Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On The Train (Three Trains), Oct. 12, 2010

Last Sunday I really felt ridiculous when I felt like I just came back from a white winter of New York. Only after a week up at Cameron Highland, where the weather not even any close to freezing point, my body already could not take it.

This morning I once again felt ridiculous, not because of the heat, believe it or not I had to take three different trains to work. You might think that is normal? Well, this was on the same Seremban - Rawang line. I boarded as usual at Bangi and since I was a bit tired I took a nap after my second page of the book I was reading. Just after UKM station I could sense the train stopping and was waiting for quite a while. My thought then it must be waiting for the intercity train to clear at Kajang station. When we finally reached Kajang immediately the driver came on the air to announce that the train is facing, yes you guess right, a technical problem. I must say that announcement came out perfect, short and sweet.  After years of practice no doubt, something that I really learn up at Cameron Highland, you’ll achieve excellent result if not perfection. We were told to disembark and wait for another train.

The station master at the station then came on the air to announce to the others of the technical problem. He advised those going to KL Sentral to board the next to arrive intercity train from Singapore. Looking at the crowd around me, knowing how they will react, the fact that intercity train is at the top of KTMB priority list (they get the first right to any lines), as well as the fact that I maybe going to our PJ office I decided to take that train. As soon as the intercity train arrived I walked quickly to find the best door and the buffet car presented me with the best option. With my son following suit we sat with the rest there knowing we would not be that late. Sitting in the buffet car however brought about another excitement in me and I kinda missed being on the train and longed for another long excursion. Resurrecting the plan for KL-Bangkok-Chiang Mai was an immediate possibility.

At around 0730 we arrived at platform 2 of KL Sentral station and I walked up thinking that I was going to have breakfast before going to PJ. That was when I received the call that I was not needed in PJ. I abandoned the need to have breakfast and walked down to the platform to board my third train. It happened to be the new spanking ETS train that was being used to help ease the commuter train shortage problem. It was a neat short ride and I would definitely do the Ipoh route soon to experience the full pleasure of the express train.

Going home in the evening was another nice surprise. Expecting that I would be late, again  the same ETS train arrived the moment I was at the right place on the platform. A slightly longer neater ride home for me and I love it. As if KTMB have been listening to my complaint :)))

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Place of Possibilities

It is so easy to say there is no life after staying 4 days or a week in a place like Cameron Highland if you were born and breed in the city.

I was sitting in the resort’s restaurant alone having breakfast when I contemplated this while looking out of the window watching the day breaking in. You will miss a lot of things if you are not looking and just passing by. Age and the fact that I am a kampong boy at heart brought a feeling of sadness and loneliness to me suddenly. I do not mind at all if I were to retire at a place like this. Life is much slower compounded by the breezy weather outside.

I just got back from our early morning photo shoot at Bharat Tea Plantation. Being there got me in the mood to be a bit sentimental. When I sat there I realized that it was not just that but also what I needed and could possibly be I had nailed down my purpose and values in life. It is definitely a good place to think and write. I just could pick either one of the Bharat’s or Boh’s plantations and I would be contented. Who knows I might pick up drawing seriously again. Being a kampong boy I could relive my childhood days of vege farming as well. With the Bertam Valley route to Raub open now there are all possibilities.  One hour to Ipoh via Simpang Pulai, two hours to Raub and four hours to KL

I have my bicycle with me as well. So far I have done the Brinchang, the golf course and Tanah Rata loop twice. In fact I looped the golf course three times in between. Sipping my coffee I thought going all the way up to the Equatorial Hotel at Kea Farm the next day. That would be a blast going up and exhilarating coming down at faster speed with my face hitting the cool air.

In the end, a week up at Cameron Highland prove to be meaningful for me, both professionally as well as personally as far as my life is concern.

The photos below.

CH 1, CH 2, CH 3, CH 4, CH 5, CH 6, CH 7, Flowers and Fruits