I mentioned before that a special 'tourist quota' exists for the trains. Essentially, I can show up the day of departure, and in many cases, get a ticket on a train that would otherwise be sold out to an Indian person.
Even better, I don't have to queue with the plebs at the station...
You see, there isn't really such a thing as a queue in India. It's more a state of chaos/madness with the ever threatening scent of a stampede on its way. The poor train station workers sit behind very thick glass, and watch, as people squash themselves silly in an attempt to get to the front of the pack, and pass their ticket-booking form to the oft-amused clerk.
Given the extreme amount of pushing and shoving involved, it's also worth mentioning that any woman who decended into this semi-moshpit would be felt up and molested to the point of almost-pregnancy.
Thus, the Indian Train Authorities have women-only lines, women-only waiting rooms, etc....
As I was saying, I'm spared the nastiness of an ugly queue... and all without the need to acquire ovaries. All one needs is a foreign passport, and a tourist visa.
There is a special queue at most train stations for Senior Citizens, Freedom Fighters, and Tourists...
What the hell a Freedom Fighter is, i'm not sure - as one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter.
In any case. The line is usually occupied by a bunch of very old men with white hair, who still have a surprising amount of energy with which to try and push in front of me. Yet, you're stuck in line long enough that you get to hear them mumbling and telling stories about the old days...
I would guess that "freedom fighters" mean people who fought in the war against the British during their independence struggle.
don't forget that india was a british colony.
btw, i've been reading & enjoying you blog. nice that you have put up your experiences.
According to the Indian Constitution, official 'Freedom fighters' are people who fought for the Indian indepedence from the British colonial rule of the pre-1950s. Most of these people have a certificate or document offered to them after the independance to attest their status.
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