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Malaysia, the country where you never arrive...

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 


The famous night train finally arrived at Songai Kolokat the border. With a lot of delay, for an obscure story of a loco breakdown. It's the guy in charge of my car who informed me, as I was getting a bit impatient this morning, around 10:30 am, supposed time of arrival, in front of the endless string of stations, none of which was Songai Kolok.

"Songai Kolok? No! Two hours delay... Problem with locomotive. » Malaysia, the country where you never arrive...

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Around 8 am, on the platform of the station of Hat Yai, the big city of the South of Thailand. There are still more than four hours of journey, until Songai Kolok, the border town with Malaysia...

Charitably, I went to warn the little Norwegian couple in the next car. I had made friends with them the day before, on the platform, while waiting for the train. They too are going to the islands Perhentian.

Long, long trip, then. In the early morning, everyone emerged from behind the little blue curtains that hide the bunks. I then discovered the faces of the people I had slept with. They looked a bit cooler than me... I was hot, despite the fan. Not much conversation, then (hard, the language barrier), but exchanges of big smiles that compensate.

My neighbors, two young women, have immediately bought sticky rice and chicken for breakfast from the street vendors who get on and off at each stop. They kindly offer me some, but no thanks, no way... In the rising heat, with the air badly stirred by the fan, I don't feel very hungry. I settle for an infamous Nescafé instead.

A few hours later, when I learned that we would not be at Songai Kolok before noon and a half, I really regretted not to have done like them. All the more so since, of course, there wasn't a single street vendor left in the vicinity.

The countryside passes by. Railway station follows railway station. And I simmer in my juice, I dream of a shower. It will not be for immediately!

  Malaysia: Peninsula and Borneo - July 2006

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  1. I hope it's not too much of a strain for you to feed your blog with "fresh" news. You take it, not without a sense of humor, as vacation homework, but that's just it...
    Wherever you are and whatever you do, make the most of your free time, it's such a precious commodity!

  2. Rennes by 34 ° C ...
    20h10. The city is deserted, stunned by the heat. A few hordes of fans in red, white and blue are wandering the streets looking for a giant screen to watch the France-Brazil match. The whole country is in suspense. You would hate it...
    Bubble away in Asia, away from it all, Titbulle! Hopefully no one is talking about the World Cup where you are. Although with the Internet...

  3. In response to Pascale's comment: you must be joking, everyone here is talking about the World Cup! Malaysians love soccer. In the Malaysian Airlines plane, on the outbound flight, the captain even made a special announcement to give us the latest results. And when I'm asked where I come from and I say I'm French, everyone talks about Zidane and makes a comment about the Blues...

    Last night, on the island of Perhentian Kecil, where I am, some people stayed up until 3am (time difference) to see the game. And this morning, at breakfast, the guy of the restaurant, knowing me French, was very happy to announce me the score. No, I tell you, it's impossible to escape, even on an island at the other end of the world!

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