Sunday, November 20, 2011

Transporting in India is Not Very Fun

You may remember that I have had some bad experiences with trains and rickshaws.  Once, in Serbia, I thought a train was leaving with me aboard but not my parents.  Ten days ago, I flipped in a rickshaw and feared my mom could have died.  Today, was another example of pure terror.  I experienced a train ride of insanity and a rickshaw drive of craziness.

The morning was calm and peaceful.  I got in a rickshaw for the third time since my accident, planning to go shopping.  Our driver was respectful and drove slowly, so I got over my fears for the morning.  We asked him to take us to a shop where Dad bought a big marble plate with a golden Ganesh in the middle.  Ganesh is the Hindu protector God, half elephant and half human.  Dad also bought a box with another Ganesh on the front.  Mom bought a dancing Ganesh figurine made out of bronze and I bought a small red Ganesh figurine made of soap stone.  I think this family really needs some protection and Ganesh is good for us.  Before I go to sleep I will make sure my red Ganesh is with me.  

Later this afternoon, however, things began to get crazy. The sixteen Rally for Health team members, walked and rickshawed to a chaotic train station with thirty minutes before our train left for Agra.  We were each carrying our own personal luggage, plus we had about fifteen medical supply bags that also needed to get to Agra.  We realized that the train at the station currently was our train and we needed to board immediately.  I got scared, confused, and stressed.   “This car. No, that car!”   “Hello! Where you from!”,   “Buy this!”,  “No come. Come!”, “Every body out of the train, next car down!”  I was almost crying when we got in our seats.  I finally sat down on the seat, stressed, and had four or five hours ahead of me until reaching Agra.  For the entire ride I sat next to dad and listened to music.  The train was long, but we finally reached Agra, in the State of Uttar Pradesh. 

We stepped off the train into total confusion.  It seemed like thousands of people were crowding and running about the station.  People eyed our bags and we had to have all sides of the pile of bags guarded.  It was dark which added to the scare and chaos.  We hired porters to move the medical supplies through the parked train to the other side of the tracks.  This was scary for me because i suspected the train would take off, with the people from the group helping to pass the luggage to the porters.  I also was scared we would have to pass through the train to the other side.  Instead, we took our personal luggage to the other side of the tracks up and over a bridge. 

Out on the street, we managed to obtain enough rickshaws and drivers to get us to our hotel.  We all entered into several rickshaws.  Our family rode in one rickshaw.  I jumped in first, right before the rickshaw driver decided to move into a different parking position while I was still in the vehicle.  This freaked me out and I was screaming because I thought he was taking off without my parents.  I was super scared!  Once we got going, we started the tour of death.  All of the rickshaws in our group were screwing around and no one knew how to get to our hotel.  None of drivers were driving safely.  Our driver was fixing his hair in the mirror, talking to his buddies in the other rickshaws, dodging in and out cars, and just messing around.  I was scared to death when we finally made it to the hotel.  Gladly, the place we are staying in is somewhat fancy, and our rooms have hot water, a mini bar, and room service!  After the scary day I had a blast breaking open the mini bar and eating room service!  Tomorrow we will visit the Taj Mahal!  Wow! 

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!    


  1. Rohan,
    I understand your being scared. I would be too if I had only a few of the scares you have had recently. I hope that your adventures are less threatening on the next legs of your journey. Keep that red Ganesh close. Where is Harry?
    Love, Grandma Doris

  2. Hi Rohan! I loved reading about your journeys here! I am the founder of a website and would like to interview you and your parents, if the three of you are open to it. I am happy to send you the link to my site if you drop me a mail, or post a link here. Do not want you to think I am spamming, hence not posting a link here. Let me know, and good luck!

  3. That train ride was pure chaos...and the "tour of death" rickshaw ride was the craziest ride yet...You are beyond brave to travel this way and througn this crazy-ass country. We all adore you and we would NEVER have let that hair-gel obsessed rickshaw driver to drive off without your parents..!!!

  4. Anchorage is going to seem soooo slow and boring after this trip! Glad you made it through a very stressful day and were rewarded with a nice place to stay.

  5. Oasis, I am interested in an interview, and if you would like, you can post a link to your website on the blog.

    Thanks a lot!

    Rohan Geographic

  6. Hello Rohan - Gosh, you should write a blog!! I am glad you survived your harrowing day. Maybe life in Anchorage won't seem boring at all to you!! India doesn't sound like a place I will put on my bucket list! Love, Grandmalish