Ok. I’m committing blogger sins today and posting out of order even though I swore I wouldn’t. It’s only a few days – I’m sure you’ll all manage!!
And no pic because it’s iPad posting from the train. The one with the grizzly bear on it!! (Since added a pic of the grizzly bear!!)
Our trip on the KL to Butterworth train started uneventfully enough.
We were at the station in plenty of time from the Hop On Hop Off bus – we arrived about 8.00pm. We went in search of food and had these naughty little pancake things. The girls had some extremely hot sauce on theirs which tried to burn the lips off their faces! (Kate is coping extremely well with all this hot food).
We then collected the heaviest bags in the world from our lockers and went in search of the first class lounge where we had been promised the heavenly treats of free soft drink and free wifi!! The lounge is usually available an hour ahead of departure time. It was nearly two hours ahead but we decided we would batt our eyelashes and pretend we had no English if challenged. I’m not a crier but if it meant i had to wear that backpack for too long I was pretty sure I could squeeze some tears out.
We slithered into the lounge unchallenged. You know those frequent flyer lounges at airports where you can go in, have a shower, a meal if you like and read the newspaper? Well. This was not one of those!! In fact they use the term lounge loosely! It was a big empty room with LOUNGES inside but that’s as close to a lounge as it gets!!
No free soft drinks – didn’t Jono feel ripped off!!!
And though there was a choice of 28-ish wifi connections I couldn’t get any of them to connect and went back to my own 3G connection
But at least we could sit down!
We took over a whole section of the “lounge” with our 5 backpacks, 5 daypacks, camera bag, slash proof bag, man bag, various hats, shopping bags and travel pillows!!!! What a mess we make when we unload!
A security man arrived and asked us what train we were on – I truthfully told him the 11pm train and mimed being tired. He pretended it was not 9.25pm – I pretended I was meant to be there so early. I’m pretty sure no one would have been brave enough to move us along with all those bags.
At around 10.15pm we all made the obligatory toilet stop. I must say the toilets in the “lounge” were really great. Clean, actual toilet paper and not squat style! If you ignored the little cockroach running up the wall they were some of the cleanest we had seen.
As we get ready to leave the “lounge” we discover Jono has just decided (in a 10 year old engineering genius kind of way) that all his felt pens should come out of the boxes where they are neatly packed because they’ll take up less room if they are randomly thrown into a giant plastic bag!!! We are watching the clock and running out of time so he gets in trouble (I hate rousing on him for stupid shit but I was experiencing the urge to strangle him!
Then the search for the platform began. We spent a few minutes wandering aimlessly before we decided to go to the information counter (!). The guy tells us platform A. “Like for Apple” he mouths!
Gert has for some reason decided to panic right about now and speeds off towards the escalators. He’s carrying his backpack like it weighs 2kg and both my and his daypack even though he’s sick (I’m guessing bird flu).
Kate rushes to catch up and misses the step on the escalator, scratching her shin in the process. She’s asking if she’s bleeding but Britt and I are giggling and are barely able to answer!!!
We get to platform A (like for apple!) and discover that even though it’s already 10.30pm the train is not boarding yet. We’ve never caught an overnight train so we don’t know how long it takes to get us all on board and we are a bit stressed. And we’re carrying our backpacks which are bloody heavy! (I’m mentally thinking about what’s in mine and wondering just how many clean undies I really need to carry!! Or maybe I could live in just one shirt and dump the rest! Any makeup I have with me is definitely going in the bin.
Brittney had the bright idea to put her jacket on before she loaded up with her backpack and now she’s sweating and complaining!!! She gets a bit delirious and starts pretending to talk on the pay phone! People are staring and starting to shuffle away. It gets us to the front of the line – always a good thing!! We may use that tactic in the future.
Finally, at 10.50pm they open the floodgates. My deranged family surge ahead like there’s a year of free chocolate on offer. They race down the stairs to be the first one to the train. While I calmly pop myself onto the escalator. There’s no way I’m falling over with my backpack on!!!
1. I will not look cool stranded under the weight of the bag or on my back flailing like a giant turtle
2. My family will not be able to assist as they’ll be on the floor crying laughing at me. And I will deserve it – I would scream laughing if it was one of them!
They all stand at the bottom impatiently waiting for me because of course I have all the tickets!!! Bahahaha! Yes I do!! So I give them a nice Queen of England wave as I slowly descend on the escalator! Gert is not as amused as I think he should be!
We bundle onto the train and discover seats with loads of leg room!! We seem to be the only ones with luggage. The overhead compartments are empty except for our 5 packs. We make a big show of locking them all up and loudly discussing how silly we are since there is only clothing in each of them (honestly I’m secretly praying someone flogs mine so I don’t have to carry it any further!)
I tie a noisy plastic bag to the camera bag and then tie the camera bag around my leg and I use my day pack as a footrest. The bag with cash, tickets, iPad and credit cards gets a lovely cuddle for the night – its the only bag that could induce a tear from me if it is lost – and that’s really all about the iPad!!!
We all play on our gadgets for a bit and Jono whispers to me that he thinks he’ll just stay up!! I whisper back that he has to carry that house on his back again tomorrow and he decides sleep may be necessary!!
We are all happily snoring – Jono and I wrapped up warm in our furries – when some wierd shunting starts just after 4am. The train is slipping forward and trying to stop and there’s banging and vibrations – I’m pretty sure we have brake failure and are about to hit another train. I don’t freak the family out but I hang on a little tighter. Someone has to survive the crash and retrieve those iPads!!!
It was around this time that we become aware that there is a grizzly bear on board!!! The loudest. Deepest. Most violent. EFFING snoring you’ve ever heard!!! OH. MY. GOD. It was worse than anything Gert has ever been able to manage!
AND IT WAS COMING FROM THE RAIL ATTENDANT WHO HAD DECIDED TO HAVE A SLEEP 2 ROWS BACK!!!!!!
I tried to get audio for you but my iPhone had gone flat! Trust me you are missing out not hearing this symphony!!!
The train shunts a bit more and now Britt and I are permanently awake so I sit up to write this story about the grizzly.
Then I discover Gert is really sick. He’s felt off for a day or so with a scratchy throat but has gradually gotten worse. He’s been sweating all day but we couldn’t tell if it was the heat or he was sick. He had a headache so I figured that gave it away. He was insisting he was fine.
But now man flu has arrived. He’s shivering and has goosebumps and worse than that, he’s whining. I give him my furry – I can’t stand the whining and would prefer to be cold than listen to it! He’s asleep now but there is the occasional groan from his chair.
It’s nearly 6am and we are due to soon arrive in Butterworth. We will catch the ferry across to Georgetown and then the U101 bus to our accommodation.
As the chief planner, I may have miscalculated the romanticism of getting the ferry. I imagined early morning sunshine, nice clear skies and a short jaunt to the ferry and then onto the bus (just like in Australia at 6am in summer!) In reality it is pitch black and we probably won’t even be able to find the ferry!!!
If the sicko thinks he’s getting out of carrying my daypack he’d be wrong…….
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