Scenes from when my train broke down in Sri Lanka
The day was beautiful. Everything was perfect. Because the train journey to and from Galle was much easier than I expected, I was delighted to go on another 5-hour journey to Anuradhapura. The train wasn’t busy at all. We got comfortable seats, I settled in with my Kindle and camera. Different from the train to Galle, that runs along the Indian Ocean, this train was going through rice paddies and villages. I liked to see the wild ocean from my window, but I was happy to see the green patches and yellow coconuts.
I had a post planned out about two hours in. Photos of beautiful scenery, interesting people, and the joy; it would make a great photo post, I thought. The train was making quite an odd sound, we were noticeably running slow, but I thought that’s how it was in Sri Lanka.
We were supposed to arrive at 3pm or so, but by my Google Map, we were barely a halfway by the time. The train stopped at Kurungale, dropped people off, and it stopped altogether after 5 mins. I thought it was the usual running-slow occasion that already happened many time today, but people were starting to talk more loudly, pointing outside. There was obviously something wrong.
People were starting to heading out to see what was going on. I pulled my head out to the window to scope out the situation. Something wasn’t working. We were barely out of Kurungale Station, and mechanics were examining the train. I’ve never on a broke down the train, I had to admit, it was quite exciting. How many times a person can see a broke down the train, and people squirming out from the compartments with their plastic bags, taped boxes, and duffle bags?
“You have to get out and take another train in an hour.”
Someone from the train station informed us. Apparently, the train was in a bad condition to run any further. The next train to Anuradhapura will be in an hour, and we were already three hours late from the schedule. We packed up. The amazing thing was, no one was complaining. I didn’t need to speak the language to understand the tone of complaining. They were just quietly packing up, standing in line to get out on the train, smiling even. I thought, if it happened in Seoul, everyone was on the phone, yelling at somebody, or shouting at conductor or something. I was quite impressed how people remained calm.
There was nothing violent happened. The train literally just stopped, and we got off. I got some of the best photos I took from Sri Lanka, met some kindest people, and the five hours of the slow train ride wasn’t bad at all.