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Published: April 20th 2017
I hadn't expected to be in need of 'meals on wheels' for quite a few decades to come but it seems I'm going to have the experience much sooner than expected on board the train from Mysore to Chennai in southern India. As we settle into our seats in a wonderfully cool air-conditioned carriage we are brought the first of many snacks, drinks and meals by railway staff decked out in 'Meals on Wheels' logoed uniforms. All included in the price of the tickets we are brought chai, bottles of chilled water, soup, full airline style packaged meals and even ice-cream that are brought to us every hour or so.
It's all very impressive, delivered without a fuss, piping hot and very tasty. The trains might not be quite up to the standards of ours in the UK and can't go as fast due to the snaking nature of the tracks, but we could certainly learn a thing or five about service provision on long train journeys from the Indian 'Meals on Wheels' guys!
The journey seems to pass much more quickly with these tasty treats to look forward to. The rest of the journey is spent watching the
changing scenery, chatting with people, reading and making friends with a cute little chubby boy who runs up and down the carriage with a big grin on his face high-fiving us all.
The seven hours seems to go quickly and it's quite a surprise to find we are only half an hour from Chennai as the light fades quickly to night. We get off the train and as usual are overwhelmed by the heat hitting us smack in the face, seeming to sap all available air from around us. Even at this time of night it is so much hotter than I would ever get to experience back home. We stupidly continue to remark about how hot it is as if somehow this is a surprise. You just can't help yourself it's so amazingly hot! Did I mention how hot it is? We have a couple of hours in our minibus fridge before finally rocking up in Mamallapuram our next destination on this amazing southern India adventure.
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