Getting the Shatabdi Express train from Delhi has been the first real eye opener in this country.
From the moment we stepped out of the taxi we were trying to keep all our luggage (2 backpacks and 2 bags) to ourselves.
There are all sorts of people taking trains in Delhi, from the richest to the poor, but most of all there are a lot of people taking trains from Delhi. All fennelled through a single gate for security. A massive sweaty rush of people, hands and feet everywhere, marching through the heat and humidity of the crowded steps of the station.
As the only two white people in the crowd many wondering eyes were on us, which did not help our anxiety to keep all our possessions safe and with us.
The moment of passing through the actual gate was intense, trying to keep our eyes on everything and everyone as hundreds of people were pushing behind us and stopping in front of us.
I piled all the luggage on the conveyer belt and rushed through the other side, while Benni stared at the bags until they actually went in the x-ray machine.
Putting everything back on was not easy either, in the middle of the great exodus to the train tracks!
I got my glasses knocked out of my face as I was trying put my backpack on my shoulders!
From there things were easier in comparison. Our train, the 12005 Shatabdi Express to Kalka (the same place where a train derailed yesterday! - 80 dead) was leaving from platform 1, on the other side of the station. On we marched with our luggage strapped on.
We had 1st class tickets on coach E1, which for a 3 and a half our ride covering about 400km costed us 8 euro each. The fully AC'd car was a welcome change compared to the non-AC second class with bars on the windows (no glass) and tens of people crammed in. Apparently there was a third class too...
Although the real awakening came once the train got going and we passed through the suburbs of Delhi. Slums filled the distance for kilometre after kilometre, with people building shelters out of rubbish, children playing on the train tracks and once again the amount of people on sight was simply unbelievable.
Somehow the guava juice I was served at that point did not taste so sweet...
These are the moments where I reflect on what we consider to be problems in modern society.