Priscilla Kibbee

I love to travel all over the globe shopping for textiles to add to my wearable art. I have taught quilting to school children in Nepal, seminole patchwork to seamstresses in Thailand, and jackets and embellishment to quilters in Turkey where I also served as a judge at 2 of their International Quilt Shows. I have created garments for 5 Fairfield and Bernina Fashion Shows and teach classes on embellishment and wearable art. Lately I have been leaning more toward making art quilts.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Indian Trains

I find riding the trains in India to be a delightful (well pretty delightful) way to travel. As with any form of transportation there are a few quirks along the way. Anyone who has flown anywhere this summer can surely attest to that.

One of the things I really like about Indian Railways is the availability of porters. They will carry your heavy bags from the station entrance to the loading spot for your specific train with your heavy bag on their head. They bound up the stairs with you puffing away in the distance trying to keep an eye on your bag ahead in the crowd. They are licensed and have a brass plaque which they usually wear on their arm. In Delhi once I ran into a fake porter with an accompanying tout who tried to wrestle my bags from me and accompany me all over the station. It took a great deal of effort and nasty remarks to get rid of them.
There are usually snack stands along the station tracks and people also board the trains at stops selling water and snacks from baskets.
Day trains can be quite comfortable. On one I was given a bottle of water, and tea and cookies. How civilized. There are kitchens and pantries on most of the fast express trains. Your porter will load and unload your heavy bags onto the overhead racks. Oops. Wrong toilet. And there are no directions. But their are western style toilets on the higher class cars.

It is very common to find people sleeping in the train station when you enter to board an early morning train. This was the station entrance in Varanasi. There are usually Ladies Waiting Rooms inside the station by the tracks (with toilets) where you can wait for a train.

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