Who said Americans can’t do irony??? What supreme wit entitled the contraption we paid a fortune to travel in, a “sleeper”??? It occurred to me at about 0430 that nothing could be more ironic or further from the truth…..
I fell asleep easily enough – that half bottle of cabernet ensured that! But then something woke me up at about 0330 and that was it! Both of my arms were numb from loss of circulation due to the extreme hardness of the mattress. It was easily as thin and rigid as the one in Dinesh’s guesthouse in Goa. And the train was shaking and vibrating violently at constantly changing rhythms as it went over the tracks. I have no idea why. Bob had reasoned that I would sleep better if I was on the top bunk as he was more likely than me to need the “necessary” in the middle of the night. We hadn’t realised that the top bunk was harder than the bottom or that it would sway about more as the train travelled at high speeds of over 100 mph. I might as well be strapped to the mast of an ocean going yacht in a hurricane. I actually felt a bit sick.
I groaned and moaned a lot. Bob slept blissfully on below me. Even when I half clambered/half fell down the obstacle course to get down to the “necessary” he didn’t stir. When I flushed, he didn’t stir. This, of course, is infuriating behaviour to the sleepless. I clambered bad tempered back up to my pitching shelf and tossed and turned. Somehow I managed to doze off again about 5am to be awakened at 730 by the train pulling into Washington DC where lots of people got off. It even woke Bob up!!!
Sensing my early morning mood, possibly as a result of greeting me with the fact he’d slept well, he scurried off and came back with coffees. We got dressed, one at a time and used the pull down sink for ablutions. Went down to the dining car for breakfast which was ok. I had an omelette and coffee. Things began to feel better. The scenery outside the window is gorgeous btw. Autumn colour trees; lots of water as we pass north of Baltimore through the Chesapeakes. Definitely going to have to do that autumn colours trip someday soon.
Never going to travel on a “sleeper” train again though. It’s made me seriously rethink ideas we have had of train trips through the Rockies. I don’t think I could bear it.
In all honesty, I actually prefer the Indian trains and that’s telling you. Yes, this train is much cleaner and newer than the average Indian one but its not more comfortable. These cabinettes are uncomfortable whether deployed as beds or as chairs. Maybe ok for one person. Not ok for two people in possession of legs. And whoever came up with the brilliant idea of putting an open toilet in each tiny room needs to be forced to live in one for a month! It wouldn’t be so bad if each coach had a toilet at each end for communal use, but no… if you want to use a normal toilet you have to walk through 4 coaches and all the dining areas to get to one. Bizarre!
Right…. that’s my rant over. I shall blog again tonight after our time in NYC. Just wanted to let you know all about our romantic night on a sleeper train!