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Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Run

There was this one time at Kuala Lumpur KTM station.

I bought a ticket to Klang from the counter, which I fed into the ticket barrier. Upon retrieving the ticket spat out from the barrier, I noticed a blue train with yellow ends pulling towards the platform, a red sign reading "PEL. KLANG" behind its windscreen.

That's my train! I thought, and my feet immediately started moving.

I squeezed past the crowd on the escalator, taking two steps at a time, cursing the uncilivised Malaysians who took up the entire width of the escalator stairs.

"Excuse me!" I snapped at a fat lady blocking my way and she jumped aside. She must've been annoyed by me, but I paid no attention to her after shooting past her humungous body.

Jumping the last three steps of the escalator and landing with a crash, I quickly picked myself up again and got into a full-speed sprint, as the train pulled to a stop some 150 metres ahead of me.

Bloody hell, that was a long platform! Well not surprising, considering the KL station was used as a intercity railway station until relatively recently, and those KL-Singapore trains were darn long, often amounting to 25 individual cars or so.

So I ran. And I ran. I dashed so fast the contents of my bags were ratting within their containers. I'm sure if I strained my ear, I could hear water splashing in my bottle. Wind rushed through my face, brushing my forehead in a fruitless attempt to dry up newly formed drops of sweat before moving on to my (unfortunately) short hair. My old, faded jeans were complaining at their seams, but I paid no attention.

I could even imagine a video of me running in slow motion. My eyes wide open, staring straight at the doors of the train, hands clawing the air as if swimming. Every couple of second saw my feet stretched out before falling to the ground in turn to the beats of Chariots of Fire playing in the background. Pushing a man dressed in blue aside with a quick, rather insincere apology, I was gliding -- flying through the crowd in the heart of the railway station towards my goal, sweat and smoke trailing behind me, and nothing was going to stop me.

Just a few more steps, it's so close now...

But the door snapped shut before my very eyes.

Fuming with disappointment and rage, I jabbed at the "Open" button, hoping it'd work. This is it, I thought, I'm doomed! The giant lady and the guy in blue suit are all gonna get me, all because of this lousily maintained train with buttons that don't work! I stabbed the button again, breathing fast, blood pounding against my temple.

Suddenly, to my utter amazement, the doors slid open in one smooth action.

I squeezed in quickly, and the doors fell close again a couple of seconds later. As the train left the station, I pulled a face to the blue-guy and waved farewell.

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