it was lucky that I asked the people around me.. or I would have woken up in some other city. Still, this meant that I arrived at 5AM to a cold and dark city.

Backtracking slightly - I decided to scale down my travel in the name of saving money. I had previously been travelling 2 tier AC (2 beds on each side), but a night train at this class costs me around 20 bucks. By dropping down one level to 3 tier AC (3 beds), I'm saving about 8 dollars per ticket. Sweet!

It's still an expensive enough ticket that you get middle class Indians on the train with you - and so I spent some of the journey talking to a lawyer who is the project manager for an "Eden Project" style nature park opening outside Bombay next year.

I also learned an important lesson about the top bunk... in addition to heat rising, methane gas seems to rise.... and with 4 beds undernaeth mine (2 on each side), I had a very unpleasant time before I finally dozed off.

In any case... arrived at 5AM, was met by a hustler at the train station who wanted to take me to a rickshaw driver... The warning lights in my head were going off already - his english was good, and it was too early to trust anyone.

However, in the end, he took me to an auto driver, got me a cheaper price than the driver himself wanted to charge (10 rupees) - which, after the kickback he earned, I can't imagine there was much left for the auto driver...

Today's goals are:

1. Buy phone GSM card... I have 3 internship interviews in the next few days, inshalla, and so I need a way to be reached.

2. I never did find the textbooks I wanted in Mumbai. I want to get some here.

3. Clothes. It's damn cold here. No more lungi wearing. I need something warm.

4. Figure out when and how i'm leaving. I want to head to Diu, but it's about 10 hours from here, and I just can't deal with a night bus again.

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