Latanya and I have obtained really good tunnel vision when it comes to traveling up until this point. Well it paid off for sure here. As we exited, keep in mind it is 5 am, several men immediately bombarded us. They tried to tell us that we needed to go this way and that way and that we needed to get tickets first and that the ones we had were not the boarding passes. It was just like the owner had said, one attempted scam after another. Outside the train station was so lively and hectic that you would have never known it was this early. But I guess the scam game never sleeps.
After pushing our way to the entrance we finally got into the station. It was a little difficult to find our platform so we had to use a little logic. Follow the other foreigners, works most of the time. There weren't that many so we were banking on everyone else going the same direction we were. It worked out because our train finally arrived so we hopped on and took our seats. It turns out we were sitting across from a really nice family from Korea. Go figure. We got to chatting and had a really nice conversation with the father and mother. The dad worked for a University in Delhi and the family was visiting him.
As the train ride grew deeper in to the journey the sun was beginning to rise. It was really wonderful looking out the window to the country side seeing the beautiful landscape while the sun began to shine a new day.
Breakfast was served a little later. Train food in India, as one can imagine is much different than train food anywhere else. It was vegetarian and consisted of a curry or two along with a couple of other Indian sauces. It was served on a cafeteria tray. It was actually not half bad.
By now it was getting closer to eight o'clock and we were nearing Agra, the city known for many things but most famously the Taj Mahal. I had forgotten to mention that during this journey via train we were giddy with excitement knowing that we were going to see the Taj. We did not know what to expect at all. And to come to think of it, how were we going to get there from the train station.
When we arrived, we looked out at the train tracks leading into the station. The sight was pretty poor. There were many people actually living on or near the tracks. People were using the restroom right on them in fact as if it were their toilet. It was quite a reality check. It turns out that there is a lot of poverty that normally surrounds most train stations in India, this was no exception.