Thursday, July 4, 2013

BANGKOK DAY 0: The Train Called Adventure


Interesting. That's all I can say for now. I arrived at Penang Central at 5am in the morning of 3rd July. No REM sleep on the bus. 12 hours of bus journey from Mersing with multiple stops. It was raining and I was clueless. I made my way to the nearest warung (stall) for some hot drinks to freshen up. Ordered my favourite Milo (chocolate malt drink) and tea. 



An hour later, there I was sitting on one of the empty blue chairs staring into the darkness of a new dawn. It was calming and I was still clueless on what to do. The bus were about to start operating any time soon. Tried to google the bus route but I'm not familiar with the places so I wasn't sure which bus to take to cross the Penang Bridge.

Mustered my confidence, I made my way to the ferry terminal which is located next to the bus terminal. 1.20MYR for the ferry ride, one way. People flocked the terminal to go to Penang, most were workers. There's this unexplained feeling being a traveller in your own country. Big bags and being tall doesn't help too, you could be easily mistaken as a Thai guy or China Mainland guy travelling in Malaysia. Saw another fellow traveller wearing Malaysia football team jersey. I looked around, sleepy faces sitting at the middle part of the passengers space and cars lined up at both sides. An Indian guy in the car behind me was having a quick nap on the quick 15 minutes ferry ride. A Bangladeshi will always be a Bangladeshi, smelly armpits. And the sunrise and the sea, a perfect combo that exudes calmness. Could be a good therapy for these people who I supposed will have a busy day later in the evening.

Called my friend, Bib, to pick me up in Penang. Once I disembarked from the ferry, after 5 minutes of walking, there is a bus station and I had to wait for Bib because he was stuck in the traffic. Traffic was crazy in Penang especially during morning rush hour. Everyone is on their way to work, everyone has their time ticking. 

The first stop with Bib was to a restaurant that sells nasi kandar because I wanted to try it. He took me to Kayu Nasi Kandar. The food was absolutely delicious. I took chicken cooked with honey, fried cabbage, battered squid eggs, and a mix of different gravy. It was like heaven in your mouth. Very tasty very authentic nasi kandar. Oh and I ordered two, not one, tea with milk.

After that, Bib took me for what we called a 50% car trip around Penang and made a stop at one of the R&R for me to take a refreshing shower. And then hazelnut ice blended, chilling at one of the Coffee Bean & Leaf Tea shop. Bib's favourite spot to hang out with his friends and we of course had done some catching up while I was charging my phone battery. And then it was time for me to go to Butterworth KTM Station.

On the train, I met 3 guys.

A Japanese guy, 21 years old. From Osaka. Travelled quite extensively in Asia. Was in Philipines for 7 months. Been to KL and Penang. Now boarding the train to Bangkok and staying at the same hotel where I'm gonna stay. He is a student studying English and Mandarin. I asked him why he studied English in Asia and he said because it's cheap. Travelling on his own money that he saved up. And I'm travelling on my allowance. Shame on me. Or should I say lucky me?

An Iranian guy which the Japanese guy knew from Butterworth KTM Station. He lives in Pattaya. Constantly persuading the Japanese guy to go to Pattaya and get one of the infamous Thai massage from one of the Thai girls. He even taught the Japanese guy how to say "I like" in Thai. Middle aged.

Another middle age guy, from Germany but lives in Australia. White hair white beard. Wearing white shirt. Has wife who is working in Australia. Talked a lot. I wanna run away from him because I love my silent moment. Silence and the journey, there's so much I can think of inside my head. There's so much I felt and there's so much I wanna write about.

The 4 of us, we talked about a lot of things. From experience to life lessons and advice about how you treat Thai people. I ate tuna and baked beans that I bought for dinner. Didn't buy the food on the train but the Germany guy paid for my breakfast. Thank you!

The train staff came and made the bed for us. I tried to read Mitch's book but the light was being a bitch so I listened to some music and then I was fast asleep. Not being able to sleep on the bus made me feel so tired. 
And that was the start of I think would be an amazing trip. 

P/S I will add the pictures later!