Here In My Home - Malaysian Artistes For Unity

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Karipap On The Train

It was with a little nostalgia when I read about the home stay rail packages launched by the Tourism Ministry, especially the sentence "the train will pass at least 21 small stations for people to experience the rural life". I have seen the related TV series “Welcome to the Rail World” and notes that these are basically about going for a home stay vacation by rail trips.

I wonder however if people realised that the journey used to be the adventure, rather than the destination. I still remember till today watching the green landscape passing you by via an open window, rather than getting enclosed in air conditioned airtight container that somehow disengaged you from the surroundings. In addition you also wonder if there would be a derailment that may delay the journey, either by weather or more dreamily by CT bandits sabotaging the tracks because as a young boy you can't help fantasize such things after watching emergency era armoured trains on display at the station.

Yet the most potent memory about such rail trips was the peddlers brigade who swarmed the coaches at each stop and went along for a short ride till the next stop, in the meantime peddling their wares which usually are an assortment of snacks or drink packets. Because of these peddlers, pity the buffet coach push cart salesman on board as his wares conspicuously do not receive any attention the nearer the next train station. The funny thing is that even though the best food etched in my mind is those curry puffs being sold by peddlers who got on at Tanjung Malim train station, I have not managed to get a similarly tasty piece outside the station or train ride, even though in the town when my family stayed there. Must be specially made to be sold on board the trains I guess. The other funny thing is, I have always wondered how these peddlers managed to get back to their original station in time for the next train, rearmed with fresh food and drinks for the itinerant travellers.

I hope the powers that be realise that these activities can be a touristy attraction on their own and not a nuisance, as I have seen travelogues featuring these on board peddlers as an added attraction. Think about it so that our rail journeys will not be too sterile.

1 comment:

akula said...

I remember those days too!