By Rusel D’Cruze
I’ve never left my state, or travelled long-distance in a train, or seen any further than the town I grew up in.. so yeah, I exist.
Here you will take a peek into the trepidation and revelations of a mind that has never, and I mean NEVER, travelled anywhere except between home, school, and the grocery store.
Number 1: How do I LIVE on a train?
So the first and the BIGGEST doubt that came to my mind was this: HOW am I supposed to LIVE INSIDE a train? Am I supposed to replicate every normal thing I do at home on a train? Isn’t home supposed to stand still? How am I going to LIVE in something that I’ve never spent more than 3 hours on? This was the most perplexing doubt that I could think of.
Number 2: Etiquette? Manners?
Honestly, I had no idea about any etiquette and conventions as well (or even if there were any at all). All my experience (if that were to be called so) was right off the TV screen, and I was never comfortable with the idea of long-distance trains in the first place. I was totally confused about how I’m supposed to react to a situation. You’ll know what I mean, the feeling of being at a place where you think everyone expects you to naturally know what to do, but you have no idea.
That’s confusion #2.
Number 3: Dealing with strangers
As if living on a train for a day or more wasn’t bad enough, for someone who’s never known hostel life, spending that time with strangers is often uncomfortable. When you’re living with people you don’t know, trust issues do come into play. I initially thought it would require uhh..”coordination” but stuff works out just fine basically, at least for me. Also, from personal experience, I’ve been lucky to have strangers who became amiable acquaintances by the end of the journey. I met a lot of different people and it’s like the first day in college all over again. You’re lucky if you find people who love socializing as much as you do and make the atmosphere easy.
Number 4: Normal things – Food, Sleep, Clothes etc.
If you’re picky about food you always have your doubts and fears about food that’s cooked by ANYONE other than your mom or a chef. Food on trains was pretty much ok (they don’t want trouble) and you tend to observe manners that you wouldn’t care about at home. Well, you need to adjust to things a bit because you’re obviously not at home.
Well, sleep issues depend on you. I’m a sloth so I could sleep in the WTC during 9/11 too. For a backup, it’s enchanting to just look outside the window and think about random stuff if you can’t doze off. It’s as interesting a situation to give to yourself to as those quiet nights on your rooftops that feature on deep Facebook posts.
Number 5: Views outside the window, new places, new people, new sights.
That is, by far, the most BEAUTIFUL experience of long train journeys that I can ever think of. It’s when you’re exposed to diversity, of people, places and you realize the world is a beautiful place on the other side of your laptop screen.
On a personal note, I’m a Bengali, so I’m used to seeing everything written in Bengali. Shops, ads, everything and when you leave Bengal it’s weird to notice everything in Hindi. I just feel that’s interesting. Looking outside the window feels like a dream any time of the day and as I’ve emphasized, it’s a great time to think and reflect and just let your imagination run wild and free.
Wrapping up, it was as new as an experience could get. It’s difficult to collectively describe everything but for someone like me who hates the efforts of travelling it was truly a worthwhile experience. I feel kind of enlightened given the opportunity to understand the diversity of the country and what it’s like to be OUTSIDE my own state so go give yourselves an adventure if you haven’t.
In case you are traveling alone, you may want to check out these hacks to travel light.
Image Credits: Google