Trains and Lemon Mint Soda

Trains and Lemon Mint Soda

I took the overnight train from Hampi/Hospet to Bangalore, second Air Conditioning class.  In 2nd AC, they give you pillows and sheets for sleeping in your little car, and there are four beds per cabin.  I slept well, but someone was snoring so loudly and persistently, it entered my dreams.  I was going to stay in Bangalore for a day and then head to Pondicherry and Auroville, but instead took a last-minute train with my travel partner to Thiruvannamalai, as it was sort of on the way to Pondicherry and I wasn’t ready to face the Bangalore bustle at 6 am.  We got to the bus station just as the Thiru bus was pulling away, and actually jumped on with our luggage as it was moving.  And we took turns sitting on the engine next to the driver for the four hour ride, because there was only one seat left.

I’ve been drinking lemon mint soda everywhere.  It’s my new favorite treat.  I’ve had one
perfect one so far in Hampi–super-bubbly, cold, lemon and mint and sugar all crushed and mixed to the exact right proportions.  I have to ask for it because it doesn’t really exist–there’s lemon soda and they have fresh mint around, but getting them to put it all together takes a bit of doing.  I’ve also had my first train-food on the way to Salem.  Some samosas, some rice, some “donuts”, all from vendors walking up and down the aisles of the train chanting what their selling.  “Chaia!”  with a deep resonance, as if they’d studied opera singing.  I’m learning to be more Indian.  I’m working on just eating with my right hand (left is reserved for toilet duties.)  I’m drinking little cups of chai for 3 rupees, and practicing (just a little) throwing the plastic cup out the window.  I know it sounds terrible, but there’s something liberating about throwing your trash out of the train when you’re done.  Things we’re using now just happen not to be biodegradable anymore.

About Administrator

Alicia Dattner is a comedian and speaker who jousts with such topics of love, time-management, money, environmentalism, politics, spirituality, and creativity. Her first solo show, The Punchline, recently won Best of the Fringe in the San Francisco Fringe Festival 2008. Her second show, Eat Pray Laugh won Best Storyteller at the NY United Solo Festival. Her company, Making Light, is dedicated to bringing humor and lightness into spirituality, relationship, and every day life.

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