For What It’s Worth.. 48.1.. October 18, 2011

Yesterday’s tomorrow has arrived.. it is NOW 10AM in Calcutta and it IS.. TUESDAY the 18th of October ..

This early morning I was UP and GOING at 5AM..

This MORNING I had one mission..  I had only ONE PRIORITY..

1. GET TO SEALDAH RAILWAY STATION (around 8AM..)..

2. BOOK A RETIRING ROOM.. a room IN the RAILWAY STATION.. so I will NOT have to sit all day just hanging out.. my Hotel Circular HAS GIVEN ME a 3PM..  LATE check out so that helps.. but then.. from 3PM until (let’s say) 10:30 PM when I want to be ON my platform number 9A for my 23:20 Hours (11:20PM) train to Agra.. what to do with myself..

OK.. I KNOW HOW TO PLAY THE GAME.. I’VE DONE THIS BEFORE.. AND LET ME  TELL YOU I WENT PREPARED..  I HAD ..

1. My Passport   2. My ticket for the train this evening  3.  and I had TWO (2) backpacks and ONE (1) over-the-shoulder bag .. one backpack was loaded and it was HEAVY.. the other was loaded with fluff.. down jacket .. with BULK.. and my over the shoulder bag had all my necessaries.. pencil.. ruler.. eraser.. etc..

IT WAS ESSENTIAL THAT I LOOK LIKE A TRAVELER WHO HAD JUST COME INTO SEALDAH RAILWAY STATION WITH A LONG LAYOVER AHEAD OF ME… this was critical..

SHOW TIME CAPTAIN.. STAND AND DELIVER TIME CAPTAIN..

I got to the Sealdah Railway Station and went inside to the TRAINMASTER’S office (I had been there last week so I KNEW where to go and what to do)..and I was standing in a line about 8:10AM.. good timing..

Let’s say 8:30AM.. a twenty minute wait .. MISTER TOM (48067) TIGER .. WILL YOU PLEASE ..

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME.. TAKE ME OUT TO THE PARK.. well I was IN THE PARK.. NOW THE BALL GAME..

BATTER UP.. in comes one high-inside head-level smoking fast pitch.. Steeerriike One batter.. “OH COME ON UMP !”

Inning number 1 ..

– Sir.. how may I assist you  – I would like to book a retiring room..  – How many of there are with you sir .. –  ONLY one.. only me..  – Sir.. I am SORRY but we do not have any retiring rooms available .. (odd I thought).. end inning number one..

Inning Number 2 ..

– I would like to book a retiring room..  – Sir.. we do not have one available..

(I reached up.. and I tugged on my WHITE beard and rubbed my WHITE stubble hair and said )

I REALLY NEED A RETIRING ROOM..  I AM A SENIOR CITIZEN..

Inning Number 3 ..

Sir we have a dormitory room.. NON A.C. ..

I  WILL  TAKE  IT  ..  I  WILL  TAKE  IT ..  YES.. YES.. YES…

Inning Number 4 ..

Sir fill out this FORM ..  I did .. Sir.. now take this form to (OH NO.. NO.. NOT THAT .. OH NO.. SPARE ME.. NO.. NO.. NO.. you gotta be kidding me.. NO.. NO..)

TAKE THIS FOR TO.. any booking counter out in the station.. you will then need to get a ticket and then return here to this desk..

Booking Counters INSIDE of India Train Stations are horrible.. you have a long line.. and you have pushing and you have shoving and it is horrible..

Inning number 5 ..

So out and off goes gimmesome roy.. to the land that knows no time.. down a trail NO man can conquer.. to a cliff NO man can climb..

And I got into line at the proper back of the line.. it was 8:45AM and the line was NOT TOO BAD.. half hour maybe.. NOT BAD..

Then I spied 1. an elder train employee  2. with white hair  3.  who seemed to be a supervisor  4.  standing.. unoccupied.. behind the glass partitions .. and I went out of line.. over to him and 5. I held my form up to the glass partition so he could see it and I motioned to the lines and said .. “These lines” ..

HAND ME YOU FORM SIR.. I did.. he did a process on a computer with a keyboard…. my name and my passport and my evening train ticket and my address and my mobile phone number.. HE DID A PROCESS .. saying to me “That will be seventy five (75) rupees Sir” .. I gave him the money and he then handed back to me a VERY OFFICIAL LOOKING PRINTED TICKET WITH ALL OF MY PARTICULARS ON IT..  saying “Sir go back to the Trainmaster’s Office..

Inning number 6 ..

I did.. back I trudged with my two backpacks and my shoulder bag.. back to the Trainmaster’s Office..  and I waited a few minutes.. and I was told to ‘sit down’ and I did as told.. more forms..

Inning number 7 ..  (quick aside.. I lived in Germany for four (4) years from 1974 to 1978 AND I THOUGHT THE GERMANS have a system) ..

FINALLY HE SAID.. here is your ticket .. you have BED NUMBER ONE in the NON Air Conditioned Dormitory Sir..

Inning number 8 .. so out and off goes gimmesome roy to FIND the dorm rooms and to FIND the stairs UP to the dorm rooms.. I could NOT MANAGE THIS and I was looking lost as I was heading back to the Trainmaster’s Office for more detailed directions and another man from the Trainmaster’s Office TOOK me to the stairs.. TOOK me up the stairs.. TOOK me down the hallway to the dorm room entrance door and bid me a kind day and WALKED OFF ..

IN I went and I thought.. OH THIS IS GOOD.. OH MY OH MY  THIS IS SO GOOD.. CLEAN ROOM.. beds made up.. I think eight each in two rows.. with others tran travelers in the room.. ALL MEN  and MOST elderly..

1.  An ATTENDANT greeted me.. an ATTENDANT.. OH MY.. this is very good..

2. HE showed me my bed number one.. HE showed me the LOCKING SECURITY LOCKERS where I was able to put (into my bed number one locker) MY VERY  heavy back pack and my bulk stuff and then LOCK THE LOCKER WITH MY OWN LOCK.. this again is critical.. (my man YOU are going to get a good tip from me Sir when I leave IF you are still here)..

Inning number 9 .. I successfully was able to get back to my Hotel Circular..

I HAVE MY HANG OUT PLACE AND I AM SO HAPPY WITH MY DORM ROOM BED NUMBER ONE WITH LOCKING SECURITY LOCKERS AND A FULL TIME ATTENDANT..

and i am over and i am out  for now.. will now write one for archy.. since i too can not get up to the shift key.. here comes ‘ for what it’s worth.. 48.2.. my love hate relationship with cockroaches..’   /s/ me captain..