Devolution Of A Trolley Dolly
When we boarded, the hostess was wearing a pout, sky-high heels, stockings, a short skirt and a tight jacket.
She served us coffee and rolls from a cart she pushed along the three rocking carriages of the Chiang Mai to Bangkok “express”. I hadn’t even realised meals were included in the ticket price. I was expecting to get pinged by the outrageous prices in the dining car, like we did on our last train expedition to Bangkok.
But there was no dining car. There was just the hostess, who changed into plastic slippers after her first foray along the aisle.
Lunch was little trays of rice and a spicy pork dish, decorated with two slices of cucumber. There was a drinks service too, water in tiny plastic cups.
Afternoon tea was a surprise, another little roll and a drink. This time there was juice and Coke.
But then our trolley dolly seemed to lose interest in things. Just when our supply of water ran out and dinner-time hunger pangs started, the hostess lurched to the front of the carriage and curled up on top of a pile of dirty laundry in the luggage area.
When I noticed her there, as I searched for the crackers I’d put somewhere in our luggage, I asked what time the train would arrive in Bangkok.
She shrugged, said she didn’t know, coughed consumptively and slumped back into her dirty nest.
Luckily, some of our traveling companions knew the train service better than us. We were surrounded by families who had brought snacks. Miss M and her newfound friends turned their noses up at our crackers, feasting instead on a variety of chips and chocolate biscuits.
Our long trek to Europe began as cheaply as possible. We investigated cheap flights to Bangkok and decided to take the train.
We were lucky to get seats, traveling as we were in the middle of the Thai new year public holidays. But we did, and the express lived up to its name, delivering us in Bangkok after only 13 hours. That was only one hour late! Last time the journey took 16 hours.
Although the train was tiring, it gave us another insight into how warm and friendly Thai people are. One lovely lady looked after Miss M and another little girl for hours, covering both of them in stickers from one of the Mickey Mouse sticker books I’d bought for the trip.
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11 years ago