The house in which I lived before was near the railway station. Trains used to pass by at regular interval and I had become so familiar with their sound and sight that I took little interest in them.
It never occurred to me that I might make journey by train some day. However, when my father decided to take up a new appointment in the place where we now live, it was decided that we should travel by train. It was only then that I discovered how pleasant a journey by train might be.
My father, mother and I boarded a train one afternoon. As the train moved out of the station, I began to think of the days I had spent in our old house which I could still see from the train. But soon the house went out of sight, and I began to think of my journey itself.
The train was now moving quite fast. The first thing that impressed me was the beauty of the landscape. There were green valleys, and tropical plants could be seen everywhere. In certain places there was tall grass. All this reminded me of the geography lessons I had in the classroom. Several palm-oil and rubber plantations could be seen now and then. Sometimes I saw a few houses here and there. I also saw many vegetable gardens at several places.
The train stopped at many stations, and soon it became dark. But sometime later the moon appeared and the landscape looked romantic. As I looked outside, I felt a thrill of admiration for the great artistry of nature.
Inside the train, too, everything was interesting. Some restless passengers moved about aimlessly and their restlessness was amusing. Some were sleeping with their mouths wide open, into which some mosquitoes blundered. Others were reading magazines and newspapers. Occasionally, the ticket-checker passed by. At one corner I saw two policemen keeping a close watch on a man who was hand-cuffed.
At every station a few passengers alighted from the train while a few boarded it. Whenever the train stopped at a big station, I saw a large number of people on the platforms, smartly dressed, and often smiling. As the train moved out, many waved their hands and the passengers too waved in response. After we had passed several stations, I felt sleepy and closed my eyes. When I opened them, I saw the dim light of the dawn. I looked outside and saw the mist-covered plants. The air was fresh, and some birds were flying about. The scene looked extremely beautiful and I was lost in admiration of it. But we soon arrived at our destination and my enjoyment came to an end.
Topic 21: A journey by train
1. interval (n): thời gian giữa hai sự kiện; khoảng thời gian
2. appointment (n): công việc được bổ nhiệm, sự hẹn gặp