Tiernan talks Tuesday trains
Yesterday was our first change in region. Unable to come up with anything more original, we chose Chiang Mai as our next port of call- When in doubt, follow the trail of white tourists.
It was J & T on the road again, fledgling travellers impatiently waiting to watch the Thai world fly by from our train window.
The engine whirred, and we stared with wide-eyed incredulity as Thailand flashed past – a different sort of Thailand, a whole new world compared to the urban beast that was Bangkok.
The train croaked and crooned its way along, revealing an abundance of beautiful scenes: loved ones sat and chatted in idyllic rail-side retreats; trees bowed in the blowing breeze; merrily we chased kids and cars alongside us; street vendors sold spicy soups to smiling citizens. Everything seemed so calm and content. The countryside glistened with charmingly idiosyncratic poverty, and I felt at one with my south-eastern surroundings.
Then it struck me that it was dark outside and in actual fact I couldn’t see a thing. I shrugged off my momentary disappointment and shared a pack of Tangfastics with joe. The sugar lows had hit us as we struggled to come to grips with the harsh truth about our Western sugar addictions.
The bed-making man came along after a while to make the beds, which were actually pretty snug. Probably softer than the ones in Bangkok and I felt pretty cocooned in my compartment. Not for the first time, I was sleepy, but Joe couldn’t sleep. Then I went for a wee and I couldn’t sleep either. Then I slept for a bit, and woke up a bit later. This pattern continued till morning. After my conversation with Joe when we got off the train, I can only assume that his experience was similar.
A beautiful, enlightening way to spend 14 hours, perhaps this was not. But at least Joe got to try on the ticket inspector’s hat (see below).