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You know what the problem is? It’s too hard for the train driver to keep the train on the tracks. For as meagre a salary as he gets, I’d delay the train too!

So I bought a ticket, and had a look.

The first thing that struck me was the curiosity of the lady at the ticket office. She asked me where I was going… I told her Chiang Mai, but decided to get off in Phitsanulok instead; this way at least she wouldn’t know where I was!

I settled down in the back of the train, which happened to be an old fashioned one, with a locomotive at the front, and a window facing backwards. Watching the tracks shoot from under me, seeing the rails meet far in the distance almost put me to sleep. When we changed tracks, the interruption of the rhythm woke me up. And I was amazed indeed by the driver’s skill.

So I headed to the front, and found the driver only had an accelerator and a brake. When I asked how he steered, he explained me that the train was locked in the rails. This really dropped my respect for him more than a little. I thought he’d have to keep the train on the tracks with a wheel!

So was my daddy right?

Obviously not! You can’t blame a snail for being slow! You can’t blame the hare for losing from the tortoise! The driver isn’t the cause for the delayed train. It’s the people lazying around boarding and alighting. There are just too many lovers determined to stretch their semi-dramatic good-byes. And in some countries, there are too many people who think it’s wise to board without letting anyone get off.

I can see only two ways to make all trains run on time. One is a lot cheaper than riding a train in the first place, the second one is cheap.

The first one is simple: just stay at home. What is the real desperate need to travel in the first place? Stay home! It saves you the train ticket, and if there are no passengers, there’s no one to notice the delayed train! In this day and age, can’t we all work from home? I’m doing it! You’re reading the result.

The second one involves buying a large bag of chilli peppers. It is common knowledge among the Dutch, that putting pepper in one’s bottom, makes that person rush. So take the peppers to the station, and just before your train arrives, apply the pepper to your fellow passengers in the appropriate place. This will make everyone rush into the train, and keep the train running on time!

Previously posted on My.Opera, when they still had a blogging service. I’m rerunning the Daddy Said series here; when I feel like, I’ll write a new episode. This one I wrote in 2009. Even the sentence about working from home isn’t new!