Just Around India

A travel diary by a Japanese tourist

<Day4 - Delhi->

                                                                      9 Jan

I woke up at 9 and stepped out to the veranda.
    It was cloudy. Looking at the gray sky and the street of Paharganj, somehow I realised that I haven't encounter any other Japanese tourists since I came to India.

    Since I was leaving Delhi today, I checked out the hotel and went to the rooftop restaurant where I refused to go last night. It was a bit cold up there but the atmosphere was pretty good. I ordered a chocolate banana pancake and a cup of chai for breakfast.
    There were several groups of Westerners in the restaurant. Seeing them talking and laughing, I felt my aloneness. It's not like I didn't have chance to talk with anybody. On the contrary, so many people had talked to me since I arrived in India. There were plenty of oppotunities to communicate with someone. But I hadn't had a chance to getting know other fellow travelers so far.
    Of course Paharganj was filled with tourists. I could see a lot of backpackers were sitting and having chai or coffee at some cafes on the streets. But I was rather avoiding those places. I didn't know exactly why. But maybe I was not so confident to become friends with those backpackers who looked very experienced with traveling.
    Since I was young I liked being alone and I liked traveling solo. So I didn't mind. But to be completely honest, I felt a little sad this morning. Because since I came to India, I had encountered so many things that shook my common sence. I wanted to talk about it with not local Indians but people who also came from outside and can share my feelings.

    The train for Jaisalmer was supposed to leave at 5:30 pm. I still had some time so I decided to walk around Old Delhi until then. I went to Raj Ghat where Ghandi was cremated then visited Red Fort which was a huge red-walled fort and looked around the inside.

    I arrived at Delhi Station an hour before the departure time. The station was very crowded. I got on a line and went through the baggage-screening check. It seemed you need to pass this airport-like check even when you get on a train in India.
    After the check was done, I didn't have anything to do. So I just waited.
    Around 5:10 pm I heard the announcement about the train for Jaisalmer so I went down to the platform NO.8 that was where my train arrives.
    Soon after that, a blue colored train came into the platform and I got in.

    The compartment was divided to the left side and the right side by an aisle. The ticket I bought was called "A/C 3 Tier-Sleeper" or simply "3A" and that means a 3 tier bed in a compartment with A/C. There were mattress-like seats that you can use as a bed and similar seats above. And if you bring up the backrest of the bottom seat and locked it with chains, it became the second bed. But since it was still before night, almost all the passengers were still sitting on the bottom seat together.


    I found my seat and there were 2 Indian guys sitting in front of it. I said hi to them and talked with one of them for a while. The guy called himself "Salam" and he looked around 30. He said he works at an air-force base and his fiance is collecting foreign coins so I gave him three 1 yen coins that were in my wallet.


    I continued talking with Salam then 3 women walked to our seat as talking and laughing. They stopped in front of us and took some pictures each other. Then one of them stayed and the others walked back to where they came from.
    A woman who stayed said hi to us. It seemed she also got a seat here. She said those other girls were her friends whom she met in Delhi and since their next destination was different, she just said goodbye to them.
    She was from Germany and called herself Linda.
    "Where are you going?" I asked.
    "Oh really? I'm going too."
    She sat in front of me and we started talking.

    It seemed Linda was on a long journey. Although she arrived in India at almost the same time as me, she said she was traveling around Central Ameria, South America and Southeast Asia before coming to this country.
    "Did you see Dalai Lama?" She suddenly asked.
    "Dalai Lama?"
    I knew there was the Tibetan government in exile in Dharamsala and Dalai Lama lives there but wasn't sure what she really meant by her question.
    "Dalai Lama was doing speech in front of Delhi Station just a while ago. I was watching it so almost missed the train."
    I didn't know that. I entered the station an hour before the departure time so probably that's why I couldn't notice it. It was surprising that the highest leader of Tibetan Buddhism was so close to me. I wished I could have seen him. It seemed Linda was interested in Yoga and Buddhism.

    At night an Indian guy came to our compartment and asked if we needed a dinner. I said yes and paid money then he delivered an Indian style dinner.
    At around 9 pm, the Indians around me started to make the second-tier bed and everyone went into their beds so I also climbed the ladder which was attached to the side and laid myself on the bed.


    Laying in the now quiet compartment and listening to the steady clacking sounds that the railway's junction make, I was filled with the feeling that I was traveling. This feeling of movement. The travel stories that I just heard from Linda. All those things seemed to be provoking my love of travel that I had almost forgotten.
    Because of the A/C, the air was really dry and that made me feel thirsty. I had already drunk all the water that I brought so I had no way to quench my thirst. Eventually my throat started to hurt. I tried to sleep regretting not brought more water.