April 7, 2012

India : The delayed journey

Continuation from here ...

Some of the travellers will only do a day trip to Agra from Delhi or move to Jaipur on the same day. Do note that train from Delhi will arrive at Agra Cantonment station but train to Jaipur will depart from Agra Fort station. So if you plan to move to Jaipur in the evening, go keep your luggage at Agra Fort station, not Agra Cantonment station.

Agra Fort station

I went early to the station to be safe but as soon as I entered the main hall and looked at the display board, my spirit went down the drain. My train was supposed to depart at 7.35pm but the display board showed that my train was delayed to 9 something. Fine.

So I went to wait at the waiting room.

Good thing about the railway stations in India, they have a waiting room complete with toilets. It wasn't a luxurious lounge, but at least you can sit and have a rest.

When it was almost 9pm, I went to the hall again to check on the display board. Again to my disappointment, my train was delayed for another couple of hours. 

Other trains came and departed, the busy platforms finally became quiet and almost empty. Only a few bored and tired faces left stranded in the waiting room.

I met a Malaysian family in the waiting room. What a surprise! My first time meeting my fellow countrymen here in India. They were travelling from Bodhgaya, a Buddhist pilgrimage destination. I was relieved as at least I had company for the night. They were super shocked when I told them I was travelling alone, especially the parents. I guessed some people still find the idea of women travelling solo as radical.

Anyway, the train finally arrived at almost 11.30pm. Phewww!!!

As I was about to get in to my coach, a young guy asked for my ticket. I thought he was one of the station officer so I gave him my ticket. He took it and led me to my compartment and guess what? After that he asked Rs100 from me. I was dumbfounded.

I thought he was the officer but actually he wasn't. It's like he's taking a tip for showing me my place. As if I didn't know how to find it myself. I wanted to say no but I was afraid of making a scene there inside the coach so I just handed Rs100 to him. Son of a bitch! So yeah ladies and gentlemen... this is another kind of scam in India. They make easy money. 

The original arrival time at Jaipur was 11.50pm, which means the ride would take 4 hours and 15 minutes. So as the train departed at 11.30pm, I would arrive in Jaipur at 3.45am. Along the journey I couldn't really sleep cos I was afraid I would overslept and missed my destination. Around 3.30am, I got ready. But until 4am, the train didn't show any sign of stopping. So I just waited. This time I really couldn't sleep.

Then the train stopped, but I looked out of the window and all I saw was darkness. I got up from my bed and walked along the coach looking for the Malaysian family. But it was dark and as all the compartments had curtain, I couldn't find them. I walked to the end of the coach and asked a random person whether that stop was Jaipur. He said it wasn't so I went back to my bed.

Still I couldn't sleep. I was really worried. It was almost 5am. I lied on my bed thinking all the possibilities and my back up plan. Then the clock hit 6am. Still no sign of stopping. Finally at around 6.45am, the train passed by a town and it moved slowly. Most of the people in the train began refreshing themselves and packing all their belongings. I asked around and they said the next stop was Jaipur.

Finally!! The train stopped at almost 7am. Woahh... the journey felt like forever. The distance between Agra and Jaipur is only 233km but it took 7 hours and 30 minutes to reach there!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was disappointed that the train was delayed but yeah, it was actually advantageous to me as it would be easier to look out for place to stay. I continued my gambling ways in this journey cos I didn't book any accommodation that night. I contacted two hotels in Jaipur but both were fully booked for the night. As I were supposed to arrive almost midnight the night before, I planned to spend the night at the train station and find a hotel first thing in the morning.

But as it turned out, I didn't have to spend the night at the train station. So, as soon as I stepped out of the station, I went to the prepaid auto-rickshaw booth and just showed the address of the hotel I intended to go. And lady luck extended her lucky streak on me. They had a vacant room!

Rate for this room was only Rs1100 per night (not including breakfast). Not bad eh?

Sunder Palace Guest House
46, Sanjay Marg, Hathroi Fort, Ajmer Road
Phone : 091-141-2360178 / 091-141-2360878
Email : sunderpalace@hotmail.com
Website : www.sunderpalace.com 

Alhamdulillah.. God really made it easy for me through out this trip.

No comments: