If I remember correctly the ticket was 30'000 Ringit which amounts to a few Euros I think. The train is meant to come at 0930 and it was meant to be a 3 hour journey to a connecting city (from there catch another one to Bali).
On the platform there were many people waiting for the train and as the tracks were on the same level as the platform it was not a problem to walk over them. This made it very noisy when a train was trying to get through as the train was always sounding of its horn to warn people that yes, you may be killed if you have lunch on the track.
At that point I had little water and thought that it would be a good idea to replenish my stocks. The problem was that I was on the platform already and any water around would be had at a higher price. Nevertheless I went ahead paid the few extra pennies and stocked up - a decision that most probably saved my life.
That's when this boy, I would say around the age of 16, came over and started talking in English. I was a bit weary at first but then his 14 year old girlfriend rocked up along with his family. He was a real talkative person and at times I was a bit overwhelmed by it all. He, nevertheless, insisted that I should join him and his family on the train so that we can continue the monologue.
That's when the train pulled in and it was a real effort to get on. The pushing and shoving of the ferry, to get to Jakarta, was slow and genial in comparison. Everybody was already quite packed on the train and it didn't help matters that families were bringing giant bags of luggage with them. I remember, whilst still pushing to get through the cabin door, somebody must have seen me (the only foreigner in sight and most probably on the train) said to me 'Welcome to Indonesia!!' I don't think many foreigners would jump on such a cheap and crowded train so I think I surprised them a bit, especially when I joined in the pushing and shoving.
Clearly if the train is crowded there are no seats available and so I was left at the mercy of this overwhelming natterer I had come across on the platform. He was having lewd and dirty conversations with his girlfriend in English which was a bit embarrasing to hear. He turns out, according to him, to be 28 and not 16 which I was a bit shocked at because I would never have guessed but I didn't dare ask about the girlfriend.
At times when this person was not talking to me and talking dirty with this girlfriend I took the opportunity to look around the train. It was very crowded, with 4 people to every 3 seats and with people standing and sitting on luggage in the aisle. The exception was the seats held by a band of military men, all with shaven hair and all with crisp uniforms. Nobody dared asked them to budge up - perhaps out of fear or perhaps out of respect.
The day outside was hot (don't forget at the time it was Summer) and so the train was hotter. People had opened the windows to as far as they could but the breeze that they caught was not enough to give much respite against the heat. I was thanking the heavens that I overcame my stubborness and bought an extra bottle of water otherwise I most probably would have fainted. The heavens, it seems, did not forget me as a seat came up right next to the window, and so I rushed to get my things together. Sitting down, with the train chugging along, and with a breeze in my hair, was pure bliss. It was about an hour and a half from entering the train till I had found a seat.
The natter box had never been far behind and so he sat next to me to continue his onslaught. I was quite tired and a bit uncomfortable so I did not make much conversation. Things were not made easier by squeezing up to make space for an extra person on the seat but I took solace from the wind. The trouble was when the train stops as that is when the breeze halts. It is then that you really feel the heat on the train and start drinking water. If it wasn't for that extra bottle...
The train eventually arrived at the connecting town with nightfall with a 3 hour journey turned out to be 10 for whatever reason. 'Welcome to Indonesia!!' I heard someone say when I had got on the train.