Mind THE GAP Between The Train And It’s Closing Doors

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Mind THE GAP Between The Train And It’s Closing Doors

October 2010

Naples, Italy

On board the Cercumvesuviana for Naples from Sorrento

~

I should wake Cholo up from his sleep. We’re about to arrive in Naples already.

He still won’t budge. I’ll wake him in 5 minutes.

3 minutes later.

“Wake up Bubba. We’re almost there!”

I feel the Cercumvesuviana slowing down.

I stand up and wear my bag over my shoulders and proceed to the exit door.

I can see the station now. What is taking Cholo so long!?

I look back.

I see him roll the straps of his camera SLOWLY. I see him put his camera on the seat beside him SLOWLY.

I see him open his bag SLOWLY. I see him put his camera inside his bag SLOWLY.

The train has now stopped and I am now on the platform. I see Cholo stand up SLOWLY.

Everyone who needed to disembark has done so, except for Cholo.

I see Cholo decide to ask someone if this is the stop for Napoli Stazione Centrale. He turns to me and tells me it’s the wrong station.

I roll my eyes. I wanted to tell him that this was the platform we departed from going to Sorrento 3 days prior BUT…

The alarm goes off and the doors start to close!

I call out to Cholo in panic to tell him to come out, and he decides to ask the guy one more time.

When he got the answer he was longing for, he makes a mad dash.

Cholo Laurel gets caught between the closing doors.

~

January 2011

Singapore

On board the Circle Line enroute to  Changi Airport

~

There I was standing in the middle of the train holding on to the pole with one hand and the other on my luggage.

I look at Tita Aileen. I then shifted my gaze to Gigi and Blanche.

I looked over to Nat sitting in a corner with his eyes closed.  “I wonder why he’s sick?” I ask myself. “I hope he didn’t eat anything bad!”

I then shifted my gaze to the route map on top of the doors. I studied the route.

I turn to Tita Aileen and we start to discuss where we are to go down.

We came to the conclusion that we are to go down in Paya Lebar Station and make a transfer to the East West Line for Tanah Merah Station; where we are to make our final transfer for Changi Airport.

The MRT line zooms past apartment buildings and the occasional park. People go down in their respective stations and we start the cycle again.

As we were nearing Paya Lebar Station I announced to everyone that we are about to get down.

We all stood up when suddenly Nat spoke up. Despite being sick, had the energy to tell us that it was the wrong station.

Tita Aileen in a very calm way told him that we are to go down the station because we need to transfer to another train to go to Changi Airport.

After a few seconds of discussions Nat acquiesced. BUT As soon as He stands up…

The alarm goes off and the doors start to close.

Tor Torre makes a mad dash!

Tor Torre gets caught between the closing doors.

~

August 2011

Tokyo, Japan

On board the Skyliner for Narita International Airport Terminal 2

The Skyliner has now stopped.

I see people standing up and making their way to the exits.

I look at Cholo and he tells me in a whisper, “Wake up Tito Ken.”

I shook my head.

“You better do that because you’ve known each other longer.” was my reply.

He walks over to the seat in front of us, shakes Tito Ken gently.

Tito Ken wakes up.

We make a bee line for the exit with Tito Ken leading the way.

Tito Ken makes it to the platform while Cholo and I retrieve our luggage from the stowage area near the exit.

We moved around the other passengers luggage in haste. I got to mine first.

I turn the corner  and to my horror, the door was more than half way closed!

I shouted “Sumimasen kudasai!” (which was actually the wrong thing to do because it just means “Excuse me please!”)

I grabbed the handle but it doesn’t seem to stop!

I started running my fingers around the side panels of the door, hoping to find a button to stop the damned door from finally closing!

My emotions were a blend of stupidity, horror and amusement (which left me dumbfounded!).

I turned around and faced Cholo.

Tor Torre and Cholo Laurel missed their stop.

~

When traveling on a train, IMO here’s what you need to do:

  1. Don’t sleep. Not unless you’re sure that your stop is at the very end of the train ride. Sleeping will only make you groggy and disoriented when you wake up.
  2. Never take your time in a train. Remember that trains keep to their schedules. They arrive and depart with or without you.
  3. Always research in advance. Know which routes to take and know at which stop you are to embark or disembark.
  4. Always make sure that your luggage is within reach and it’s not piled behind the luggage of other passengers. It takes time to move heavy luggage around.
  5. Make sure never to stay at the end of the line, there’s a more likely chance that you’ll end up missing your stop.
  6. If you miss your stop, just know that you can always go back from where you came from.

P.S.

Cholo and I were still able to make it to our connecting train from Naples to Rome.

Auntie Aileen, Gigi, Blanche, Nat and I were still able to make our transfer to the East West Line for Changi Airport.

Cholo and I missed our stop at the Narita International Airport Terminal 2 and found ourselves at Terminal 1.When we alighted, I directly went to a station personnel and told him of what happened. He was very kind in helping us find our way to the other platform where we were to ride a local train that would pass by Terminal 2 on its way to the City.

When we arrived at the Philippine Airlines check-in counter we saw Tito Ken standing in line, laughing at us. He already surmised what happened. He told us it’s okay, that happened to him too! Unlike Cholo and I, the reason he missed his stop was because he fell asleep.

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