But the train ticketing system is just plain hilarious. Many years ago, on my first visit to India, after several weeks of moving around by train I remember the great feeling of accomplishment when I finally understood how to find myself an appropriate seat. I have often been told that they inherited bureaucracy from the English, as indeed my country also did, but only now do I understand how true that is. Anyway, I booked and paid for a return trip to London online, and requested the tickets be sent to my home address (the alternative is to go to the station and stand in the line to use the only unbroken automatic ticket collection machine). The tickets arrived today. So how many ticket stubs am I issued for a simple return trip to London, which is only a few stops away? Eight. That's right, eight. Nine if you count for the extra one containing my address. That's because each trip has a minimum of two tickets: one ticket and one seat reservation. Then there is a ticket stub for the record of payment, a bit like a receipt but one also gets one of those. The remaining three tickets are indecipherable records of further details about both the booking and the payment.
But the tickets arrived promptly and the friendly postman handed them to me personally, bringing back distant memories from my childhood, when the same postman would come by our house every day.