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My Last Indian Train Ride

 Amritsar train station

My 4am wake-up call came a generous 15 minutes early.  Already packed, I laid in bed under the twirling fan trying not to fall asleep again.  At half past four, I stepped quietly past the hotel employee who had returned to his bed, the lobby bench, for a few more hours rest.  I picked up an auto rickshaw to the train station, savoring the rare experience of riding through the dark and empty streets. 

 I love the taste of chai at 4:30 in the morning

My express train to Delhi was sitting idle on the first platform, the air-conditioning already  turning the coaches into rolling refrigerators.  After a requisite chai, I found my seat and settled in for the 6-hour ride to India's capital city of 12 million people.  Interestingly enough, it was my first train ride in a non-sleeper carriage.  As the express train is more expensive than the regular ones on the same route, it is also more comfortable.

 Express train to Delhi

We left the station on time, speeding out of Amritsar at a noticeably faster rate than I'd experienced previously on Indian trains.  After a few stops, the two seats adjacent to mine filled up.  The service was excellent, including the complimentary food:  a liter-sized bottle of water, tea and biscuits, breakfast (non-veg: omelet and toast), and a juice box.  The constant attention the first few hours made it hard to drift off to sleep for too long.

 Rice paddies, a familiar site on my train rides

After browsing photos on my camera, the well-to-do Indian gentleman next to me struck up a conversation by showing off his Sony 3.5-inch, touch screen camera.  Working in construction, he's been living in Dubai for the past 20 years and was talking up the city, suggesting I visit.  I had written off Dubai as too expensive, however he countered my thought by telling me there were budget accommodations as well as luxury. 

 Exiting the train platform in Delhi

We arrived at the New Delhi train station around 11am as scheduled, a short distance from Connaught Place, the giant traffic circle at the city's center where I hoped to base myself for a reasonable rate.  

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Friday 29th of October 2010

This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like 'Mixview' that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you're listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of "neighbors" will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune "Social" is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

Platform Beds

Wednesday 22nd of September 2010

That was a great experience. Hope you could share your latest travel experiences in the future.


Monday 8th of September 2008

It's a nice experience sharing with us.


Monday 8th of September 2008

It's a nice experience sharing with us.

Kango Suz

Monday 7th of July 2008

So is Dubai being added to the list of destinations? I hear it's really a very unique place to visit...


Thursday 10th of July 2008

It's now on my radar. A lot will depend on my finances after SE Asia, and cost of airfare.

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