Agra – Children selling zips…not a roaring trade…

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We catch a train to Agra in the early hours and this is where I also catch a cold! It is so cold here at night and on this train the door was mostly open and some of the windows too? We were all freezing and no one got any sleep.
( I am going to write a separate post dedicated to trains and travel in India soon)

There is already something that is starting to get on my neves -big time and that is charging my phone!!! The battery runs out quickly and my adapter plug
( a guy in B & Q talked me into, only worked in the first 2 hotels! I tell you if I see him when I get back….tut) is crap! I spent ages standing in the section of the train between two compartments, next to the delightfully smelling squat toilets, holding my phone into the plug socket to charge it! And it was freeeezing! However…breathe…had I not been doing this, I would not have met some of the street children who boarded this train and whom will make this particular train journey memorable for a nice reason.
All these children were selling zips. Yes zips. The zips were all attached together in big chains and they rattled them as they walk through the sleeper compartments on the trains. If you have a broken zip…there the ones to fix it. Not that I saw a single person asking for a zip…I’m thinking it’s not a roaring trade. One by one they walk past me and stare. Eventually one by one they stop, I smile, they smile. Then one young boy speaks a little English asks “where you from.” We chat a little and he asks what I’m doing. I must admit, I did look stupid. The plug socket was really high, so I was standing there with one arm in the air holding my camera. I showed them the camera and ask if they would like to see a picture. They then asked me to take one of them. I show them and they can’t stop laughing. They all look so cute, between the ages of 6 to 10 years old.
One boy isn’t interested, he is brushing his teeth and making use of the trains facilities and having a wash. He then comes out and takes a shoe off one of the boys and then begins to stich it. He just pulled out his needle and thread and sat on the floor and mends the little boys shoe. They are all scruffy looking and in need of a shower but they have a sparkle in their eyes and I felt a real sense of family and brotherhood between them. They call me ‘mam’ as do a lot of Indian people.
At the next stop they all jump off, a bit early of course as they don’t have tickets and one of them beckons me to hold his hand. I shake my head and act out a falling motion with a knowing look and they all laugh and wave and off the train goes…

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