A Story from My Recent Past

I’m just sitting here catching up on my weekly posts for my other blog. I’m trying to gain a readership and following over there but not having computer access during the day limits what I can do. I don’t want to ignore this blog either cause it is a record of our family, the children’s growth and progress, etc. and as far as I know, my whole family on both sides reads it. At least I think they all do. (Do you guys?) Since we have no immediate family living nearby, I feel the need to keep in touch this way.
But sometimes I can’t think of anything to write. It isn’t that there is nothing to write about; I think of stuff constantly and keep a notebook of blog post ideas for both blogs. It’s just that when I do get a chance to write, I feel everything is a jumble and it takes me time to get my ideas sorted out. In the evening I am just too tired to think straight so I often chill instead by watching a video or reading other blogs since it takes less effort.
Anyway, tonight I just wanted to leave a little something here, and I remembered a story that I have never told anyone. I doubt Glad even remembers it. Ok, here we go.

In November 2008, just after Logan’s first birthday, we moved to Chennai. It was a pretty big deal moving us to another city, packing all our stuff, baby equipment. At least we didn’t need to bring furniture. We were landing at the house of a couple we knew and would spend the next 18 months there.
The day we were to leave Bangalore I was ultra-busy – packing suitcases and boxes, dealing with my new pregnancy (Lila, around 3 months), and of course, caring for Logan. Glad got sick that day, so sick that all he could do was sleep. By evening he finally had enough strength to make it to the train. Traveling with us was this couple’s 14 year old son who had been in Bangalore for a get-together with some of his friends.
If you have never been on an Indian train, it can be hard to explain things about it so you will understand, but I’ll try. Indian trains are notorious for having all sorts of bad things happen – the papers are full of it, so when traveling on one, you have to be mindful of yourself and your belongings. Thankfully we have never had anything bad happen on a train, but this incident was a little scary.
The windows on these trains are small and, unless it is an airconditioned car, they have bars and shutters that you can close and lock. Airconditioned cars have sealed glass windows and are a little more comfortable, but the other one was all we could get for that trip, and it was packed. You’ll see in a minute why I bring up the windows.
We found our seats and settled in. Since it was a night trip, the bunks were already down. Ok, more explaining. Each car is divided into seating areas that are open to the rest of the car, no privacy. Each area has long bench seats on the lowest level that convert into bunks at night, and have space for 6 adults. These go the width of the car. Opposite them by the other window across the aisle are two seats going the length of the car. These are narrower but one plus is the upper bunk is always down and you still have two seats if you want them, or two bunks. We usually get these cause then we can keep stuff on the top bunk while on a day trip.
So we had booked two of these narrow ones and one opposite in the middle. I got the bottom with Logan, the teen with us had the bunk above me, and Glad was in the middle bunk just opposite us. As soon as we boarded, I got Logan ready for bed. I made the bed and gave him a bottle, then patted him to sleep at the end by my feet. The whole time I was putting Logan to sleep, this guy from the next set of seats was sitting on the end of his bunk staring at me. Now, I am used to people staring at me since I’m white, but this started to get annoying. How interested could he be in me putting Logan to sleep?
The window next to me had been left open by the previous passenger, and since I was busy, I left it. I figured I’d close it later when I cooled down a bit, cause even though it was already quite cold in Bangalore at that time, I was hot. I was pregnant, remember? At one point this guy got up and pushed in front of me, closing the window and saying it had to be closed. I thought it was not only odd but rude of him. Glad noticed and asked me if I wanted it closed and I shrugged the whole thing off and got back to Logan.
But the guy kept staring, and it was annoying me, to say the least. Finally, I think Glad had gotten up to use the toilet so I told him about the guy staring and how it was bothering me. He went to the toilet and I laid down to try to sleep since Logan was down by then. I think I was laying there with my eyes closed, when I heard Glad talking rather forcefully to this guy.  He was asking him if he had a problem and said “That is my wife and if you need something you come to me. Stay away from her.” I had actually forgotten that I had asked him to do something about the staring guy, and was a little startled at first, but then I knew I would be able to relax. He was so forceful and talking loudly that the guy freaked out and apologized, then lay facing the other way the rest of the night.
It is known that Indian men can be very possive of their wives, and even though I know Glad would only beat someone up if he was hurting me, he was able to use that to our advantage to get the guy to leave me in peace. The rest of the night passed without incident and by the time we arrived in Chennai that guy had already gotten off the train.
I’m happy to say we have never had a bad train experience while traveling as a family. You can read about a few of those trips here and here.

Well, goodnight. It is almost 1:30 a.m and I do have to get up in the morning. Logan has school, well, it is a Diwali celebration so no actual school. You can look forward to a post on Diwali, the festival of lights.

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3 Comments

  1. That was a fascinating story. A little scary, but still so fascinating. I love hearing about other cultures and places and the differences between all of us. The setup of the train is so intriguing. I'm not sure if I'd ever have been able to sleep knowing that some creepy guy was just a few benches away. Thank goodness for husbands who are knights in shining armor!

    Reply
  2. Amen to Joann"s

    Reply
  3. Such an interesting story. I love that your husband took control and the situation. That's like a scene from a movie.

    Reply

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