Articles By: MonikaLutz
I stood before the life-size subway map at Shanghai’s Lujiabang Road station. Pretending to be simply interested, I scrolled my eyes from nearby advertisements to the map, the map to nearby advertisements.
At five PM, the show-stopper arrived in full force, making my five-kilometer drive to the Mumbai airport a two-hour taxi crawl. Admiring her work on my window, I exhaled, “Also a pleasure, Madame Monsoon, always a pleasure.”
The clock struck 5 PM. My stomach grumbled. It had been nearly twelve hours since I last ate and six hours since I was herded into the immigrations office at Heathrow Airport. I now sat slumping on a bench, my shoulders in knots, my eyes burning from lack of sleep, my nutrient-deprived body limp. At last, I was released, but only until my deportation flight the next morning
By my fifth week in India during my gap year, I had explored nearly every mode of transportation: the open-air sway atop an elephant, bustling bikes, crawling cars, bumpy buses, scorching hot foot paths, turbulence-ridden planes, and nauseating boat drifts. But the final mode was by far the most intense: public train