What I had imagined...
We find our coach and get in, just to find compartment with 6 seats each! I wonder whether we got something wrong, but wait for a second. Soon a family of 4 Brazilians settles into the other 4 seats and it is pretty crammed. We are all disappointed and A. decides to take a look at what other compartments look like. He comes back chuckling... saying that there is another "preferente" coach with 8 seats in each compartment and finally the "turista" coach with resembles an airplane setup so we should not complain. Oh well... not much we could do, we were tired from walking around all day and there was no one to ask questions around.
And what we got (minus the vintage look and the stuffy seats, ours were plastic covered).
We then realize that the seats slide down to form beds... but the other half of the bed is the seat in front of you! That means that there could be 3 beds in a compartment... A. and I switch seats with the Brazilians so we can face each other and turn our seats into a "bed" and try to both fit in. To say it was uncomfortable is the least... not just the complete lack of space but also smelling A.'s socks right in my nose :P Soon the Brazilian family realized that we were blocking the exit (to the bathroom) and asked us to move to the window seats... some more shuffling around and repositioning ourselves later, we try to sleep. Not easy.
Finally at some point late into the night the ticket collector came, checked our tickets and I asked him if we could move to a compartment next door which was empty. He said ok, but he did not know if anyone else would come to take those seats in the 9 stops the train made throughout the night. The risk was worth taking and we quickly shifted again (to the relief of the family and our own). Having the compartment to ourselves allowed us to have a bed each and we fell asleep. Next thing we hear is the alarm clock telling us it is almost arrival time in Barcelona. This means no one needed our seats... which begs the question of why would they fill a compartment if several others are empty in the same coach!
Oh I missed you!
And for the price we paid, I missed this one!
Indian trains may be sometimes late, not so tidy but at least you can sleep flat on your back! (Plus get nice meals!!)