I say goodbye to Ramnath and his team, who I’ve come to know well over the last days. I’ve loved Goa, but it’s time to move on.
At Canacona railway station I start a conversion with a man from New York. He has come to India mainly for dental work, but also to find the mystical India he longed to visit as a youth. He says he hasn’t found that India though. He became unwell in Varanasi and caught the train to the south to get well.
We talk for hours about many things; mainly India, it’s troubles, frustrations and the future. He constantly compares India to the USA, something I have noticed other US citizens do more than any other nation. He is highly praising of the British influence left in India. He says our train, which rolls in 1.5 hours late, would have been punctual and spotless 50 years ago, during the British Raj. This is something I hadn’t paid too much thought, but I think he is probably right. He also refers to the Western world as Europe, including the USA and Australia. I don’t question him about that, but think I understand what he means, presuming that all Western countries evolved from European settlers.
The train is packed. I have no bedding in my birth. I mention this to the ticket inspector who informs me ‘He is coming with it’. ‘He’ never shows though and I’m glad of the blanket I bought.