I’m taking the night train to Bangkok and after finding my cabin and putting my stuff down I make my way to the restaurant car. These are the best seats on the train. The windows are wide open, it’s hot and windy, the seats are hard, the beer is expensive, the food isn’t going to win any awards, and it’s noisy, really noisy, and I love it!
I’m the first passenger in there, but pretty soon the place fills up. And as the sun slips away the lights are switched on and the music is turned up in order to drown out the noise of the tracks clattering beneath us. I drink an enormous beer (the only size on offer) and have an entertaining conversation with a man who seems delighted to talk to me.. in Thai!
The restaurant car is where the fun is on these trains. So many Thai people come and sit opposite me for a chat I almost feel like I’m conducting interviews. The notion of keeping to yourself is lost in the restaurant car. This is the social hub of the train that will clatter through the night and arrive in Bangkok early tomorrow morning.