12.5.05

If You Train, Don't Drive

At the ripe old age of 31, my complete lack of knowledge about and enthusiasm for driving surprises many. Cars - symbols of industrialistcapitalistcolonialist america! And as the president of the environment action group in my junior college days (an 8 member-strong incarnation of Captain Planet, determined to recycle every scrap of torn love letters and mis-applied lecture notes our peers so carelessly discard), perhaps a small voice of protest still remains.

Most probably it's just laziness. Plus the truth is, drivers miss out on so much that happens on public buses and trains. Well, nothing actually HAPPENS on buses and trains. Arrivals and departures. Conversations on the mobile phones. Many gameboy battles lost and won. Lovers doing some public loving. But mostly naps...people dozing off, dreaming private dreams. Nothing happens, and everything happens.

Kidnap Droolpeacefully kidnap

Just last week, we attended a conference on taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao Hsien as part of the SIFF's retrospective on him. Taking the cue from Hou's latest film, Cafe Lumiere, the first paper used Hou's scenes of train stations and train cabins to trace what really is the writer's own personal jresponse to cinematic sublimity and quiet. The writer made an interesting observation: that every time cars appear in Hou's films, it's a sign that something bad is going to happen. Trains are the location for occasions of silent, almost transcendent, love and union. Once inside cars, lovers break up, all relations crumble.

lovers napI repeat: Take the train. Don't drive.

3 comments:

Aylmer said...

The point is if the train is ever soooooo empty.... i will take it. Otherwise, i still say DRIVE. at least its not body squeezing bodies. Or an odor all mixed up that if can really collect that distinctive odor.... you will strike it risk and call it a new brand of parfume known as the "Sweaty Train Smell"

And lastly, you will not see THAT loud talking auntie who expects the world to give her the seat!

Tym said...

I miss taking the train, partly because it was a great place to get some serious reading on the way to/from work. (I get motion sickness if I read on the bus.)

Even when the train is full, it doesn't smell as bad as the bus!

ampulets said...

I'll rather risk having to deal with funny smells. Or the temptation that all these folks who have bought Roti-Boy bring along with them on the train/bus.

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