There were smiling children all the way. Charily they knew at what time the train passed their homes and they made it their business to stand along the railway, wave to complete strangers and cheer them up as they rushed towards Penang. Often whole families stood outside their homes and waved and smiled as if those on the trains were their favorite relatives. This is the simple village people of Malaysia. I was moved.
I had always traveled to Malaysia by plane or car, so this was the first time I was on a train. I did not particularly relish the long train journey and had brought along a dozen magazines to read and reread. I looked about the train. There was not one familiar face. I sighed and sat down to read my Economics.
It was not long before the train was across the Causeway and in Malaysia. Johor Bauru was just another city like Singapore, so I was tired of looking at the crowds of people as they hurried past. As we went beyond the city, I watched the straight rows of rubber trees and miles and miles of green. Then the first village came into sight, Immediately I came alive; I decided to wave hack.
From then on my journey became interesting. I threw my magazines into the waste basket and decided to join in Malaysian life. Then everything came alive. The mountains seemed to speak to me. Even the t rees were smiling. I stared at everything as if I was looking at it for the first time.
The day passed fast and I even forgot to have my lunch until I felt hungry. I looked at my watch and was surprised that it was 3:00 pm. Soon the train pulled up at Butterworth. I looked at the people all around me. They all looked beautiful. When my uncle arrived with a smile, I threw my arms around him to give him a warm hug (拥抱). I had never done this before. He seemed surprised and then his weather-beaten face warmed up with a huge smile. We walked arm in arm to his car.