Version 0.58 (Travel by Train for the “Experience”)

04/29/19

The train is bouncing along it’s track, swaying back and forth like a drunk struggling to stay upright. I’m finally leaving Bangkok, but it’s been almost an hour and we’re still not out of the city, and the air conditioning has stopped for some reason. And the fans too. I just looked at an older Thai gentleman the next sleeper bed over; he had removed his overshirt and gestured to a friend about the warmth and lack of a/c. The lights are out as well, and I can hardly see to write. It’s beginning to get quite stifling in here. Didn’t pay extra for an air conditioned car to not have one. Well, anyway in about fourteen or fifteen hours I’ll be in Trang (I hope). From there I take a mini-bus to Koh Lanta, another two or three hours further. Perhaps I should have just flown to Krabi; I’d likely be in Koh Lanta by this point.

The strange things we humans do for an “experience,” or to save some money….

Well at this point I can barely see to write, So far not a great experience, and far inferior to Vietnam. There may not have been AC outlets (for plugging in a laptop), but at least there were USB outlets so one could charge his phone or tablet. Not that I can’t go without…. The design of the sleeper cars is in my opinion preferable to that of the Thai trains too. They lent to a different, and for me preferable, kind of privacy, because even though I might share a room with up to three strangers, the room has a door, and is closed off to the rest of the train. Here it’s just bunks lining each side of a train car with a curtain as one’s only privacy feature. Sure, you don’t have to look at anyone else once you pull your curtain to, buttttt it’s just a curtain. For me, I prefer a room with a door. And now somebody is smoking. And I’m sweating. And the purpose of journaling was not to complain but this is beyond agravating.

[Later]
Watching an old man who boarded the train fifteen minutes ago. This frail old fellow, mummy-like, skin tight over his old bones so that he looks like an over-cooked turkey pulled out of an oven, his skin like something one could peel in flakes off of his flesh, probably in his eighties ambled on with his son. He reminds one of a little sparrow he’s so frail and tiny—thin arms and legs, large bulbous knuckles like pearl onions, a gold ring on one hand, a silver watch on the other large enough that, looking at him, one must wonder how he lifts his arm. His reaction to the car and the bed, or the bed having already been made seemed to be one of confusion or incomprehension. His phone went off earlier in his bag and his son had to alert him to this fact. The old man fumbles around in its pocket and pulls out pills, batteries to something like a medical device, and a comb, before finally getting to his phone—a very basic, black Nokia, which his son decrypted for him. He’s lying down now, a blanket pulled over him and the curtain drawn. It’s too easy to imagine in the morning his son pulling back the curtain only to find the old man dead….

However, it’s scenes like these that make taking a train or some other form of public transportation preferable to flying.

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