Friday, December 19, 2008



Everywhere in India, it is possible to see children who are employed. Here, a charming boy in Delhi, pictured in the first photo above, is working happily as a shoe shine boy, likely making almost nothing in wages and tips in Western terms.

India has one of world's very best rail services. Trains are safe, clean and reasonably on time. In all stations, there are porters to carry your luggage and find your seat for you. It is essential, however, to fix the price before you set off. Even when the price has already been agreed, the porter may stop midway and try to negotiate an increase. It must be admitted, though, that this occurs infrequently. By and large, the service provided is excellent, and porters, like the one in the bottom photo, are very dependable.

We took six overnight trains in India, one of which was part of a train ride that lasted almost 24 hours. These trains were wonderful. Fellow passengers were kind and helpful, and often eager to carry on a conversation. Clean bed linen was provided and the motion of the train soon put us to sleep. These trips covered long distances economically and safely, saved us the cost of a hotel room, and, at the same time, gave us a chance to interact with Indian people.

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