A Whole New World

Essay by ellenquillinCollege, UndergraduateB+, October 2014

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Ellen Quillin

Professor Mason

English 0955

15 September 2014

A Whole New World

In November of 2013 my family and I embarked on one last final adventure to India before leaving Europe. Not only was India the most eye-opening trip I have ever been on, it was also the most interesting. We made plans to travel along the Golden Triangle of India, which included seeing the cities Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, over an eleven-day time span. Varanasi, a city located outside of Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh and home of the Ganges River, was by far the most culturally enriched place we visited. It was here that I came to realize how blessed I truly I am as an American.

Our journey to Varanasi began with a fourteen hour-long train ride. Upon arriving on the platform something disturbing caught my attention: There were people literally pushing and pulling each other, some by the hair, to get on the train.

Thankfully, but honestly intimidating, an armed guard stood protecting the upper class cabins. Fortunately, the travel agency we booked ourselves through put us in first class. However, Indian-standard first class and American-standard first class are two very different things.

Upon boarding the train I realized I had to use the little girls room. Now, I already have a slight phobia of using public restrooms, but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw when I went to finally use the restroom after a few minutes of my mother convincing me that I couldn't hold it for the next fourteen hours. There was a hole in the floor of the train. That is what the loo was … and not only was it just a hole, but it was a hole that you could see straight down...