Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Train ride back to Bangkok

22 January 2008am (GMT +7hr)

Woke up on bed, was shaking in all directions. I hear knocking of heavy metal and squiching of two tight plastics parts. Randomly there is amplification of echo from near object. We are on our very first 14 hours train ride from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.

Getting on a train gets me 2 kind of seats, facing the front or facing the rear.

Facing the front gets me to see and view things ahead of me. It gave me a strong urge of waiting for something to come and want to see more. Occastionly, I will turn my neck to face the rear to see something intresting that has passed me which I want to appreciate for a longer period of time and let it pass.

Facing the rear sees the landscape that has passed me. Looking further at this seat is all the things that had passed me. For me, seating at this seat makes me want to turn my head to look forward, not because it makes me drowsy.

At different time of our life, which seats do you what to chose?

Looking out the window during the day time, I see road being blocked and motorcycles, cars and trucks were waiting behind the bar to give way to our train. The gate marshal would wave the flag left and right, doing his job with pride.

I had been driving my truck back to my nursery at Lim Chu Kang while at work in Singapore. I hate the traffic jam caused by the train crossing at Sungei Gadut Road. Every time I stop before the red and white bar, I would curse at the train, causing delay to my work. I can’t stand the gate marshal, often dark skinned, doing his job proudly because he thinks that he has the power to stop everybody on this road, as if he owes the road and every user of that road needs to beg him. I hate it! Only after I took on this train, I realized how important the job of a gate marshall was. Here, only I got the chance to view things that happen differently because I used to be the one waiting at the gate giving way to the train, now I see the folks giving way to me.

I got to see buildings from the train, it reminds me of my child hood days when I was at Ghim Moh, my grand ma’s place which was near a railway track. Whenever I hear the train, I would run to the window and wait patiently for the train to pass by. I like to see the different type of cabin the train would carry. After RJC was built, the view was never the same again.

We were very fortunate this time, the moment we drop out of the taxi, we met Dr Greg and his partner! They are on the same train, loading their bikes on the train to Hatyai. They are planning to ride in Malaysia. i recommand him to try Hayai famous Oliver massage's PING PONG service, AKA the fuel injection. Dr Greg managed to drop by our seats for a chat. I didn’t realized how ‘sharing’ he was, unlike our first meeting. I felt that he is proud of what he was born in, an American Indian! He educates the society that what others think of the American Indians are not correct. Hearing the story of such motorcycle hero letting a 63 years old woman with late stage of Parkinson disease, to ride on his back of his motorcycle AROUND THE WORLD! Amazing story, I tell myself! He humours: somebody wants to make my story into a Hollywood movie but I told him unless Mel Gibson is willing to play my role.
kawa walking thro the railway station!good food on the trainafter dinner everyone turned their seat into bed and go into zzzzzz.....at 9pm.too early for me, i decided to read my lonely planet on Rajastan... till 11pm, i was tired and walked 3 cabin away to the canteen, which was quiet and everyone was asleep in the earthquake condition.
i walked and squeezed through the luaggage walkway...
everyone was asleep, like a dead train...
all i can hear was train knocks.
and i arrived at the canteen:

I just sat quietly at one corner, drinking sengsom with the crew. the party animals are grabbing everyone on the cabin or anyone passes by to dance! i try not to make eye contact with them....

i showed them my wedding ring.

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