Recently, I had to travel from Lahore to Karachi for a family event. Because I’m married into a huge, very close-knit family, they decided it would be a hoot for everyone to travel via train. More specifically, the overnight business express. Well, just like any other “burger,” I was excited. For the most part it was all fun and games, but at the end of this magical ride, I wish I knew these things before hopping on this adventure:
1. Yahan naam he kafi nai hai
Guys, there is nothing and I repeat nothing business-y about this train. You will have to deal with stained, foam-less seats, dirty floors, dingy lights and ceiling fans that work if karma feels like being nice to you that day. But it’s okay, it’s cool – I mean you’ve only paid about PKR 5000 for a one way ticket…you don’t deserve much anyway!
Also, yes. I do hear my sense of entitlement in that statement. But yaar, paanch hazaar.
2.Welcome to the frozen part of hell
No, humay AC ke itnay “jhoolay” nai lainay ke hum khud bhe kulfi ban jain. Seriously, the guys running the train have no concept of keeping the cooling at a medium temperature. It’s either on at full blast or throwing hot air into your face. Please rehem karlo.
3. Take your own pillows and blankets
…Or else rent it out from them. Did I mention that these pillows and blankets are probably washed once a year because they REEK? You’re welcome.
4. Get that mobile internet, YouTube, Netflix, etc up and running bruh!
It’s an 18-hour long journey – i.e. minimum 18 hours. You need to kill time, or else you’ll want to kill someone else instead.
5. Take your air freshener and ear plugs
People take off their shoes, they snore and they also fart. There are 5 other people in the dabba with you. Need I say more?
(Also, yes – these are normal bodily functions. And that’s fine. So, just be prepared to accept these bodily functions in all their glory.)
6. Take your own food and drinks with you
Okay, train food is decent enough but it is expensive. PKR 1500 for a 1 KG chicken karhai – I mean come ON! To make matters worse, you can’t order french fries. Why? Because you’ve got to order chicken roast or else you won’t get any fries. Matlab…ajeeb mazaaq hai.
7. People will open your compartment door and stare at you for no reason
I don’t understand – what were you expecting to see, sir?
8. Expect unexpected delays
Our train was late by a mere 10 hours. No biggie, I mean we were only half dead by the time we reached our destination. And oh, informing the customers about delays? Pffttt…who needs to be that extra – khudi pata lag jai ga!
9. Train seats pe bharosa mat karna
“Let me just turn around to the other side…”
*THUD* *Lands on the floor*
10. Dua karo ke yuo don’t have to take a trip to the train toilets.
Do not drink a lot. Do not eat a lot. Do not breathe a lot. Do not move a lot. Get that bladder removed and preserved before climbing up on that train. YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO TO THE TOILET! Trust me.
11. Expect a baraat to come and pick you up
That’s right. Once your tired ass arrives at the Karachi railway station, people who’re there to pick up their musafir family/friends will start pouring in with phoolon ke haar, mithai, dhol, etc. etc. Why? Because “abhi toh party shuru hue hai”
There you have it folks! That was my experience of travelling on the Business Express Train from Lahore to Karachi. Do you have a similar one to share? Tell us in the comments below.
Cover image: MangoBaaz/YouTube