Thursday, December 4, 2014
It’s Train Time!
I finally got my train ride on the Indian Railways! Our seats were in the 2A Class (2nd Class, Air Conditioned Sleeper car). Our seat numbers were 1 & 46 and we wondered if we would be able to sit together. It wasn’t a problem at all! When we first entered there was one young man and an older gentleman in the compartment (which is supposed to fit 6 people) and we asked if there was room for another passenger. The young man, whose name was Rhoul, said, “of course!”, and explained they had a few other friends that were in the Pantry car, getting food.
The older guy was called ‘Uncle’ by the boys, but they explained they weren’t really related – just showing him respect.
They were on their way to a friend’s wedding and explained that they were all married, except for their youngest friend, who they said was a bit of a playboy!
We talked and laughed and told stories for almost 3 hours until they got off the train. We shared our traveling food with each other. The ride was a lot less interesting after that, and I snoozed for a few hours. It was great to take it easy for a day.
We were met at the Jaipur Station by Aneel Bhutani, the Charter President of Jaipur Heritage Rotary Club, and the current International Service Chair. He took us to the Om Towers Hotel in downtown Jaipur and checked us in. Surprise!!! A complete Western-style bathroom! With a shower INSIDE a tub!!! Heaven!
We had an excellent dinner in the revolving restaurant on top of the hotel. There were musicians seated on a small stage in the non-revolving center part, so the slowly went past our table twice. The played one particular song that made Saji light up like a Krishna Tree. Aneel also seemed to melt when it came on. The explained that it was about missing your true love very much. And it’s a favorite of many people. There is a joke about a man and wife listening to this song together and the man is becoming emotional. His wife scolds him, “And just WHO are you thinking about when you hear this song?!!!
That got us into a long discussion about husbands and wives and a series of jokes that worked equally well in both languages and cultures My wife will read this, so for safety, I better just relate one of them:
Aneel talked about how India still has some remnants of the Caste system, and that he is a Rash------, and his wife is a Brahman (the highest class). I made a face and said, “OHH! So she out-ranks you!!!” He laughed and said, “YES!! Brahman is the HIGHEST class!” I replied, “No! Here’s Brahman: (and held my hand horizontally above my head to show very high status), and here’s WIFE! (and held my other hand higher!) He really liked that one.
We said our Good-nights and went to bed. I was out when my head touched the pillow!
Continue to Day 16