Around India in 80 Trains

Around India in 80 Trains - Monisha Rajesh An unimposing edifice of pure blandness. I don't think i've ever heard India described as 'bland' before, so here, i've done it. You're welcome, India.

How one can take that many trains in India and evince so little interest in Indian trains is utterly beyond me. There is an absolutely microscopic amount of background research, much less any kind of attempt at synthesis on the subject of the staggeringly glorious achievement of human civilization that is the Indian rail network. Instead there's a poorly written laundry list of a blog, featuring places rendered dull and people rendered boring, with the occasional repetitive mention that a train was duly caught. Sometimes there's a description of the upholstery. Sometimes a train is late, or missed, adding a touch of thoroughly quotidian excitement.

It doesn't help that the writer seems to have spent most of her odyssey in a rather miserable fug of self pity (at least, that's what made it onto the page.) There might be something to that - many adventures, after all, are ill-conceived - but if one cannot turn one's suffering into some revelation, pathos or at the very least a modicum of narrative interest, perhaps one should not write a book about it.

I quit when I hit the sentence that constitutes the most fundamentally meaninglessly uninsghtfully uninteresting piece of travel writing I've ever read in my entire life. Thus far, said I, and no more. The trains of India deserve better.

For the record, the sentence is "things in India always happen when you least expect them to."

What does that sphinxian utterance mean? What does that mean when you're waiting for a train?!?!?!