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Travel Blog: Buying a train ticket and one more village visit....

India, Day 10

village in india / travel in india / blog of photographer steven grayI had a good times with my host in the area where I stayed in India from days 5-10.  But, all good things must come to an end.  The end would arrive with a much more pronounced snap than I originally expected, as will be detailed tomorrow...

This day, however, was spent in a 40km trip to the nearest big town where we bought train tickets for the next day's journey southward.  Our trip to the train station almost became a debacle, though, because I had yet to learn how train travel works in India.  During the middle part of the year, when most of the people in India do their work or leisure traveling, tickets are booked as long as six months in advance.  Whenever anyone tries to book a ticket for next-day, or even next-month travel during the busy season, the best you can manage is a situation similar to flying standby: you are on the list, but not guaranteed a seat.  And given the nature of Indian trains, there isn't always room to stand either...

I didn't learn any of this until the moment we walked into the ticket office to purchase our tickets.  To the Indian culture, this is natural.  To the western mindset, I couldn't understand why my host, with the knowledge of my visit, didn't book the tickets three months prior.  Cultural differences, I suppose.

At any rate, our two-hour tempo ride home was punctuated by one last visit to some of the local gypsies.  And, again, I was impressed by my host's fearlessness at walking into a clump of buildings and assembling a crowd from what seemed like nowhere, and we would speak to them.

Whenever I travel through India, people always ask me if it's "safe" to go to remote places to speak to the villagers.  My opinion on this subject is colored a bit, because a)I loath crowded cities and love small towns and villages, and b)I was introduced to India by fearless people who taught me to be careful, but never to be fearful.  And when I was in India on my own, I stayed with hosts who also exhibited no fear.  And as for the people we spoke to, their response was never anything but perfect hospitality.  The Indian attitude toward most encounters is to be polite and always non-confrontational, and visitors have to be extremely offensive and abrasive to raise their ire.  With these factors all in play, I'm never worried.

My biggest danger in India turned out to be...myself.  Come back tomorrow for the full story on how I woke up blind the next morning...

village in india / travel in india / blog of photographer steven gray

village in india / travel in india / blog of photographer steven gray

village in india / village children in india / travel in india / blog of photographer steven gray

village in india / travel in india / blog of photographer steven gray

old woman / village in india / travel in india / blog of photographer steven gray

village in india / travel in india / blog of photographer steven gray

train station in india / trains in india / blog of photographer steven gray