Installment #7 - November 7, 2000
We arrived at the Ahmedabad Junction train station around 6AM Saturday. We followed what has become our regular arrival procedure: We wrestled the green monster and the other baggage to the platform, set Rita up at a bench where she could guard, and then I set off to get the lay of the land (as in which way to the taxi stand?). I discovered that we had come in on Track 11 and needed to get to the station on the other side of Track 1 by way of a pedestrian overpass.
It is not difficult to find a porter; in fact, its difficult to avoid the porters who will practically grab the bags from you, take off at high speed with them, and not give a direct answer to any questions about cost. After a few disagreeable incidents with porters overcharging, we now try to avoid them completely. So I carried the green monster and my bag up the flight-and-a-half to the overpass. Rita did the same with her bag. Then down a flight-and-a-half to the station, where we managed to fit everything into an auto rickshaw, and head out for the hotel.
We had a little less than 24 hours to spend in Ahmedabad before our early-morning train to Rajkot. I set out on my usual morning walk, during which I took most of the pictures for this report. Ahmedabad is the largest city in the state of Gujarat. It is called the Manchester of the East for its textile mills and pollution.
We had lunch at the "Food Inn" restaurant located at the "Good Night" hotel and liked it so much that we returned for supper. They had great Afghani "eatEble mutton". [What's thisAllen starting starting to get accustomed to the exotic cuisine? Or does "eatEble" really mean "devoid of spices"?]
On Sunday morning, we were up early and on our way to the train station. The hotel porter (a young guy) couldnt handle the green monster, so I carried it down the stairs to the auto rickshaw. Arriving at the station in the predawn hours with no idea on which of the 14 or so tracks our train would arrive, and remembering the flight-and-a-half up and down to the pedestrian overpass, we agreed to pay 40 rupees to have the green monster and our two other bags carried to the train. The porter walked about 50 yards, and set the bags down on the first platformTrack 1. No need to use the overpass. Again we had overpaid. Oh, well. Next stop: Rajkot.
Click on the thumbnails below for a larger view, then use your browser's Back button
A view across the Sabarmati River
as it passes through Ahmedabad.
Low income housing along the
Sabarmati River. I think everyone must
have to move when the monsoon comes.
This cat has spotted a mouse or something
in the drain and is determined to get on
with breakfast. A fellow was sitting on his bed
on the sidewalk beside the drain, and offered
me a seat to watch the hunt with him.
I took this picture for Rita (she's from Kerala),
but it shows a more-or-less typical
This goat seems completely undisturbed
by the birds that joined him for a
An Ahmedabad fish market. Although
these were the only fish I could see,
I could smell fish for blocks.
Green Monster Opinion Survey Results
Thanks to those of you who submitted your opinions in the Green Monster Opinion Survey! Of course, given the astonishing political events going down here right now in the USofA, you'd think we'd have learned how very important each and every vote is, and that you'd have flooded the ballot box! Nonetheless, your inputs are duly recorded here, and undoubtedly have served to guide our traveling friends. The results:
6 Poor Allen shouldn't be subjected to such
hardshipditch the green monster now!
3 It might not be so bad if Rita eliminated some
things to lighten the load
8 A woman needs what a woman needs! Quit your
grousing, Downs! We don't want to hear about it!
7 I've got my own opinion, dammit!
And the personal opinions:
- "Dump the green monster in the Ganges. Then buy a knapsack."
- "Why not hear him gripe?"
- "I actually know that the green monster carries a lot of Allen's things toohe told me before he left! So, I think the woman bashing may be a little overboard! (This comment comes from a very opinionated member of the Assisi-Downs extended family!!!!)"
- "Shop for two smaller pieces to replace the larger one. The souvenir value would be grand and appreciated by Allen. If the green monster could be used to barter for a tour of the next town, so much the better!"
- "If it is not a major inconvenience, get rid of it and instead get a small bag or two. Less luggage, more comfort!!!"
- "Part of the India experience is to travel with oversize luggage. We've all done it! Get over it!"
- And finally, from Allen & Rita: "The green monster will be staying in Rajkotwe'll pick it up at the end. Rita & I agree it's too muchwe've learned more about what we need and don't need during our travels so far."