Wednesday, June 17, 2009

River Kwai and POW Museum

Showering on a train - not that bad. It helps that there are handrails all over to grab on to when the train jerks to a sudden stop, or moves forward really quickly all of a sudden.

They came over the loudspeaker to tell us to meet at the center of the train to disembark for the River Kwai station. From there, we took a barge down the river to a Chinese temple, and loaded busses to take us to the POW Museum and cemetary.

our train on the bridge over the River Kwai

The river was scenic, and there were all kinds of houses along it. While we were on the barge, one of the founders of the museum spoke to us about the history of the bridge and the events leading up to it. It was pretty fascinating.

The museum was really interesting, but also really depressing. They had displays about the POWs and the situations they lived and worked in. Most were Australian, British, and Dutch, but there were also a few Americans, and a large number of Asian workers that were not POWs but lived in similar (and often worse, because they didn't have a military hierarchy to help develop a structure) conditions.

The cemetary was huge, and, of course, a bit depressing. There were flowers that had been placed in our room the night before, and we brought them with us to place on the graves.

POW Cemetary

After the cemetary we boarded the train again, and finished up our Malaysia and Singapore paperwork so that we could pass them and our passports to our Steward for border issues. I'm apparently a bit of a control freak, because I wasn't thrilled with the idea of giving the passports to someone else, but we went ahead and did it. And then I napped, as it is a favorite passtime of mine.

Lunch, again, was amazing, and then we went to the bar car for a tropical fruit exhibition. I always thought I wasn't a big fruit person, but apparently I make exceptions for South East Asian fruit, because it was all pretty amazing.

lunch menu

We got afternoon tea served in our cabin, and are now just lounging around, reading and typing up entries on Defiant (the name of our laptop, which I have nicknamed Little D), while observing the awesome Thai countryside. Will's doing his nap now, since we have another 9:15 call time for dinner, and have been told that this meal we'll be seated with another couple (we were alone again for lunch), so we need to make sure we're awake enough to be *on*!

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