Monday, January 08, 2024

Sailing from Charni Road to Portpatrick

I woke up at 7am and headed to Carrickfergus. It was a gloomy morning, and only two other people had arrived - the rest were on their way. We were going to leave for Portpatrick between 11am and noon, so I was very early. I took the train. Shruti, Kevin and Brenna joined me on the train as we headed to South Bombay. We got off the train at Charni Road (although from the layout of the platforms and bridges it seemed more like Mahalaxmi). I wanted to use the toilet. Shruti and I looked for it. We could only find the one marked Ladies but not the one marked Gents. We arked around and was eventually led to the station master's office. There were a bunch of people inside, a few sitting around a table, having some sort of meeting, while the rest were in a queue. It was a queue for the toilet!

Thr toilet and the station master/meeting room were in one big room, with nothing to separate them - the toilet was a commode surrounded by filing cabinets and files and stacks of paper other things you'd expect to see in a station master's office. I didn't really pay attention to the queue ahead of me and before I realized it, it was my turn. There was nobody queued up after me, and I was thankful. I would have really liked some privacy but the best I could get was the fact that there was nobody in the room other than Shruti, and the bunch of men having a meeting in the other half of the room - the men were bent over something on the desk and discussing it animatedly, so Iwas quite sure they wouldn't pay me any attention.

Right after I sat on the commode, I started feeling very weird. I felt dizzy and unstable. I asked Shruti to come closer and hold my hand, as I felt I was about to faint and fall off the commode and make a mess. She held my left hand and asked me what happened and if I'm OK. I told her I'll need a minute but I feel better already.

In the meantime, a lady walked in, wearing a white nurse's uniform, including a nurse's cap.

I somehow assumed she was in charge of keeping the toilet clean, and complained to her, while still seated on it, that it was not. She replied that it's not her fault it's not clean, as I'm the one currently using it. I told her it wasn't clean before I used it, and in fact I almost fainted as it was so dirty. She refused to believe me until Shruti backed me up.

Job done and I was back on the platform. We took the bridge on to the road. We were trying to get to the beach, but I took the wrong bridge out and we had to walk along the road, and take another bridge to get on to the beach. Kevin and Brenna were waiting at the end of the bridge, and I told them they should come sailing too. At that point, a group of about 3 or 4 older people (one of whom resembled my school science teacher) told me it was too late to go sailing - it was already noon! Also, we were at Charni Road, and the boat left from Carrickfergus!

I wondered why Hugh didn't call me when he was leaving - I thought about it a bit and realized he may have not left yet, but I definitely wouldn't make it, so I should message him instead and tell him that I couldn't make it. I also told everyone that we weren't sailing today as it had gotten too late.

And that's when I woke up. It was 8am. I had dismissed my 7:40am alarm in my sleep. If I didn't leave at 8:30am, I'd have been late to get to Carrickfergus to go sailing! I thought to myself, damn - that was really close! If I didn't wake up when I did, I'd have actually missed sailing that day!

ps: Turns out I had not read my email and we were actually supposed to get to Carrickfergus at 10am instead of the usual 9am. Still!

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