Stuff I Know

Just stuff by me about me and my life, such as it is.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I have complained several times about bus travel in India, but I could almost as easily complain about train travel here too. It is often a dilemma trying to decide on which mode of transportation to use.

There are almost always buses going wherever you might want to go if you can figure out what is going on, but buses can be dirty, uncomfortable, and sometimes dangerous. Trains have inconvenient schedules, offer fewer destinations, and are often crowded or fully booked; yet they can be more comfortable and offer a completely different view of the Indian landscape. Actually both trains and buses can be much more comfortable if you are willing to pay significantly more for you seat. Oddly enough, though, generally neither option seems to be that much quicker than the other when heading to the same destination.

Buses can be somewhat cheaper than a similar train journey, but often the bus stations are outside the city which means you have to figure the cost of a taxi or auto-rickshaw into the equation to get where you really want to go. This can bring the cost of the bus trip equal to or greater than the cost of a train trip.

Yes, there is a third way to travel, by plane. But for me, traveling by plane would mean losing part of what I go on journeys for in the first place, the experience of traveling itself. Even if the plane itself may not be quite so, to me, plane travel feels a bit sanitized.

I hate sounding like a whiner.

Mangalore was just a pause in the journey, but I did have time to get out and look around the city. And luckily there was something to see.

This trip wasn't planned as a religious excursion or pilgrimage, but it does certainly seem like I have visited a lot of churches and temples. I think there have been so many churches because much of my travel has been concentrated, relatively, near the coast. I expect that in the days of old the missionaries themselves didn't wander too far inland, at least until they had well established flocks and churches to keep the home fires burning.

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At 7:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are not complaining... you are explaining! Lovely pictures again!


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