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Decision is taken, just before geting in the train, I don’t go to Kho Yai the national park, I go straight to Phimai.  My mistake is to have booked the 11 o’clock train which would have blocked me the entire day without being able to do anything.  So better travel the entire day and arrive in Phimai.

It looks like trains are not really on time in Thailand, at least it is what I could read on many blogs and other websites, therefore I was very surprised when I saw my train entering the station with just about 5 minutes delay.  I step in the coach number 3 as stated on my ticket.  The wagon looks pretty full and there are no fans.  When I booked my ticket the employee asked me if I wanted fans and I remember I said yes. So I just turn around and enter the other wagon which indeed has fans running on the sealing.  This wagon is also pretty full but I mange to find a seat in-between 2 others on a bench, I was supposed to have seat number 24, but I guess nobody really care about where you have to sit, and on top of that I don’t see any numbers.

On my left a young lady half sleeping on the bench, her head hanging outside by the window, on my right a kind of playboy with a white suit and dark sunglasses.  Seats are wooden bench, no confy cushion or any softening for your bum for the next 4 hours. So i just relax and look around me.  Many foreigners are also in the train and we all exchange smiles.

The controller comes into our coach  and as in the old time I can hear the tick tick from his punching machine.  I can’t hide my big smile thinking about Serge Gainsbourg with ” le poinçonneur des lilas” and straight away the music plays in my head.

He arrives by my side and I hand him my ticket.  As for any other ticket he looks at mine to check its validity and probably the coach number and seat number.  Unlike with others, he does not punch mine and goes straight to his radio and start talking.  He walks away till the end of the wagon then comes back still talking in his radio, holding my precious ticket in his other hand.

I don’t know why but I have the strenge feeling this could only happen to me, Just like Monsieur Hulot.

I think to myself I am in the wrong wagon, and I should have stayed in the number 3 as sated on my ticket, maybe I did not received a ticket including fan…. I will probably be fined for taking the wrong seat in the wrong wagon.

Now he is yelling in his radio.  I look around me to get some help and explanation from locals around me hoping they could translate what is happening.

Meanwhile the controller was gone again still holding my ticket, a lady in front of me explains me in her broken English that I am in the wrong train.  That this train is heading north while I am going north-east.

How is this possible. I asked the steward on the platform if this train was mine showing my ticket and he confirmed…  Well it looks like this train was stoping in the same station, at the same platform, but was also late, and mine was probably even more late…..

The controller comes back to me and asks me to stand up, to take my bags and follow him.  We get to the end of the wagon, doors are wide open even-though the train is at full speed.  The controller goes down the steps and hangs outside the carriage, he looks at me and make me understand I have to follow him….. Are we going to jump???  Or worse, just me as he has to stay in the train!  I must admit I don’t feel very confortable at the edge of the wide open door with the landscape passing in front of my eyes.

Suddenly I hear voices again coming out of his radio and the train start to slow down and finally stops at a station in the middle of nowhere.  The controller returns my ticket unpunched and tells me to get down the train and that I have to take the next train.

I thought I had to go back to Ayuthaya as I was going in the wrong direction.

On the platform another controller comes towards me as the train is going away from the station leaving me there and asks for my ticket.  He points a bench on the platform and asks me to sit down and wait a couple of minutes as my train will arrive.

A few minutes later, still on the platform in the middle of the sun a fade light appears on the horizon, the controller waves his red flag until the train stops in front of us.  The controller asks me to follow him to the car number 3 and asks me to get in the train.  Inside, another controller is there waiting for me, takes my ticket from the hand of the other controller and finally punch it, he then escorts me to my seat which has number 24 written on it.

I am so amazed by the kindness of all the people involved in this.  In fact I even don’t know if any of those  two trains where supposed to stop in this remote train station.  I can’t say how much gratitude I have for what happened.

Finally I am in my train heading Phimai, relaxed on my seat, writing those words with a precious view passing by the window.

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