Saturday, May 3, 2014

Around Malaysia by Train. Again!!!!, Dec 24, 2012, Slair, Padang Besar, Kuala Perlis, Arau - KL Sentral - Last Leg Home, Day 5

We are really tired but as usual we are awake for our ritual. Soon after both of us pull over our blanket to sleep again ha ha ha.

We are awake again at mid-morning and miss our breakfast at the hotel. Expecting another long train ride that night we layan ourselves. Then, suddenly I am in a need my chappati fix ha ha.

Oh my chappati he he he

Outside the hotel I decide to walk right and try my luck. Observing the area I can see government offices and the day being a holiday (I cannot remember what holiday) I am expecting less opportunity for kueh sellers to be around. I walk further anyway until I can see a warung open across the road on my left as I walk. Initially I like to continue walking but realising I do not have much time I cross the road to check the warung. When I am about ten metres away I am comforted at least I can get few kueh and nasi lemak but as I walk nearer I am very glad to read their banner to say Chappati. I ask the lady seller and indeed they have Chappati and as original as any chappati by any Bengalli. I ‘tapau’ about 5 pieces as well as several kueh. Yeah too many for my own good but that is the first chappati after several days ha ha ha. I walk back to the Hotel fully satisfied and accomplished ha ha 

Slair call at 1125 when I am about halfway through my 5 pieces of chappati. Earlier, I left a message early to inform him that we are coming his way. I was not sure whether he is in town. Slair ask me what is our plan for the day so I say we are going to check out at 12.00pm take a cab to Kangar to lepak there until our next train to KL. ‘Ok’ Slair says ‘we will come over to pick your guys at the hotel.’

Slair and Jun walk into the lobby at 12.15pm as we are about to sit waiting after we checked out. 

Salir : What time is your train home again?
Me: Around 7 pm
Slair: Ok what is your plan
Me: Just lepak around Kangar
Slair: Ok. you want to go to Padang Besar?
Me: Whereever you are going to take us Slair. We are fine.
Slair: Ok. let us do that. Ko dah makan?
Me: Just had 5 chappatis ha ha ha
Slair: We will stop to have lunch on the way to Padang Besar anyway ha ha ha

That is more or less our conversation.

We drive slowly along route one to Padang Besar. Just going with the flow of s very good host. I have no intention of buying anything at Padang Besar but then if something I fancy it would not stop me from spending. Any distance you travel will become very short if you had great conversation with your buddy This is true as we cruise to Padang Besar. 

As suggested earlier by Slair we stop at Warong Pokok Sawa for lunch. It is not a warong at all more like restaurant. Although it is already 1.36pm I am still full thus I pick few ulams, fish and fruits. Apparently this place is one of the main eating place in Kangar or Perlis. I can see why. Not only the choices of food and recipes but most importantly the taste is good.

Warong Pokok Sawa

We reach Padang Besar at 1420 and bless straight away with a good parking spot. We walk with no particular reason and direction. Eventually, being a football fan, our natural instinct lead us to the first triple A imitation sport store. I am sold when I see the old design Liverpool jersey, the one with Candy as the sponsor. We walk around the food and fruits area as well and at around 3pm we drive out of Padang Besar for Slair’s place. The best part of the walk around Padang Besar bazaar is actually not the shopping but chatting with Slair along the way. Both of us lament the non existent of Grand Sport there ha ha ha.

Along the way back we talk about interesting places in Perlis and one of them is the lake on our route. As we near the lake Slair turn the car right into the lake parking area. We stay there enjoying the place for few minutes before we move out ( 3.44pm stopped at lake)

Back at Slair’s place we charge ourselves as well as our gadgets. After our prayers Jun serves us the mangoes she bought at Padang Besar and it is really delicious. Our eating for the day does not end there as Slair has one more dish to serve us -Laksa Kuala Perlis. 

At 5.54pm we drive out to Kuala Perlis. Along the way Slair keep saying do not worry we still have time. Slair takes us to Laksa Kak Su and we order in a splash and finish the laksa in a flash as well ha ha ha. This is because not only we are trying to save time but the laksa is really good and I have to finish it in record time.

Kuala Perlis floating masjid

Slair, Jun and Sam

We arrive at Arau station at 6.55pm 7 minutes to the arrival of the train from Padang Besar. We quickly thank Slair and Jun for their hospitality and walk to the make shift station. Most of the station in the north are under renovation and Arau station is one of them. There are a lot of people waiting on the platform already and since Perlis is fast becoming an academic state a lot of students either going home for the semester break or just for a few days leave. Sam sits next to one of them and start to chat. The girl is from UUM and going back to KL. She tells Sam that she has only a ticket to as far as Taiping and will gamble to find another ticket at BM when she gets there.

Sam sits next to the UMM Student and start a conversation

Surprisingly the train is on time (7.02pm) all credit to KTMB and because there are a lot of passengers boarding we depart a minute off schedule (7.18pm). Also with full capacity means no chance for us to upgrade to another class due to no turn-ups.

We had a good rest at the hotel and now we find both of us not really tired to sleep or whatever. WhenI look around me I can see all sort of travelers. I am sure many of them are wishing they are in a car now driving where ever they are going. But there are also people like us. The ritual of riding Malaysian train is sometimes amazing to witness. There are those once on board would straight away make themselves as comfortable as possible to have a nice sleep. There are those that come on board with all sorts of food and snacks. They just start to arrange their stuff and start to munch. A lot of younger generation that come on board with their ear plugin with something already and stay like that the whole journey. There are also that straight away make a beeline to the buffet car to lepak.  Those that are traveling with family will rearrange their seats assignment as if they are going to be on the train for ever. Not many with books though. For us just travel very light and chill with the motion ha ha ha.

The paddy fields outside are getting darker as we move on. From a yellow evening beautiful sunset to a very beautiful reddish sky and a complete night forming. A beautiful soul touching moment.

Alor Setar arrives at 7.46pm. After a while on the train sometimes you feel you are not moving but everything else outside that do. Everything come to you in sequence.

When Bukit Mertajam (BM) arrives at 9.26 pm we walk to the buffet car to have our ‘dinner’. BM station is still in heavy renovation and there are a lot of activities outside. We just order coffee, nasi lemak and burge to eat. Now this train do not enter Butterworth like it used before (KTMB changed it again years later) so the stop would be a bit longer simply they have to turn the train around and wait for another train to pass. What I mean by turning the train around is this. Any train from the north normally has to through BM and turn at Butterworth. Turning hear means to cut the engine car and reattach it at the other end so that it can pull the train down to KL. The train line was built that way and not a straight line from North to South vice versa. So the turning for this train is happening at BM station now. 

While waiting and eating we chat. There are a lot of travelers in the buffet car and most of them have tickets without assigned seats. They either short distance travelers or those got on the train somewhere and pay for their passage on board. Maybe out of kindness KTMB allow this to happen. One of those travelers is a blind couple with their small children occupying the table beside us. We overheard they are discussing their options and after a while leave the car. Amazing that hey can manage the situation with the children.

One of the topics of our discussion is that there is a different culture on different train lines in Malaysia. I explain to Sam that in the east coast the train line is a daily necessity to most so they treat the train as their guest room, family transport, kitchen and business place. They do not mind not having a seat as they just lay down the matt and sit in group on the floor. They are friendly and seem to know everybody from the train service. When lunch or dinner time comes the food packages or tiffin will come out and you’ll have a picnic. The best part they would have enough for the others in the coach. In the west coast they are a bit ‘proper’ and even more if you go down south.

The station master blow his whistle and the train slowly move on towards KL at 10.26pm. We also get up from our seat and walk back to our coach. 

I put on my sweater, sock and go to sleep.

We arrive at KL Sentral at 5.28am and another train adventure almost come an end.

The final leg is actuallly the 7.03 am Komuter train from KL Sentral to Bangi.

Home sweet home at around 8.00 am.

1 comment:

Dewi Aja said...

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