In the Ganges

Wednesday 2nd September

After feasting on an expensive breakfast we walked back to the station and made a reservation on the 02:30 sleeper for Varinassi (Banares). Sounds simple, but despite the very short queue it took us an hour. Everything in India seems to be done as slowly and methodically as possible and with all the documentation made in at least triplicate. There is absolutely no point trying to rush anyone. After awhile one slows down and adapts to the unhurried business and the sedate pace of life around. The trains move slowly and people wait patiently (or sometimes not) for hours, and hours.

After the train ticket we sought out a bank to change money. Another long and tedious job. Better make it part of the holiday experience rather than a functional necessity to get out of the way as quickly as possible.

Houseboats on Ganges

Thursday 3rd September

No after effects from last nights gastronomic delights. We spent an hour at the railway station making a reservation to Delhi for Saturday night. I still don't have the hang of the up trains and the down trains.

We saw a ferocious row at the ticket office. If the grill hadn't been down I'm sure the two men would have come to blows. Oh so slowly, slowly grinds the Indian administrative system; paperwork in triplicate; needless details recorded.

Out into the heat of the day. The familiar touting of the many rickshaw drivers. Surrounded as always.

Friday 4th September

We all awoke feeling ill. I had belly ache, as did the other two, although Jane seems to be by far the worst. Pay back time for the earlier recklessness. Sugar cane juice from communal glasses is taking its revenge. But I tried to play it down. I'd felt like this lots of times, at home, nothing to do with India. I'd be OK in a couple of hours. Always was. It was just worse because of the heat. The heat is over powering. Being on the roof doesn't help.


Our roof top room, in the heat

Near New Delhi station

Sunday 6th September: Resting back in Delhi

Best night's sleep so far on a train, although even so, it was interrupted by a fight, a very vicious fight. It seems to me that Indians seem to flare up very easily. For example, at the hotel I had ordered drinks which after a very long time arrived, but without my change. My change had still not arrived by the time I wanted to return to my room so I went to ask for it. The manager started to yell and shout me. The fight on the train was more than shouting, it was also physical. Punches were thrown.