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Tracks to Banglore.

Written on: Friday May 1st, 2009

A journal entry from: India

Hampi was followed by our first sleeper-train experience. I will just laugh out loud a little and wait until you perhaps experience it yourself one day. At least there were toilets onboard, unlike the overnight bus (where we found ourselves in ditches and stepping through landfills in the dead of night to invent our own lou's). But on second thought, I'm not sure I prefered the train toilets at all... I could try to paint a picture for you of what a room with a squat-pot on a moving train looks like after 8 hours, but that would be gross. All's I know is that if your skirt or any other loose item dangles even close to the floor it's game over. And also, do not step on your friend's foot after using said toilet. That is also gross. Especially for her.

A conversation with a man here at the Banglore train station (we are on an all day layover) led me to want to write a few observations so far as to treatment of women in India. We have noticed subtle things such as men wearing protection on motorbikes while their wives and children go helmetless on the back. Definately educational differences, like the little boy we met who beamed with pride over his English skills and plans for college and computer engineering, while his sister is recieving only a basic education at the Indian school. (We saw a large billboard today however advocating education of female children to enhance their futures.) There are also the more obvious examples. During the great and long conversation today with previously mentioned old man (who felt it was time Jenica and I found husbands... "don't you have parents?" haha) he mentioned that his daughter is about to graduate with a Masters in Teaching. I commented that he must be very proud of her. His response was, no, if you are good at something, you just are, and if you're not your not. There was no reason to be proud really. This was followed by a lament that his brother has FOUR brilliant sons... but he, just the girl. It took me aback to hear somebody be so blunt about the value of a son compared to a daughter, even though I expected to hear such things. I find it very interesting.

Anyway, we have one more sleeper train to go this evening! Maybe this time Jenica won't end up cuddling with an Indian family, and I won't be hunched over luggage nearly atop the roof. Probably not though. That's half the fun anyway. 

Kerala is next. That is a good thing. A very good thing.

 

From Carlyn on May 8th, 2009

The man that wants to marry you off scares me... its seems that my dream may come true.