Train travel in India

If you google it the first thing that comes up is that it is the best way to travel in India. Especially when it comes to long distance travels. So here i am, in a train right now and the experience seems…interesting or more on the odd side. This is my second train trip (like in my whole 25 years of life) Notice i just said 25, speaking of which my birthday is in two days that is why i am currently traveling to Agra to see the famous Taj Mahal. My first train travel was a short distance one to Surat from Baroda. Again – pretty odd. Imagine just facing a stranger for hours on end till you arrive. Yes i could have made friends but i am a shy person.

Anyway, i am currently in the Gujarat Sampark Kranti headed for Hazrat Nizamuddin. Well we will drop off at Mathura but you get the picture. This is my first long distance train and when i got to my seat in 3AC 4 people were sitting on my seat and i couldn’t tell them to move for fear of being rude or i am plain timid. I ended up looking for another seat were we both had to sleep (ofcourse i am with my pea). The train staff offered us supper, a nice supper super tasty i might add and i went against my better judgement of not eating cooked food while travelling for fear of food poisoning or getting drugged. It was tasty!

Oh and the train superfast, i mean i have always heard that name but i really did not expect it to be this fast. This train is flying! I thought 12 hours were going to be unbearable but guess what? With only 2 hours 30 minutes before i get off this train i still feel supper comfy. You get used to facing the strangers near you or they fall asleep and you don’t have to face them at all. Your partner falls asleep but trust my Jiofi to keep me entertained throughout my jeorney because wi-Fi really keeps the world going. Your butt hurts ofcourse but not as much as it would if you were travelling by bus or car plus there is more leg room!

In a nutshell, train travel in India is more bearable that i imagined it was going to be.

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Looking for accommodation in India

Looking for a place to stay is an extreme sport, i mean everywhere. Finding a home that really checks all your boxes is tedious process:

Great neighbourhood ✔️

Proximity to shopping centres ✔️

Convenient ✔️

Reasonable rent ✔️

This is one of the reasons why i love shows such as House Hunting International, they show you what to expect when you are hunting for a house to rent. A lot of compromising has to be done for both ends. Looking for a house in India was a tad bit hard for us because:

1) The home owners always prefer families to bachelors. I don’t know what it is about bachelors that just repels them or maybe it is a consensus that bachelors are irresponsible

2) Locals do not really speak english so the language barrier did not make things easy for us to secure a house

3) Overpricing for foreign people. The house we currently live in is priced at ₹5000/m but my neighbours pay ₹3000 in the same society we live in. And there is nothing we can do about it

4) There seems to be somewhat a consensus that Africans are troublemakers so sometimes they just do not want to risk admitting us into their societies. I totally understand

5) Real estate agents are overpriced. Like seriously, they will be asking for one rent’s worth of money for themselves, another rent worth of money as deposit then the actual rent money so for example if your rent is priced at ₹6000 per month best believe on your first month you will be paying at least ₹24000

However, that being said once you find that one home owner who wants to risk it all for you they do treat you like royalty. They will check up on you, fix all your problems, make you feel at home and the lease is usually for 12 months so you will be set for at least that!

The rickshaw story

So this is a rickshaw.

A mode of transport here, i don’t know about you but i had never seen one before. The other pea has seen one though, they say it is there in their country. The first time i saw one i was pretty amused, i thought someone was playing a joke on me. I had to use it to carry my luggage as i could not see any other mode of transport. See, in my country we use mini vans as public transport so the rickshaw with all its colourfulness and loud music was a tad bit alien to me.

Fast forward now i think it is one of my fave modes of transport apart from the government bus which i discovered quite recently (story for another day). The chakra, as the locals call it is rather convenient especially in summer one really appreciates the free air circulation it brings. Not so much in monsoon season were all the rain will soak you up real nice and not talking of the splashings from other vehicles. Yikes!

The language difference was a bit of a problem at first had to use a whole lot of google translate. But now the other pea knows a bit of the local language so it has become less infuriating. I only know how to say hello and how much as the other drivers have a tendency of hiking up the price when they see a foreigner. But i have been here long enough to know if the price doesn’t make sense. Before i used to cross rate with us$ and everything seemed so cheap but trust me it is way cheaper than that. If they start to demand more money i just start walking away real fast.

Anyway, these things happen. It is all part of being in a foreign country, experiencing things that you do not get to experience back at home!

Asante sana

Welcome to my world

So i am in India.

I have been in India for a year now and i realized i haven’t been documenting my experiences. Silly me! Well i think it is time to rectify that. I am from Zimbabwe and that is in southern Africa and the other pea in out pod is from Ethiopia thats in Eastern Africa! Interesting right? Well this chapter of my life i have decided to call it Once upon a time in India, please put on your seat belt you are in for a ride!

Yours

The main pea in this pod