The following is a transcript of my time on what turned out to be an 18 hour train ride:

I’m on a train straight of that one Wes Anderson movie I can’t remember the title of… Midnight Express.Myanmar Express…I forget but also Slumdog Millionaire. I got assigned a car…coach, of course. There are sliding inter-car doors for high speed, train-wide chases. A restaurant car. I hope there is a snack cart to complete a little more of my Harry Potter dreams of becoming a wizard. The food menu is absolutely riddled with errors. The train keeps making Bioshock noises. You know, the one that happens as your camoflage becomes active. I believe there are pull out beds above the seats. I haven’t tested too thoroughly. I was hoping for a brief minute in time that I’d actually get a room/apartment/thing to myself that looked like the ones in HP, Brothers Bloom and that Wes Anderson movie. I can’t wait to see what other movie tropes this train can fulfill for me. It is very grey in here. It’s also much longer of a ride than I originally anticipated. Closer to fourteen hours than the six. Hope the iPod will last. Good thing I have a whole book ahead of me. Also, speaking of movie tropes being fulfilled, I think when I get to Chiang Mai, I’m going to have a driver with a white sign with my name on it waiting for me. 

Yep, it’s official. They’re beds. Small, transformer beds that stack on top of one another. I found this out because I got caught fiddling with my seat and it got stuck while the ticket police tapped their toes at me. 

Snack cart happened. Not a witch and no chocolate frogs but it happened. I’m so excited that I’m on this train. 

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Well fingers crossed still but I almost just got kicked off the train because my awesome travel agency booked my ticket a day later than they planned for. It’s Saturday and my ticket is for Sunday. I’ve already been on the train for at least a half hour. Funny thing is how many hands that ticket went through before anyone noticed. The agent who booked, the runner who printed and delivered us the ticket. Two cab drivers, info desk girl at the train station, four security guards/ticket checkers and myself, of course. Had to pay them 50 baht more and I’m still on just moved seats. I was not about to be dropped off in the middle of the countryside for a day. I was next to some lively, older UK ladies. Now I’m next to a cross-armed, probably Thai lady with a surly disposition that reminds me a lot of my old, grumpy, dog-hating neighbor Paula. I think she’s upset that I’m now seated on what was her footstool. 

The UK ladies, the waitress lady who served me my beer and OJ and even the guard who called me out were very supportive of my cause. That cause being my not being kicked off. 

Haven’t received my ticket or my 50 baht in change from the first guard and now the new guard wants my ticket. Once I told him that the other dude has it he double checked his list and sprinted, rather, jogged the other direction. good things. good things. 

The Thai Paula keeps checking the aisle. Especially when guards pass. So either she is a fugitive or she’s waiting for them to kick me off the train again. 

 

(When they found out I did not have the right train they immediately moved me to the timeout seat, which was a half-seater next to the shitter. I had just bought two drinks and my hands were already full of my bags and a kilo of lychees that I got too excited about (a kilo of lychees is a lot of lychees). There were audible ooohs and aawwwws as everyone in my car thought I was being thrown off. I really felt like I let them down. Then after that episode I tried to sleep which hardly worked as our train broke down about three hours in for about six hours, making some horrendous noises in the interim. Overall, a thrilling overnight train ride. Totally worth my overexcitement.)

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