Thursday, October 04, 2007

The train story

Have you watched the TV3 Raya Advert that stars Adibah Noor? Try to catch it at TV3 tonight! It’s just so hilarious. With minimal dialogue but full of expressions; you can surely feel the emotions. Man, I was laughing my head off. For me, it’s brilliant.

The advert somehow reminded me of the days when I had to take ‘Keretapi Mel’ from JB to Triang when I was schooling in STF. This is Keretapi Mel I’m talking about, not express sinaran pagi or senandung malam which the KL girls would usually take then.

If you can’t imagine it, it’s like Kelas Tiga of the normal train. It’s free seating (if you managed to find a seat) and the seats are worse than those we used to have in our super-famous KL Mini Buses. They have a small canteen on the train, which was always full. Off course lah, those people who couldn’t get seat will have an 8-hour teh tarik session there. Even if there were available seats, believe me you won’t have the heart to enjoy a decent meal there. The greasy tables alone were enough to turn my appetite off.

I’m not going to describe the toilets because they were grosser than 8 series of Fear Factor challenges combined. Imagine this, if I felt the need to pee after Gemas Station, I’d rather hold it until I reached home. That’s about 2 hours train journey.

When it came to long holidays, especially festive seasons, we had to stand up throughout the journey. Mind you, my train journey usually took about 7 hours. The train usually departed from JB at 9 pm ++ and arrived at Triang at around 4.30 am. Yeah, I had to stand up while holding on to the seats or the slimy poles. If you’re familiar with the Putra LRT during rush hours, that’s how it was in Keretapi Mel.

If there were space, we would arrange our bags and sat on them. When it’s really packed, we could only stand and sometimes we couldn’t even turn our bodies because it was worse than sardine in a can. That was when I learned to master the sleep standing skill. So now, sleep sitting (usually in boring meetings) is like ‘kacang putih’ to me, lah. Hahaha. Squatting in the ‘gerabak barang’ was so normal and many considered that luckier than having to sit or stand by the doors. Thank god they’re not bullet trains, otherwise today, most of us are history.

It sends shivers down my spine whenever I think of those Keretapi Mel days. I was only 13 then. When I imagine a 13 years old girl standing by the train door braving the cold night wind as the train chugged away - swaying her body, I couldn’t believe that once upon a time that was me.

I haven’t been on a Keretapi Mel since 1992. I hope there have been a lot of improvements.

These days, whenever it’s time for Balik Kampung I’d feel really glad the journey would only take me about 2 – 3 hours depending on the traffic at Karak highway. Never mind the congestion at MRR2, Gombak or having to drive at 40km/h from Genting Sempah to Karak town, at least I know I’ll have a proper seat in an air conditioned vehicle. Then, whenever nature calls, I can always stop at the R&R along the highway.

Adventurous teenage days really taught us to be thankful for what we have now, huh?

While counting your blessings, don’t forget to check out this blog to listen to Aizat’s latest song.

Side story

Pagi-pagi tadi ada sorang manager datang jumpa aku dengan penuh gabra.

'Dayang, you free tak around 10 o'clock today?'

Akupun gelenglah, cakap takde. Pastu dia mintak aku attend satu meeting regarding ada satu proposal yang kitorang baru revise.

'The meeting's in KL. The meeting is at Chase Manhattan.'

Aku terkedu gak masa tu, cuba nak ingat kat mana ada bangunan nama Chase Manhattan nih? Nama tu memangle familiar, seperti pernah aku dengar.... tapi di mana yea? Memang dekat nak pecah kepala jugaklah aku pikir kat mana lah Chase Manhattan ni. Bukan nama bank ke tu? Pastu, aku pikir pulak, customer aku ni Oil and Gas industry, apahal nak buat meeting kat bank nih?

Nasib baik aku telefon sorang Solution Architect yang handle proposal tu.

'Woi, dekat Chase Perdana lah.....' hahahaha. Nasib baik minah tu tengah good mood. Kalau tak sure dah masak dah aku kena kutuk pagi ni.

Iye, tuan-tuan dan puan-puan.... itulah aku punya occupational hazard. Selalu dapat wrong instruction yang menyebabkan aku selalu ter pergi ke tempat yang salah.

Cerita ni memangle tak lawak, kalau uols nak gelak-gelak, pegi tengok video klip ni.


Spena said...

Dayang, OMG! memang aku tak boleh lupa. Just imagine 13yrs old dah travel macam tu. pastu aku kena cucuk kat tangan dgn puntung rokok pulak tu.
Sekarang ni, kalau parents nak lepas a 13year old boy pun aku rasa impossible!

akula said...

Sama la kita.

east43street said...

Boss memang macam tu. Kalau dia buat silap yang peliknya dia jugak yang betul. Walaupun dia tak betul. Boss kita kat sini pulak kalau bagi kerja hari ni, deadline nya semalam. Ha.... tak terberak ke tu...

Da Winged Acrophobic said...

Ha, seteruk-teruk Ketapi Mel tu pun kita travel free courtesy of taxpayers kan? You're right, experiences like that makes us tougher and realise our blessings. BTW video klip tu memang kelakar...

UglyButAdorable said...

u know what..that's the most precious moments. imagine now what mothers would want to let their 13yo girls like that...

so we're consider lucky that we're able to go thru this period of time and know what life is all about...

WANSHANA said...

This really brings back memories. I used to take the train back from JB to Taiping those days.

The journey would start at 11:30pm. JB would be the second stop after Tanjung Pagar (S'pore) but by the time sampai JB, train dah sesak giler...

Had to change train at KL, and only reach Taiping around 5 - 6pm the next day! Can you believe that?!

By the time sampai rumah, I dah macam kain buruk dah...

Anonymous said...

i wonder if our friends who headed north had the opportunity to meet some of u gals?

hanazie wc said...

dnas..7hrs to triang is not bad compare 20HRS keretapi mel jb to b'worth.. terrible.
nak magrib baru sampai.. yes,time tu badan memang dah macam kain buruk..lagi burung dari k.shana yg balik taiping tu..
but then i remember there were times that ktm dah reserve few gerabak for us, but these outsiders tak puas hari and nak crash into our sampai polis kena jaga gerabak tu.. ingat tak?
luckily masa f3 dah ada bas direct b'worth-jb.

hanazie wc said...

x-eyed jules.. yes, i remember ada budak2 pakai seluar putih menumpang our koc kat kuala kangsar..

Cosmic_GurL said...

It was safe for 13 yr olds to travel alone back then kan? Dont think so anymore now..

Eh drive safely bila balik kg nanti kay :)

D.N.A.S said...

siapakah manusia durjana itu?
Kesiannya kau. Tak patut sungguh.

u pun? Geng keretapi Mel rupanya.

dulu i penah gak dpt boss camtu. Selalunya dia cakap, 'Actually, I needed this by yesterday.'

Pastu i akan tanya dia balik,
'Why don't you give it to me next week, then?'

D.N.A.S said...

Encik Wingy,
Free, eh? Dah tak ingat lah... hehehehe.

ye lah, kesian teenage girls sekarang. Mesti ramai yang hidup terkurung.

Kak Shana,
itulah, bila sampai rumah macam jetlag gile, kan? Boleh tido 12 jam.

D.N.A.S said...

considering our generation gap, mungkin tidaaaaaak. Your super juniors, maybe lah. (Kitorang ni sume muda-muda lagi... hehehehe).

kalau kau naik flight, 20 hours dah dekat nak sampai LA dah.

sebenarnya ramai jugak bad guys masa tu, there were a few frightening stories lah...but my parents had no choice sebab during those times takde express bus from Triang to JB. Transportation sendiri pun takde.

So, daripada naik kapchai, baiklah I naik train.

Azer Mantessa said...

aaaa keretapi mel. cuti sekolah. dari kedah ke umah nenek di kl. biasa la teket kelas 3 ... free ... org asrama penuh.

i use my trick. yes cud not find a seat from butterworth to KL ... what i did was ... consume ubat batuk banyak2 ... all i know was ... upon arriving KL ... i woke up and found myself sleeping underneath the seat.

frens and strangers were very nice ... everytime i pengsan ... i know i'll be having good sleep at nice and private spot ... hehehe

penguna keretapi mel setiap cuti sekolah 1977-1981

Dah Pencen said...

I think all SBP alumni share the same experience except those from sekolah melayu kuala kangsar whose journey was more comfortable because they got a whole coach all to themselves :(

Anonymous said...

(tumpang lalu)
hanazie wc .... kuala kangsar? u got the wrong school lah

dah pencen .... and we are all the better for that

all jazzed up said...

i'm glad we all were blessed with adventurous childhood experiences - 13 years old on trains, escape malam2 panjat pagar sekolah, taking mini buses around town, curik makanan dining hall (halal tak ni?). Tengokla budak2 sekarang, playstations, mobile phones, high school musical, chatting over the Net. What a bunch of wussies!!!!!

John F SeaDemon said...

Hmm..kat my alma mater memang tak ada train. But we Henry Gurney school alumni members are proud to have been able to go home using the Jabatan Penjara buses.

Spena said...

Dyg, mak kau dulu pun datang naik train gak ke? Ingat aku kat mak kau. Kalau dia datang, aku pun tumpang bermanja sekali.Kirim salam kat dia yek...

John F SeaDemon said...

Untung ngkorang mak bapak datang nengok.

I merengkuk kat Henry Gurney kat Golden Bay, Malacca, tak ada siapa nak nengok.

Sebatang karah aje.

AM said...

haah. sedap lagu Aizat tu.

D.N.A.S said...

trick yang berkesan, tapi tak sesuai untuk budak pompuan. Silap-silap, bila tersedar dah kena gang-raped.

Dah pencen,
STF girls from JB-KL also had a coach for themselves. Since there were not many of us who headed to east-coast towns, terpaksa lah berebut-rebut dengan passenger lain.

jules and hana,
Ipoh mali! Ipoh Ipoh mali!

D.N.A.S said...

after SPM, aku salam2 and mintak maaf/halal with the makciks@dining hall kitchen. Hopefully, diorang dah halalkan. Anyway, after we sneaked into the kitchen and took melons, bihun and chicken, I didn't eat melons for a couple of weeks. Konon nak counter lah... hahaha.

iye betul, everytime datang JB mak akupun naik keretapi mel tu. Mak aku still ingat korang semua, tapi bila aku tunjuk latest photo, dia dah tak kenal lah sebab semua dah besar panjang.

eh, Henry Gurney kat Melaka? Bukan kat KL ke? Sorrylah, my pengetahuan am very cetek one...
Hmmm... bila naik bas penjara tu ada tak macam scenes kat dalam movie Con Air tu?

bila album dia keluar, gerenti I akan beli punya.

John F SeaDemon said...

DNAS..bukan takat Con Air..Con Man pun rasa jugak.

Cerita pasal makcik dining hall, you really know how to make me feel guilty.

Masa kat Henry Gurney dulu, I suka makcik kantin punya laksa and sardine roll. So selalunya dalam 50 sen ke 60 sen punya belanja sehari. Lepas tu tau la..lepas hard labour, mesti lapar gila. So berebut beli food.

Kasi seringgit..bila makcik tu tanya berapa kasi..I kata lima ringgit. So dah selamat dah duit belanja for the rest of the week.

Sebab tu rasa bukan takat Con Air, tapi Con Man.