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I love trains, much more than planes, definitely.
The Philippines would be so amazing if we had a modern railway system, for example, that can take us to Baguio within hours. Hopefully it would be a nice train like Hong Kong’s Airport Express, but that’s just asking for the moon.

Hong Kong Airport Express H204
Hong Kong Airport Express H204

I love train-themed movies like Silver Streak and Murder on the Orient Express.

silver_streak murder-on-the-orient-express-1974

I find trains romantic. I wish I could read books in them, but I get so dizzy.
Jeroen and I once took the train from Utrecht, the Netherlands to go to Lourdes, France. It has many stops and train changes, the last leg of which took about nine hours.
This time around, we took the Thalys train that went from Amsterdam to Paris and back.


What I love about riding trains is the beautiful view and the fact that we’re not flying and I’m not scared to die.
What I hate:
1) When the seat faces the opposite direction and some people get dizzy. Or when we have to sit next to a stranger.
2) It’s a hassle to lug your luggage to the train and keep an eye on them.
3) Pickpockets, although I have never experienced them.
4) Expensive, tasteless food. Thank God you can bring baon, but better not eat or drink because of:
5) The worst smelling toilets you can imagine.


If you think the Philippines has bad toilets, you need to experience toilets in European trains. The toilet in our Thalys train makes NAIA toilets look like Peninsula Tokyo.
While I try very hard not to use the toilet until we arrive at our destination, here’s what I have to do if I absolutely have to use the WC—tie a scarf around my face, not breathe, move quickly, and hope I don’t get locked in.

What I do when I enter the public toilet

I look like a terrorist.
In spite of that I don’t mind taking the train again, but Jeroen says there are tourist buses that can take us from Utrecht to Paris or London in a few hours. There are stopovers, which means you are not compelled to use the bus toilet. You can go down for a snack or toilet break, and you can take bigger pieces of luggage for shopping purposes.
Unless of course those toilets are also scary.

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