When I was small, there were two things that always led me to a sense of panic. One was when I travelled by a bullet train with my parents.
At the main train station in my hometown, bullet trains have special platforms separate from those of the local trains, and they are located at the highest floor of the building. After passing the ticket gates and buying some snacks at a kiosk, we would go up one of the escalators to get to the platform.
Sometimes, our train hadn’t arrived yet, but other times, it was already there as we came out of the escalator onto the platform. As soon as I saw the train, I always started feeling restless.
“Mommy, Daddy, is that the one?” I would ask my parents eagerly as they walked on the platform looking for our carriage number. “Is this our train?”
Every time we came in front of an open door, I would ask them if we could get inside, but my parents told me to wait and follow them.
“This is our train, but we need to look for the right door.”
As we continued walking, I became more and more restless. I was afraid that the train might leave at any moment, leaving us behind.
“Let’s go inside,” I would beg my parents urgently. “Why don’t we go inside?”
Since all the carriages were connected by a corridor, it was possible to continue our search inside the train. But my parents were so focused that they didn’t listen to me. That made me even more anxious.
“Let’s go inside!” I cried desperately, stopping in front of one of the open doors. “The train will leave without us! We have to hurry!”
“Will you please calm down?” my mother turned around and told me in a stern voice. “The train won’t be leaving without us.”
Then she started walking again, but I stayed in front of the open door, hoping that my parents would change their mind and decide to go inside the train.
However, seeing that that was not going to happen, I started running after them, half crying, with a teddy bear backpack on my back.
“Mommy, Daddy, let’s go inside!” I shouted as I ran. “The train will leave without us! We have to hurry!”
The drama would continue until the moment my parents finally stopped in front of one open door and motioned me inside. As soon as I stepped inside the train, my sense of panic was gone, and I was now smiling, ready to enjoy my time on the bullet train.