I feel that physical movement across land is an essential part of awakening the state of travel, aeroplanes are cool and all but they can sometimes be a little ‘disconnected’. Get inside a box, watch tv, eat food, have awkward moments squeezing past people on the way to the toilet, go to sleep and then wake up on the other side of the planet. I was excited to have the wind blasting through my voluptuous short hair.
I wake up the next morning around 5am with Islamic prayer cranking out of megaphones. I saddle up, say thank you and goodbye to my hosts and take an early morning taxi to the central train station. After a deliciously cheap Pav breakfast (Potato patties mashed with garlic, chillies and coriander dipped in chickpea flour and fried golden) I meet up with a few other travellers coincidentally going to Goa. As we find our seats on the packed out sleeper train I see that we have specially allocated ‘tourist’ seats, separate from the locals. There are two Germans, a Canadian, a guy from Japan and a girl from China. They are all nice but I have the strongest connection with Sohgaku, the man from Japan.
He is authentically impressed with the work the GoodVibers have been doing overseas and we spend hours talking about what is possible through unity and a shared belief in creating a more harmonious future. He too is on his own journey of discovery trying to find his place in the world, originally born in Korea and forever having difficulties being accepted as Japanese even though he had spent his whole life in Japan. I love how deep and profound travel conversations can become if the right questions are asked with the right intention.
One of the interesting things that he loved about India was their connection to food and the Earth. He said that people in Japan were always trying to distance themselves from putting their hands to their mouths with long sticks and or using a button for other cleaning services. He felt a more honest connection to the circle of life in India. I notice the Chinese girl frequently taking trips to the bathroom and decide not to question her on it. The others go to sleep and I decide to get out and start meeting locals further down the carriage.