Thailand from the train

‘A most peculiar station’

Ban Pin; km 563 + 860 meter but for the real city dweller situated in the middle of nowhere. The holy country side but nothing there unless one favoured the railway and especially their structures. If a Thai architect came up with this brilliant idea, he had a provoking mood, or was it Louis Weiler and his co-workers who left the mark by the time of constructing the railway and for the locals to be wondered. The building is anything except Thai design. Style wood be a big word for the overall situation, beside temples, spirit houses and crematoria, one hardly can call the construction of buildings in Thailand a manner or I do as I want must be considered as such. A style represents thinking and reflects an art and moreover in the repetition with or without slightly changed ornaments.
Every country deserves the way they build but when you live there sometimes there’s a sense of seeing different things, a harmonious entity and that’s more than one building only fit for the purpose. Sehnsucht – the lovely build inner parts of particular old small cities in Germany though as a gift from heaven this beautiful station building, enough to enjoy the time between two trains in the same direction and have a closer look at the details.
Indeed it seems to be a fine piece of German construction work, bluish-grey and this resemblance even more a long forgotten German atmosphere. A rural station with all the ins and outs that comes along, foremost tranquillity and the staff who by all means is proud to serve the place and try to keep it adorable.
Besides the building there’re only two things pleasing the eyes. A living quarter on wheels; two old covered goods put on a piece of rail connected by a balcony in between, makes a nice home for whom who doesn’t care about the ultimate luxury, or just a simple shelter for ‘a buff’ with more than a dream about trains only. Five sets are placed beside the end of the platform.
The other feature is an abandoned signal box on stilts, it still stands there deprived from the wires once popping out of her belly. It is a nice balance for the architecture as a whole, a momentum in time. A look at Ban Pin beyond the station foreground makes clear why it never will be put on the tourist map, though it has more to offer than most, I think still not enough.

A clean swept street along a row houses with shopping facilities and the certainty that nothing will disturb the peace. Well; a few youngsters on a motorbike always are willing not to obey. “He you!” Remarkable words so often heard once the paved tourist way left behind. The rest they shout is presumably not a treat for the ears; fortunately mine are deaf for local talk.

The station building alone is not worth to make a detour from the so called highlights of this country. The Tourist Authority of Thailand definitely likes to promote other things and that’s a pity, after all this is real Thailand and the way it developed these days, totally devoted to the Coca Cola culture. In case this should fail people are still capable to make an almost seamless switch to their own roots although I know a Thai who at first would have great difficulties with that. The urban Thai, a man from Bangkok, so much longer deprived from his rural background, or as I see it; a lifetime with the spirits. Not an animist out of proof but convinced by the superstitious talk that goes from mouth to mouth and generation on generation. Something in the city now has waned but in the province one still sings the song out of a compassioned heart. Hopefully they did not consider me as a spirit, a German ghost – disguised as a human for a while – walking around the building and praising the existence.
Sometimes things are too good to be true.

The building seen from the railway side.

Platform decoration

Living on and near the rails

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About Robert von Hirschhorn

Author / Performer or in Dutch: schrijver / dichter
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