So one of the first people I met here was a French-Canadian who was on his way home after a three month journey accross India. In his first statements to me was an observation he had that here cows are treated better than women...
TO BE CONTINUED>>>
I had to ride the local train out of Mumbai during evening rush hour one day and it was complete maddness. I thought Japan's railways were crowded in rush hour as they even pay people, 'white hands', to shove all the passangers in so the doors can close. Well Mumbai makes Japan look like a spectators queue at an Estonian water polo match (even though it is illegal I am going to try to get a picture of this one of these days as you got to see it to believe it!). There was one point where every single part of my body was being touched by people standing next to me (and thank god for the 'ladies only' compartment so it was ONLY women who had been invading every centimetre of personal space I had!) If you want to disembark you must start to make you way to the doors starting at LEAST two stops before yours or you will NEVER make it out while the train is stoped. Most people jump on and off while the train is still moving anyway but if you haven't started the inertia flowing toward the ever open compartment doors before the train comes to a complete stop, you get bombared with the embarking herd of people on a mission from ALL the GODS to get on THIS train right NOW. My fellow lady riders were so sweet to pass on these railway survival tips to me before my stop came. One adorable little lady told me I need to go to the door "now or you'll never get off". I asked her if it was like this everyday and she corrected me to say it was like this for her twice everyday both to and from her work place. I said she must be a strong women...she responded with "here, you have to be strong".
I realized the truth in this statement as I was taking the step down from the train to the platform, the herd came against me so hard I was almost trampled. Thanks to my love of dancing I could catch my step and I gained my footing, buy only to be shoved over by the littlest, oldest lady I ever saw!! And after jumping over me she continued to move as the train started to pick up speed and that little old lady ran along the train until she took hold of the doorside bar and hung mostly outside the compartment until she made space by shoving others out of the way with her one free hand.
And then there was me...patetic, weak, young western lady kneeling on the edge of the platform in complete awe of what was just witnessed. I could only take a second to take it all in as the next crowd was gathering. As I walked out of the station battered and brusied I looked down as three street dogs who had earlier been taking a nap on the stairs decided to start their night to search for food and take over the streets of Mumbai.
Survival of the fittest...
I decided to avoid the crowds yesterday and travel back after "rush hour" I took the 11:13 PM train out of Mumbai to the suburb I am staying. At 11:13 at night the train was JUST as packed as Taiwan's during RUSH HOUR- so you could imagine my previous experience!!!
5 weeks ago