Still on the train, but there are other people in my car now (they boarded late last night) which means that there are two Indian men sitting across from me, three feet away, staring at me. It’s awkward—the staring. I don’t know what it is with staring in this country, like it’s their national past time or something, cricket and staring. I think one of them is listening to Carli Simon on his headphones.
This morning I woke up to the man shouting out breakfast. There is no meal car, they just have people running sup and down the aisles shouting out the food they’re selling. This is a problem when at three in the morning somebody walks by whouting “CHAAAACOFFEEEEE!”
I accidentally bought two breakfasts—there were two packages to each breakfast and he asked me if I wanted two, I said yes and he handed me another two—it’s hard to explain. They were made up of some pieces of spongy something or other, cold and soggy. The bags were metallic, so I’m guessing they were heated at one point, but that may have been hours, days ago.
After a couple of bites I gave up (I’m going to starve to death on this train ride) and went down the hall to throw away my two breakfasts.
I’m reminded of the parents all over America ordering their children to finish their breakfasts by reason of starving children in India, and here I am, actually able to hand my uneaten food to one of those starving children. But I’m throwing it away.
I walk down the hall and only when I’ve stepped in something wet do I realize that I have forgotten that I’m not on an American train, and walking around in socked feet is absolutely a bad idea. There is a good chance that I’ve stepped in somebody’s tobacco chew.
Well I gather myself and move on, only to find the trash overflowing (it’s a one gallon size trash can t5hat I am sure won’t be emptied until this train reaches its final destination in two days) so I turn around and head for the trash can at the other end of the train. By the time I get there the bottoms of my socks are soaked.
I elbow my way past a couple of bathroom line people (line is most definitely not the right word, but it’ll do) to reach for the trash can. It looks like if I can cram it, my two breakfasts will fit!
But a man stops me when I’m only a foot away from accomplishing my goal. He yells “Na na na!” and opens the door of the fast moving train and motions out. He doesn’t want me to jump out does he? Is he really that angry abut my wasteful American tendancies?
"Trash out!" he cries.
"Ohhh!!" and with just a moment’s hesitation I fling my two breakfasts out to the wind which fly, like so many birds, and flutter out of sight. "Damn this litter happy country," I think, having now joined their ranks. And when I get back to my seat I can see out my window that there is nothing less than a moat of garbage, three feet high and five feet wide, lining the tracks.