Here are some pics from the last leg of my first India journey 🙂 After leaving Search, I had about 4 days before my flight left for the US and wanted to make the most of every moment! I flew to Ahmedabad, in the state of Gujarat, to meet up with a friend from Hopkins, Viraj, and his fiancee Pooja. Viraj had also done an internship at Search and told me all sorts of exciting things about the place. It’s always cool to meet up with people you knew from one place halfway across the world, really mindblowing!
I only had a day in Ahmedabad but we crammed in lots of fun stuff! I met Viraj’s family, who was really cool and welcoming. We went to a snake-zoo:
We went to a place for lunch that served food in the “tali” style. I think a tali is basically a big plate:
then about 6 guys start swarming the table, each with a different dish:
and before you can blink an eye, your plate and its little dishes are filled with a lot of really good food.
Pooja took me to a beautiful shop where handicrafts are sold, and the profits go a non-profit organization to ensure the craftsmen get fair prices for their work. I’ve always admired the beautiful things people have done with their hands here, and this was no exception.
I had to scootch along to the train station because I had this long-time dream of taking a long Indian train ride. So instead of flying to my next destination, Delhi, I hopped on to a train for a 15-hour journey. My Indian friends had insisted I take the “business class” compartment for my first time, because I’d have less chance of my large suitcases getting stolen. Made sense. Each compartment had about 6 people, with a top, middle and lower berth on each side. During the afternoon we all sat on the bottom berth and had dinner, but the real fun came at nighttime. I had one of the top berths, meaning that I had to climb up a virtually non-existent ladder (three thin, slippery pieces of metal several feet off the ground!), trying not to step on the guy in the berth below me, and then attempting to cover my bed with the sheets and blanket provided. I never make my bed particularly tidily anyway, and when you’re nine feet off the ground and trying not to fall off from the lurching of the train, that was an interesting task 🙂 The whole thing was a blast 🙂
My only concern was whether I’d still be up in the bed by morning, because as you can see in the picture, there was only a very small bar keeping me from rolling off. But what the heck, nothing you can do haha, so I just curled up under the blanket and the rhythmic rocking of the train was enough to lull anyone to sleep.
In the morning I found I was still in my bed (even after having to scale the ladder half-awake at 2am for a bathroom run), so that was good news. So that concluded the epic first train ride to Delhi 🙂