Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Train

  The Allies bombed the crap out of Bangkok's rail system to disrupt the Japanese supply lines during the war. The Thais had put up a two-day fight against Tojo but were really powerless to stop him, and came to an accommodation with the invaders for the duration of the war.
  We're sitting in a railcar in the station in Bangkok, waiting to get going to the southern hub city of Hat Yai. There's no word about what's causing the hour-long delay but we're afraid to go more than a few meters from the car door should it pull out suddenly. It's the organized chaos you see in all train stations here, with incomprehensible speakers blaring and people milling about.
  We wait and wait. Apparently the engine's broken down and they are replacing it in situ. Great. We had plans to take off in the afternoon, see some of the countryside as the day fell, and enjoy the trip.
  It's another two hours, and pitch black, before the train finally leaves the station. More delays en route meant we arrived at our destination five hours late, barely making our connections. The food was terrible, the service worse. Unkindly, I think the Allies could have saved the munitions and just left the rail system working as is- tying up the Emperor's armies even more effectively.

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