February 12, 2009

Feb 10th – 12thUnless you have suffered a 1 hour minibus and 3 hour coach journey, followed by a 5 hour wait in a stifling hot railway station of no significance whatsoever, in a provincial Thai town (Surat Thani)……….

Unless you’ve listened in bewilderment and anxiety while rumours of a train derailment circulated and staff gave entirely convincing but totally conflicting information (all with a smile)………

Unless you’ve never had to squeeze onto 6 inches of space on a seriously hard wooden bench while horrendously loud clanging bells ring at irregular intervals to tell you that nothing is actually happening…….

Unless you’ve had nothing to look at except a stunning French couple who are dealing with this crisis with worldly travellers‘ equanimity while portraying their charismatic personalities, perfect relationship, and immaculate tans…….

Unless (miraculously) 2 trains arrive going in your direction and you are shouted at by a fierce young man and led to a train on the far platform (this necessitates taking selves and bags in pitch black, through the first train, onto the tracks, over several lethal wire traps)……….

Unless you have never witnessed a helpful guard try to get you onto your train from the wrong side and without the aid of a platform (so it is very,very high) and in so doing be thrown backwards over the track while clinging to the open, swinging door which smashes him against the train and back several times to the huge amusement of all ………

Unless you have never found yourself left forlornly on the track, still in total darkness, surrounded by 4 anxious and by now somewhat hysterical guards, who are shouting that the train is going RIGHT NOW, while your husband, bags, passport etc are trapped inside the train but no-one can open the door again……..

Unless you then have another 8 hour train journey (for 3 of which you manage to doze) and then have to go through customs where you are ceremoniously marched away from everyone else and strictly fined for your visa infringement under a notice which sternly warns “ anyone appearing dishevelled, with long unkempt hair , shorts or pants which are not respectable and inappropriate shoes will be considered alien hippies and not allowed admittance to our kingdom.” W stood there with our travel worn weariness, grubby shorts, unkempt hair (well, one of us) and crocs……….

Unless you somehow get through and pass on to another 3 hour coach ride, an overnight stay in a small town and then a final 14 and a half hour train ride through the entire rubber plantations of Malaysia during which assorted children intrigued by your difference make several attempts to be entertained by you…………

Unless you haven’t experienced all of the above in an attempt to get a train to Singapore…..then I don’t think you are taking your carbon footprint seriously at all.







3 Responses to “UNLESS…..”

  1. Lis Says:

    Train journey sounds extremely exciting and what travelling is all about. One good thing I have heard about Singapore is that they have banned chewing gum so must be a sensible country. You will just have to clean up your act. As for speedos , well yea I agree they shoud be banned but saggy bits are ok. Anyway speaking as a woman who has spent the last month in a duvet coat/hat/gloves/boots and scarf I would be very happy to reveal a few saggy bits. Have fun Love Lis x PS snowed again today

  2. gill hartley Says:

    I,m harrassed and I’m not there . these experiences will never leave you I am not made of such strong stuff! Find somewhere for a long shower. No snow in Preston. Rod is managing not to crumble. card here in good time.SEE YOU SOON

  3. Rod Says:

    Sounds like a normal Preston – London journey. Don’t know what your problem is. ….. See you soon

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