The Agra to Varanasi Overnight Train

November 11, 2010 1 Comment

‘I’m in it to win it,’ I cheesily tell myself as we board the overnight train from Agra to Varanasi.  We’ve booked the four person bunk cabin, a splurge from the lowest class squished, sitting only and a step up from the six bed cabins where people are sardined floor to ceiling.  So far, I tell myself, I’m ok in India.  I had set my expectations very low.  My worst fears were serious sickness or vermin in my bed.  So far, a terrible cold but no stomach issues (check) and no animals or bugs where they shouldn’t be.  We chain and lock our luggage under our bunks and settle in.  zoooooom scurry scurry goes a giant rat under my feet.  Everyone else seems to miss it, so I pretend not to have seen it either.

The scenery though beautiful, can’t prevent my left eye from darting down to the floor – phewsh it comes back again clinging to the side of the car, under my outstretched feet.  Ok, I think, rat.  As long as it doesn’t climb up here and bite me, I’m ok.  I take a little preemptive action and casually shove my suitcase towards the gap hoping to block the entrance between cabins.  Then I settle back down.  I’ve got my legs stretched over to the other bench in front of me forming a bridge.   Climb, scratch, climb zoooom, he vaults my suitcase with ease.  He’s thwarted my defenses, and as I pull my vulnerable legs towards my chest our bunkmate calmly remarks, “That was a big rat, huh?” calling G’s attention.  “Yes.” I confirm, “It’s passed by a few times,” trying to sound as nonchalant as possible.  I don’t think G buys it.  With each passing, I am more convinced he’s really going to jump up and take a bite out of my calf like a rabid piranha.  I feign a yawn, (not wanting G to think this rodent’s got me beat), and announce that I’m going to make up my bed before it gets dark.  Up I go to my jail-like bed hanging from chains off the wall.  Smack, I soundly kill the cockroach scuttling around on the mattress, flick it off, stretch out the blanket, plump up the pillow, arrange my night headlamp and smugly tell myself,  bring it on varmints; this princess is sleeping soundly tonight.

hint, hint: Next week we'll be in Hinduism's holiest city.

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One Comments to “The Agra to Varanasi Overnight Train”
  1. Corrie says:

    You are sooooo brave! My biggest fear is rats. I’m petrified of rodents. How you handled that, I have no idea. Kuddos to you!!!

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