Previous to this trip, my vacation time in Malaysia were short intervals. I would come in for 5 days and left or come in again and left.
Friends would ferry me everywhere in the cars. I would be passed from one house to another. I would sit in the car and looked out. Not knowing my position or the place I was in. My sense of direction is like going to the toilet from a food court. Further than this, I would be lost. I would turn around and get back to the same place, swearing inside quietly.
Its easy for anyone to torture me mentally. Just take my cash and put me on any pavement of KL roads and I would sit on the kerb, staring...not going anywhere, not thinking anything.
This time vacation in Malaysia gave me wider experience. The trains.
I prefer travelling by trains overland, rather than bus. Express buses give me the urinary stress. The feeling of not being able to have the toilet, would create anxiety stress, would create a chain of uretha cramps that leads to another chain of more phobic nervousness.
Just give me trains and I am happy to travel alone.
The first day, my feet step in Malaysia was at KL sentral station. I came by KTM from Spore, supposed to arrive at 2.40pm but ended up at 4.30pm (is that typical or what? 1 hr. 40 mins late).
Some dear friends greeted me. When up the main level and was surprised to see a small bazaar-like atmosphere.
Most of my meetings with friends from day one, were at KL Sentral. I would say happily with confident,
..."ok kita jumpa depan KFC kat KL sentral".
...Or "kita duduk sembang depan Nile Bookshop at KL Sentral".
...Or kita makan di Food Court at KL Sentral.
I saw the express and local bus terminal, bought some big, juicy Korean pears at the fruit shop there. Took light meals at the food court, some gatherings at KFC, browsed through some reading materials at Nile Book shop, did solat at the surau and best of all, the taxi services. You tell the counter staff your destination, pay at the counter, give the payment slip to the driver and he just carry you off. No hassling about meter or payment. No talking, peace.
If I am not mistaken (correct me if wrong), there are 5 lines going through KL Sentral. The lines that is ever too familiar for me is the KLIA transit to the airport. I port up at Putrajaya. This line is fast, clean, smells nice too and best of all, always empty. Mostly, I see people aboard with luggage, airport staff with their smart uniform, MAS fligh attendants and Putrajaya cyber-clone.
If any of you notice, the platform has only two kinds of writing on the signboard, Bahasa Melayu and Japanese!
I stayed a few days in Seremban and going to KL Sentral from here, I have to use the only line, KTM komuter. I can always get seat from Seremban because its the line starting point but as we get to KL Sentral, some people were hanging on the holders squeesed to the bones.
One time, on a Sunday, (I thought its not a working day and this train should be less crowded...I was wrong), I stood at the platform with people around me pushing left and right. I was just standing to get my queue right.
I was thinking, how would I get on the train without queueing. In that crowd, my mind went to the scenario at Mina in Mekah during the 250m walk to "lempar batu". I didn't moved, the crowd moved me.
I missed the first train. People were pushed in like boiled, red sardine in tightly packed tin.
I am not strong enough to withstand that battle, I have all the time in this world to wait before it became dark.
I waited for the next train, it came...but I couldn't get in. I was at the door. Imagine at the door of the train yet not getting in. I was stranded at the door. Can you imagine, at the door yet not getting in? Go, figure that out.
Anyway, wonderful thing was, I GOT A SEAT!
In that crowded coach, I got a seat! I must have done something good in this life to be able to get reward like that, masyaAllah.
Every stations on the KTM komuter, remind me of friends staying at those stops.
A lady with bad eyesight at Tasik Selatan, a top cyberman at Kajang, a very pious single girl at Bangi and many more.
Ah, those memories and good friends, I would never exchange any gold coins for it.