Tiernan talks Tuesday trains

by kangarooseamstress

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).

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