Yesterday we took a train from Colombo to Anuradhapura, in the centre of Sri Lanka. We got a second class ticket (which we had been warned not to do) as it was the only one available… That was the easy part. No one tells you how hard it is to know which is your train, when there are no boards or signs on the train and the announcements are in Singhalese. So we made friends with some Sri Lankans and luckily they helped us work it out!
We were on a carriage with no glass in the windows with lots of Sri Lankans who found it hilarious when Pete’s water spilt the entire way down the carriage and when he was drinking tea out of a china cup. And then again when I had put my bag on the floor while we were looking out of the window, only to pick it up again to find that a family of 5 cockroaches had moved into it! Cue mad scramble to try and get them out… Turns out having no windows is useful when you need to quickly eject a cockroach. Afterwards we looked around and realised NO ONE had anything on the floor. Now we know why.
So getting off is also hard… You have about a minute before the train moves again, there are no announcements on the train, and no helpful maps of the train lines inside like we have at home, so we had no idea what the stop before would be. Luckily one of the men who had found us amusing earlier on in the journey was also very sweet and was very helpful in telling us when we were approaching Anuradhapura.
Lots of very useful lessons there. Let’s hope we improve!