Traveling…Yet Again Part 1

It all started with a phone call. Glad was invited to his aunt’s birthday party in Mangalore, his hometown. At first, he thought of going alone, then possibly with Logan; but then we realized that there would be people there who had never met me or the kids who would love to meet us. So we (read that “I”) packed up and prepared for a long train trip.

Lila and daddy on the top bunk of the train.

Logan and daddy, just after boarding the train.

Mangalore is on the opposite side of the country from where we are. The train takes 16 hours to get there, something I was not looking forward to. Why? Well, keeping two young kids busy for 16 hours is easier said than done. We had barely left the station and Logan didn’t want to sit in the seat. I finally convinced him to draw in my notebook for a while.

This is how Glad passed the time. Still a kid at heart.

We had big plans to watch lots of movies on the train and had copied a good number onto the hard drive, but the seat we got didn’t have a plug for the laptop. Sadly, our laptop is no longer a laptop but a desktop. It has to be plugged in at all times as it has no battery, it needs an external keyboard, and has to sit on something to keep it cool or else it will shut down when it gets too hot. Therefore, we only move it when absolutely necessary.

Thankfully the kids took naps so I did have some peace and quiet for a short time. I even got to take a nap while Glad took Logan for a walk through the train, visiting other cars and meeting people. Lila was sleeping next to me on that very narrow bed. See how small it was?

I had brought things along for Logan to keep busy but it wasn’t easy to keep his attention for long. He looked at his books for a while, then he took them to another passenger and asked him to read to him. It was cute. Normally Logan won’t go up to just anyone but here I guess he felt it was okay. I had also brought lots of toddler-friendly snacks – tiny crackers and cookies, juice, bananas, and milk powder, though he had no interest in the last one. He took one taste and refused to drink more. I ended up having to drink it myself. He prefers fresh milk.

Another interesting, post-worthy item is the train toilet. I didn’t want Logan to go back to diapers on the trip, as he was doing so well with his potty training. On our last trip, he started using a regular toilet instead of the potty, so he was used to it, but I didn’t want to sit him on the toilet on the train as it would not be hygienic. So I decided that since he knew how to stand and pee, it would be easiest to have him stand and pee in the Indian-style toilet. (Pic courtesy of Google search. I should have taken one myself but didn’t think about it.)

This proved to be much easier to use while on a moving train. Actually, this was the cleanest train toilet I had ever seen here in India. (On our train, that is, not the above pic.) Usually they stink horribly but this one was a pleasure to use. And even though I had put a diaper on Logan just in case he happened to not be able to hold it, he was dry all day and didn’t wet the diaper once. I just used it as a precaution to avoid having to deal with wet clothes.

By evening there were fewer passengers in our section of the car, so we claimed the larger seats opposite ours to sleep on. We now tried to watch some movies but it wasn’t so easy. The mouse cursor was jumping all over the place. We had no control over it. Glad finally figured out a way to open what we wanted without opening 20 other files at the same time. Logan watched parts of “Finding Nemo” while eating his dinner, then he went to sleep. After the kids were asleep we watched “Dumb and Dumber” (don’t ask me why Glad likes that movie so much – I really don’t know).

We finally went to sleep around midnight, only to waken by 4:30 a.m. when we pulled in to the station an hour early. Needless to say, I was tired the rest of the day.

I put Lila in the carrier, hoping she would stay asleep but she was bright and perky and wide awake at that early hour. Logan didn’t like being woken up or having to walk. I ended up carrying him too as Glad had all the luggage and couldn’t carry Logan. People were staring at me like I was strange or something. Ha.

We took an auto to the hotel (this is how they look, though in Mangalore they always have heavy curtains on the sides to keep the rain out)

and tried to convince the kids to go back to sleep, but I guess it was too exciting being up before the sun was.

“What a joke! Mom thinks we are going to go back to sleep. We’ll show her.”

Finally, I did get them both back to sleep

and was able to sleep a little myself before Logan was up again asking for food. We got our breakfast and ate it in the room. Here is Logan eating while being watched by some excited aunties who couldn’t wait to see the kids. They came to our room early. Lila loved the attention but Logan was, as usual, a little more shy.

Here is what our room looked like.

The view from our room. We were on the 8th floor so we could see everything.

We had a dining table,

and a big mirror,

lots of window space,


and even a small fridge, which I used for milk and juice and Glad used for beer.

Logan had a great time running around in the room.

There was also a bathtub in the bathroom. Logan had never had a bath in a regular tub before and was delighted to be able to lie on his tummy in the tub and stretch out.

And guess who learned to sit up on this trip?

To be continued… (click here for second part)

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