Mandalay – Myitkyina Train Trip – 4

On the way at one station near Shwebo, one man climbed up through the window beside my friend. My friend pushed him back, telling not to climb. He kept on climbing, pushing my friend back. Once he was inside the carriage, he scolded at my friend yelling he could be arrested for breaking the law. I looked at him and found he was wearing the uniform of the State Railway Department. I was very angry by then. I yelled him back, telling how he could talk about laws and rules when he himself broke the rules by climbing through the window. He was very angry but climbed out of the same window through which he climbed in a few minute ago. Other passengers just stared at us in amazement.

When we reached Khin-oo, other passengers nearby told us to close the windows. Otherwise, they said, the farm girls will come and sit on our lap. We didn’t believe what they said. However, once we arrived at the station, we saw hundreds of people running after the train. We had to close the windows frantically before these people reached the train. From below, they yelled at us to open the windows, like those from hell. Although we closed our windows, many other people open the windows, and many people climbed up through the windows like animals let loose from hell. I felt like we were witnessing the end of the world. I understood their problem and their suffering. They had to come from a very far away place to come and work here. This is the only train they can use to go back. I felt very sorry for these people. But pity is pity and work is work. (Translator’s note: here, I don’t understand what the author really meant to mean).

At one station after Moe-nhyin, we encountered another problem again. When the train stopped at the station for 3 minutes, the workers and porters carried down the cargo hurriedly. Was had to look carefully to make sure they did not bring our things. At that time, we suddenly heard a scream and saw one lady from our group was hit in the foot by a heavy bag containing a lot of fruits. The bag was very heavy that even two persons would find it difficult to carry. However, only one worker was carrying it and tried to push it down through the window. It fell down onto her foot. The worker just said sorry and ran away. Our friend was crying but no body paid any attention at her.

If I write down everything I want to write, it will make it into a book. I think I better stop here. Grandpa always says “If you want to know about people, go and stay with them”. In reality, people you stay with are high class people on Myanmar. You have no way to know any of these. What I would like to tell you, Grandpa, is to go out of your office, and see what the real ordinary people have to endure. Don’t ask your men what is happening out there. They would not tell you the reality. They won’t want to make you unhappy. They will simply tell you that everything is ok and running smoothly. I also don’t want to tell you these things. I just want to tell you about a happy trip. However, I felt it is my duty to tell you the truth. If you want to be happy, go to night club and massage parlors. If you want to know what is happening in real life, take a trip on a train in ordinary class.

With Respect

PS. While I was writing this article, I found five bed bugs among the clothes in the bag. I had to put them all under the sun to kill the bed bugs.

Original Post by Nyi Lynn Seck at Wish Grandpa to take a train trip.

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