India is fucking huge, but you only realise how huge it really is when you try and get from one place to another. It takes 23 hours to get from Bangalore to Mumbai by train. Twenty three whole, actual hours. If you travelled anywhere in the UK for 23 hours by any means of transportation you’d end up very wet and trying to remove several litres of the North Sea from your lungs.
As much as I love travelling by train in India, and it really is one of my favourite things to do, a 23 hour train journey by sleeper class requires preparation though. You’re going to need the following items
1. Sleeping tablets. In the absence of these, vodka will suffice. Vodka can also double as breakfast.
2. A pillow to catch your drool so it doesn’t trickle down onto the berth below you and pool in some poor bugger’s ear.
3. A penis. Or a Whiz Freedom so you can pee standing up. There’s usually a western style toilet as well as a squatter in every coach but hey, you take one look at that and tell me if you want to put your arse on it.
4. Toilet paper. People told me right from the start that you shouldn’t eat train food but I can’t not eat for 23 hours. Sometimes you just have to sacrifice your anus for the greater good. In these situations you might have to sit on the toilet because the alternative would be trying to hover whilst the train is in motion and there are no versions of that scenario that end well.
5. Patience and good humour. Or more vodka. Whatever.
Anyway, I’m only back in Mumbai now to await the arrival of the mrs who’s flying out to visit me for three weeks. I’ve booked us a sleeper bus for the journey down to Goa though. I think if I subjected her to sleeper class on a train she’d leave me for someone with better taste in public transport.
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Stayed at: India Guest House, Colaba