People have asked, ‘Why travel by train?’
To fly would have been much faster and efficient. The trip back to Kuala Lumpur in August was originally planned for me to spend time with my mother in hospital. After Mum passed away in June, and with a dear friend facing terminal illness, my thoughts turned to my own mortality and what I would leave behind for my children.
How can I share my heritage, family history and traditions? Especially when it is so different from what we have in London?
This is my time with the boys. I wanted to show them and to let them experience the local life as I would have done when I was young. We will go to the local food courts and stalls. We will try the street food and the local fruits. We will walk around in the heat and catch buses and trains. I will point out the local sights and different fauna and life style. Most of all, I want them to take great joy in experiencing the excitement of different cultures and sights and to love travel. I want them to put away the iPhone and games, and to look around and be amazed by the variety of God’s creation.
Back to the original question, why use the train? That was a significant part of my life when I was growing up. We all looked forward to our annual trip to see my Aunt Suvit in Bangkok. That was the only affordable mode of transport for us. Those were the days before cheap airlines.
This journey would take a day and 2 nights. Plenty of time for me to walk up and down all the carriages on the whole train. Stick my head out of the windows. I would stop to chat with various people in the other carriages to pass the time. I met so many interesting people this way.
I recall meeting a German couple one year who stayed in the first class cabin next to us. They were were in show business and were very funny and very kind to welcome a curious young child in their midst. The wife showed me her costumes which consisted of a lot of feathers and glittery sequins. On the last morning just before we arrived in Bangkok, they gave me a postcard advertising their show. It featured the wife in a skimpy outfit with the feathers and nipple tassels on her boobs. Of course, I did not show Mum that postcard!