Note: this post was actually written about 8 months ago but never pushed publish cause i was gonna write more, and well, I am a mother of four… Enjoy the story of how we got home.
Here I was heading home after almost a whole month of waiting for baby watters to be born, got the train tickets, got two amazing helpers visiting, and 4 kids. THAT’S right folks! FOUR KIDS!
The plan was to take the metro to the railway station and enjoy our 3 hour train ride home, bump free, getting in at around 8 pm. Not bad. But plans RARELY go according to planned here in the east, and I was about to experience it.
It wasn’t only the diaper fiasco mentioned here that started our journey off the mark. But after leaving about 15 minutes late because of it,we arrived at the metro station and I finished buying all 5 of the cards we needed to get through to the platform, putting 100 Ruppees on each. But once half of us got through, the other two got stuck because the cards weren’t working. Mark had to go to the counter to get them checked and explain that I just had put credit on them. I don’t think he actually fixed them, even though on the second time one of the two went through. But the gate magically opened for us anyway and I had a sneaking suspicion that apon exit we would run into the same problem.
We found our platform and were about to get on the approaching train, when less than 15 seconds after it pulled up, it pulled away, without us. So we waited the 3 minutes more for the next one. Melissa and I taking T and the girls in the women’s car and Mark and M behind in the men’s.
When we walked on I asked if anyone knew which exit was for the Railway station.
Angel #1 informed us that we had to take this metro to the end and then switch metro cars to get to the railway station. A much bigger deal when toting bags and 4 children up and down 6 flights of GINORMOUS stairs. This angel was fabulous cause she told us exactly where to go and then escorted us as far as she was going. I felt very well taken care of.
With a infant on my belly, Mark and I shared carrying the 30 lb. toddler to keep a quick pace. I could feel the swelling in my feet traveling up my legs. I was WAY overdoing it for having given birth 6 days prior, but who wants to miss there train ride home and have to hang out in the NASTY train stations with 4 kids, 1 an infant? Not me.
Well I was right, apon exiting the metro station I got the card that wouldn’t let me through, so I had to go to the help counter and he told me a great surprise “your card is not working”. To which I said “I know but it let me in,so what now?” I was officially in the ” I am stressed, trying to make my train mode” at this point and angel #2 came. the guy at the desk put 40 Rupees on my card and activated it so I could go on through, even though I gave him nothing. Absolutely NOT NORMAL here.
There were SO many hairy details including me getting mad and very short with a porter at the station while trying to find our train station platform. But we arrived at our platform 8 minutes late and SURPRISE SURPISE! The train was NOT late! It had left.
I walked over to get water and junk food for dinner while Mark went in search of a solution to 5 paid train tickets that hadn’t been used, and a new plan to get home. He told me about angel #3 and angel #4.
angel #3 was some nice young guy, who spoke NO english but manged to understand from Mark that he had missed his train. Being the white american that he is, Mark was able to get immediate and bold help from this guy. He immediately took him to the police on duty and the police…
angel #4 started blowing his whistle loudly and literally picking up people up and moving them out of the line and way to get Mark to the front and get helped ASAP. Much to Marks embarassment, but relief. After a few of the tellers and policeman had a heated conversation in Hindi, to which Mark knew none, he walked away with a voucher for us to ride on the next local train to our city, 3 hours later.
I was REALLY struggling to not be so bummed that I messed up everyone elses evening. And the Lord gently reminded me all I had to be thankful for. The first #4 angel’s to begin with, but the little hot bundle of Watters that was asleep on my chest, here, healthy, and happy. 3 amazingly adventurous kids that are relatively obediant, always happy,and up for adventures. Mark and Melissa here to help and they weren’t even stressed! At least they didn’t appear to be, even though still very jetlagged. I needed to quit dwelling on my woes of how this was not going according to plan and let my heart choose thankfulness instead.
And He reminded me to share my thankfulness with my kiddos. Because they needed to see me change my attitude and model what I should be modeling, flexibility, joy and thankfulness. So I asked them what we could be thankful for and they agreed with what I had thought already, even though I hadn’t spoken them. Baby, friends, and a journey home.
i was just thinking how great it would be to find someone on the platform with us that spoke some english so that I could make snese of our ticket and find out why it didn’t have seat numbers and so on… when a man spoke from behind me to the kids about there fake tattoos on their faces in an almost perfect english accent. I turned around and asked him if he was on our train and he replied yes. His parent’s lived in our city, he was visiting them for Eid-ul-adhah. They lived in the neighborhood 5 minutes from ours.
So I asked him about our ticket and seat numbers, where our car would be ( so we wouldn’t have to sprint down the the 1/4mile platform with kids and luggage to get on before it pulled away). He was SO nice, having come from Chicago where his wife and kids live with him and getting on this train with his brother ( who works in Dubai) to get home to his paren’ts. He informed us that we just were on the wating list for the general seating.
Have you heard about Indian trains? Was it bad news? almost everything horrible thing ever said about Indian trains was in fact said about this exact car that we were going to have to “crash” on. Many, many horrible things. One of them being how you are practically sitting on people or in there lap the whole time. Stuffy, stinky, germ infested cars awaited our 3 hour journey home, WITH A NEWBORN, an unvaccinated newborn. Our new freind said that he just realized thats what they had too, and that if he couldn’t convince the “T-T” to let him crash the 2nd class AC car for a small fee, then he would just go stay in a hotel and book a train for the morning. After hearing that, I decided so too.
part 2 to be contnued…