Tuesday, November 27, 2012

KL Monorail: the world's sweetest means of transport - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The KL Monorail mouse-like nose
KL monorail looks like a toy, a model city train, a sort of Lima elevated railway line.
With its tiny stations, tiny tension structures, tiny bulbs, tiny signs, tiny traffic lights, tiny stairs to move between the tiny platforms, tiny cars, tiny mouse-like nose, tiny headlights, tiny seats, tiny doors, tiny alarms that signal when they are being closed, tiny voice announcing the tiny stops, tiny wheels, tiny rails, all those tiny curves that make the tiny route so winding. As a matter of fact the monorail, poor thing, has to adapt to everything and nothing in this city ever bothers to budge even a little for it. On top of that they only gave it one rail: for such a train two would have definitely be too many.
In Bangkok the Monorail has a bigger cousin: the bulky, self-assured, haughty Skytrain, which proudly advances in a straight line over the main city thoroughfares: few curves and obstacles to get around.
The Monorail, on the other hand, is some kind of a joke, and a tiny one at that, of course. Yet, it is so sweet: every time I get aboard it's as if a ghost pinched the corners of my mouth, stretching a big smile across my face. The further I walk into the car the stronger the ghost's fingers pull my flesh and the more that smile expands. Torrid heat, monsoon rain, traffic, smog, the situation outside can be desperate indeed but the KL monorail never lets you down: every time you use it you get in a good mood.

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