Tuesday, April 13, 2010

3N2D Around Malaysia By Train - Final Leg

JB – KL Sentral, Jan 31, 2010, Departure 1420. ETA KL Sentral 1915.
Travelers: My Wife, Kak Cik, Mar and Me

At about 1300 we started walking to the railway station, Upon reaching it we found out not many travelers waiting. We couldn’t be too early? The fact is not many people like to travel by train anymore. Especially with the kind of services KTMB providing or maybe not providing. Those waiting together with us mostly looks like they were students or family traveling in large group. The state of the waiting area also indicated to me that KTMB was either losing money fast or could not care less. Granted they maybe waiting for the new modern terminal to be ready but that should not be at the expense of us. The surau was pathetic and when I asked for the restroom we were told it was inside the platform. The gate was padlocked. Innocently I asked how could we go in to use it and was told when we were ready to board. His next response was the best, well at least he tried to be helpful. If we really needed to go there was one across the road. Ha ha ha ha that was customer relationship management 101 KTMB style. They did not have a clue as to what customer experience was, and still is?

Again, trying not to spoil our mood we just made do with what KTMB could offer. We said our prayers and waited for our train to come from Singapore.

At 1420 we checked onto the platform, rushed to the restroom before our train arrived at 1420 for us to board for our last leg home.

Our first class seats were indeed first class albeit a bit rundown. We did not mind. Our coach was the only first class coach that day. Apart from the nice seats we were surprised by the availability of power socket by the window. Kakcik straight away plugged her handphone to be charged. I did not have my laptop then if not for sure I’ll be using it. In the future internet access would be the norm. The first class coach came with one master attendant and a waiter/cleaner that served us bottled water and bread when we boarded. My only complaint was that KTMB expected all their first class travelers to have bionic ears. The attendant put on a movie and the screen was naturally at the front of the cabin but to my dismay there was no sound. Well at least not for us halfway down the coach ha ha ha. I saw a passenger across the aisle actually took our his mini DVD player and put on his own DVD to watch. For us we did not care. The movie was an old movie anyway.

We purposely did not take our lunch before we boarded because firstly, we were still not that hungry and secondly, we wanted to eat at the buffet car again. So, ten minutes into our journey I asked the attendant how far down was the buffet car. I almost yell loudly when he said there was none. But, luckily that was a quick but, he told me ahead at Majidee, or Tampoi, there would be a caterer coming on board to sell packed food and drinks. Mar was already crying, more like yelling, for food already by then. Despite constant reminders she pestered me relentlessly. Indeed the food ‘boarded’ eventually and I quickly followed the guys to firstly determine what kind of food he had for sale. I was told of quite a nice variety but I had to wait for at least 20 minutes for him to start his business of a storage area at one corner of a coach down from our first class coach. I relayed a message to my family of the variety and I placed an order immediately and waited.

The food were not too bad. We finished everything in record time.

I tried to sleep but was not successful. In the end I planned my photo sessions for the rest of the journey. Having got down at certain stations already on the way down to JB I chose Kluang as my main station to shoot. When we got there I straight away jumped out with my camera blazing shoot at will he he he. I was joined a Caucasian tourist shooting the happenings there. Seeing us one of the train conductors advised us to come closer towards the station to shoot. It was also in a way telling us it is ok we would not be left behind ha ha ha. My shooting partner remarked loudly. ‘ What was it with tourist?‘ Jokingly saying that both of us were nuisance to others boarding the train. I just laughed at his remark. Maybe it was through for him but for me I was really just menyebok. Or maybe he was also a Singaporean resident taking the train for a short holiday in Malaysia. In any case we did our best to capture the lively scene.

From then on I decided it was not worth going back to my seat. I stood and sat by to the door until when we were about to reach Seremban. Immediately after Seremban the atmosphere and our demeanor changed. As if the lights had been switched off for us. We just sat quietly with our own thoughts waiting for our last stop. At that point was still KL Sentral. Even Mar was quite. Only whenwe reached Labu and realising the time we decided to disembark at Kajang instead.

At 1955 we disembarked at Kajang station and the end of our 3D2N Around Malaysia By Train. Till the next one 5D4N Around Malaysia By Train - KL Sentral - Padang Besar, Padang Besar - Gemas - JB, JB - Tumpat, Tumpat - KL Sentral.

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