Our train from Jaipur to Udaipur left late – it was delayed by about 90 minutes, which meant we were waiting until after midnight to leave after a full day of touring Jaipur. When we woke groggily in Udaipur, it was 7.15am – we had managed to sleep through the train arriving 15 minutes before. We discovered when we got off our bunks that my bag that had been stored under the bunk I was sleeping on was gone, and a quick look through the carriage plus the luggage tag on the ground seemed to indicate that it had actually been stolen. Lest you think we were negligent, we had been extremely cautious in India, and every time we travelled on an overnight train had locked our bags with combination padlocks, then used a chain lock to thread our bags together, then attached that chain to the bunk itself. Since the chain and Reuben’s bag were still intact, we could only deduce that someone had managed to cut the bag away, either in the night while we slept (when the train stops, anyone can get on and off) or in the morning when we had been sleeping. Needless to say, we were pretty shocked! We went to report the matter to the police, who took us to another police station to make a report. Since there was another person at the train station reporting that their bag had also been stolen we figured this wasn’t a terribly uncommon occurrence. I decided that rather than get distressed about the fact that all of my clothes were gone, I would try to look at the positives:
- I had left some of my clothes in Delhi with friends, so still had a few things. I had even randomly removed my jewellery which would normally be in the bag, and left it in Delhi. I didn’t have anything of value in my bag – literally all I had in there were clothes, shampoo and conditioner. Our considerable electronics collection, my journal, our medicines, our passports and everything else was all stashed in Reuben’s bag, which they didn’t touch.
- I was wearing my favourite travelling pants, so didn’t lose them.
- I had to smile when I thought about the thief hoping that they would have made a good score and opening my bag to find such treasures as Nikes that had been worn for a year and smelled like it, Indian suits bought for a few dollars at the markets and t shirts I had been wearing since I left New Zealand. Not, I am sure, what he or she was hoping for!
Of course, there were a few negatives…the first and foremost being that I now owned only what I was wearing (and had been wearing for the past 24 hours)! Also, we were in Udaipur…which is great for buying typical traveller’s clothes (loose pants and hippy looking clothing) but not so practical for replacing a swimsuit and bras! I did have a few moments of feeling stressed out and may possibly have snapped a couple of times…We did some shopping to get me a few things to get by with for the rest of our time in Rajasthan (including a bag, some pants, a couple of tops and some underwear), then used our one day in Delhi between our trip to Rajasthan and our trip to Lucknow to race around Sirojni Nagar shopping markets and buy up $2 t shirts before heading over to the mall, where I was pleasantly surprised to be able to find a swimsuit and bras…(this was after being told by the assistant at the one shop in Sirojini Nagar that we found with swimsuits that nothing there would fit me…thanks for that.) So, stay tuned for a whole lot of new clothes in my photos!