Here is one of the unforgettable memories in India. The key word is “Still not confirmed!!”
I and my friend took train from NJP station near Darjeeling to Goa for 3 days. We could book ticket in Darjeeling but not confirmed. It means we can get on the train but don’t have any reserved seat in the train. I had heard same phrase about bus before. Because of high-season for Indian, it was very hard to get confirmation. My friend told me we must book ticket one or two months before.
Anyway, our first seat from NJP to Kolkata was also not confirmed until the time we got on the train. (No direct line to Goa so we needed to change the train in Kolkata.) My friend often checked the status of confirmation through sms. It is possible to check by mobile. There are 40 people on the waiting list at that time.
There was the list of the seat number on the wall of train and we must make sure ours. Many many people came to check it! The departure time, traffic jam happened in the train…road between seat was too narrow to walk with big baggage…”Excuse me!” We had to keep going to reach ours even in such a hard situation. Otherwise, never reach…
At last, my friend could get seat. This is kind of magic. So, how can?
The important thing is money. If you ask travel agency to make emergency seat with some additional money, they try to find but not sure if they can or not. “Still not confirmed! Big headache!” He always said like this and go around in the train to look for the seat. But there were many people who was in the same case with us. After getting seat by paying some money to the person who had already gotten confirmation, they gave us their seat and I could sleep. However, around 3 a.m. someone made me wake up. “Kaori! Time for change the seat from here to there!” The train reached next stop and the seat I used became another ones. I had to take my backpack and move to another seat he could get by paying money. I was still dreaming at that time…
Journey by train was very hard. “That is our life, Kaori.” another friend told me. But there was no trouble between customers. They always exchange information, take care little child, share the seat until sleeping time, talking friendly. So crowded and stressful but people try to make best environment for everyone in the train. How nice it is.
“If you take train journey with friends, it will become fantastic time. We can chat, enjoy the beautiful view, play card…spend good time for a few days!”
I also enjoyed that few days. Sometimes hard, but good experience for me.
“Do you want to take long train journey again?” My friend asked me and I said “Yes”. Really, I wish.
I could find very nice part of India though that experience.