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The Grand Trunk Express

AsiaWheeling Mobile Offices

Our first AC room on the grand trunk express was delightful, as was the train car in which it rode. For the majority of the ride, we were the only people in the entire car. With two bathrooms to our-selfs. There was no dinning car, rather food was delivered from the pantry car, and the rest of the train was other cars simply full of people.

Egg Curry

Though the scenery was quite striking, the highlight of the grand trunk experience was our interactions with our chip-wallah; that is the guy who walks the train back and forth all day and call out in Hindi that he is selling chips. Not speaking Hindi, his cry befell our ears as something more like “contaminated chips and cake,” endlessly in the same nasal incantation. Since the first AC car is nice and cool, our dear friend (on whom we have now bestowed the esteemed title of Official AsiaWheeling Snack Packages Distribution Manager) began to stop by our room, and linger.

We were inside, of course, as we were for the whole ride –there being no dining car and no lock on the door– playing whist or carefully preparing correspondence for you, dear reader. Soon this became a staple of his walk back and forth on the train. The man spoke no English and we no Hindi, but indeed I believe a bond was formed. It was while sharing popular American music and eating biscuits with the chap, that we realized this fellow is badly in need of an AsiaWheeling t-shirt. So the next time he came by our room (this was likely the 12th or 13th time) we offered him the position. Needless to say, all concerned were thrilled.

Official Chipswallah of AsiaWheeling

As one of his first duties, we give him the AsiaWheeling cell-phone so that he could call his home. What he said, we have no idea, but it was a heartfelt and tearful conversation. We were later to learn that this was the first contact he has had with his mother in weeks.

The grand trunk ran into the night, loosing time steadily, until our 3 am arrival we pushed until 6 am. We considered this a boon. And that assumption was soon confirmed as we found Agra not as easily navigable as one might hope.


  1. Arvid Tomayko-Peters | June 15th, 2008 | 10:38 am

    awesome! chip-walla asia wheeling contaminated again! Screwdriver-walla?

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