sâmbătă, 8 februarie 2014

Second day - trip to Ludhiana, lunch and first briefings

The trip started very early in the morning, around 6:15. Once we arrived at the railway station and were heading towards the main entrance we were almost attacked by various individuals even before we got out of the car. They were peeking inside the cars, looking if there was luggage - which was very suspicious behavior. However once we got out I understood that they were porters - our guide Shruti negotiated with them and they just picked up our luggage and headed towards the station. They went through security with the luggage, guarded it and then deposited it on the train when it arrived in station. Such nice fellas...

 The train itself was looking very bad from the outside and then much better on the inside. There was certainly more leg room than on the German ICE trains. We were even served breakfast in 3 stages - first tea, second milk and cereals, third a main course which for me was a vegetarian omlette (because that was the only thing I could understand from the menu). Trip lasted 5-6 hours and then in Ludhiana.

The hotel in Ludhiana is great - I have a big room with a double bed, flat screen tv, free water, clean bathroom and a small seif .. what more can one ask for ?!

There's even a swimming pool at the 7th floor - which was a good idea in order to separate it from the all the dust created by the cars below.

After settling in the hotel we went out for lunch, this time using the local transportation - the ricsa. Another adventure - less cars, but more dramatic overtaking and almost no breaking. Lunch was very good - we had a lesson about the local cuisine, how the food is generally prepared and what to expect in terms of spiciness :). We started with some meat appetizers, then for main course butter chicken and some a type of mash of black beans, with roti (which is like a 'lipie' but milkier) and finally, some breath fresheners.

I did my first attempt at eating with my fingers, which is actually not so difficult - you just have to wash really good before and get over the reflex of wiping your hands with a napkin after each bite, or you will run out of napkins.
Good advice to remember in case eating spicy food - pour lemon over the meat, take small bites and have a drink of Lassi (which is like a sweet 'lapte sana') to calm down the taste-buds. 

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