entering the land of the gods

a study abroad journey

The Stories Begin…

Hey there, I’m back! Once again, I had some great experiences on my trip up to the north and am eager to begin typing way! So settle in with a bag of jelly beans or Cadbury eggs and read on J After reading, please comment if you have any questions about my travel- there is a so much to tell!

To begin with, I cannot tell you how excited I was for a 28 hour train ride. That sounds so crazy but I have come to love train rides more than any other form of transportation because it is so easy to relax and sleep!

 

We had about 15 hours to Mumbai and then another 14 to Udaipur.  With our short layover in Mumbai and sat on a ledge and people watched. I was once again reminded of the bond of family here.  As people wait for their train, families sat down, unpacked food, and shared lunch together on the floor. There was a family of four sitting atop a red blanket, another couple was tucked into the corner, and then a large family of 15 spread out in the middle of the floor with their luggage arranged around them. Tin containers of rice, curries, and chapatti were passed around along with plastic plates. I found it funny that even in this situation the men sat in their own circle aside from the women, who were clearly having more fun. J It struck me that many Americans consider it a hassle to make sandwiches for a family roadtrip, but Indian families go full out with all the fixings of an Indian meal. As the large family cleaned up their meal, a Tupperware of sweet ladoos was passes around. Then I witnessed one of the women take some of the leftover food to the couple sitting in the corner, who clearly did not have much. What a beautiful act.

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View of Mumbai

IMG_1946Muslim call to prayer

 

Getting on the train to Udaipur, Harper and I were surprised to find the compartment to be almost completely empty.  There was peace as he calls of the chaiwallas and Tiffin vendors disappear with the last station. The steady movement of the train takes over and I found my mind lost in the landscapes. I was captured by the beauty. Passing over rivers, a cool breeze passes through the windows. Fishermen sit in rustic wooden boats and wade through the still waters. Workers till perfectly square fields rice paddies. Trees of all shaves and sizes hide secrets behind their vast branches…the top of a temple, a lonely dirt path, and an emerging cotton candy sunset. With a pale blue backdrop of sky, the voluminous clouds accented with purples and pinks. The sweat is finally drying on my face and I feel my eyelids becoming heavy at 7pm. I pray that sleep will come quickly—Udaipur is waiting in the morning.

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