This weekend was a first class weekend from start to finish. This was my first time traveling alone in India by train and the only class left was first class (summer is high travel time around the country) so I bit the bullet and splurged on first class tickets. The experience did not disappoint. Here are some highlights:
- The crotchety old man called on our first class carriage attendant (yes, we had our own attendant) to fix our reading lights and give me an untorn sheet. I declined the untorn sheet. What I originally had was perfectly useful.
- The same man called on me to lock the door to our four berth compartment, citing me as a foreigner who needed to protect herself. Perhaps we were more vulnerable traveling first class than in sleeper class. Perhaps he had a good point but I really didn't want to be awoken to unlock the door when our fourth inhabitant boarded in the middle of the night. I lost that battle and locked the door. The fourth person never showed up.
- As I boarded my return train, a woman was sitting in my seat. When I felt guilty because I asked the woman to move, my friend cheered me up by reminding me, "She had to at least try to take your seat. Denied!"