Reform Club

The Reform Club, 104 Pall Mall, London. Day 40 of 77 of Kembara Kretapi 2019. Alhamdullilah, to mark the halfway point that was reached on day 38.5, somewhere on the Arlberg Pass between Innsbruck and Basel on the Orient Express, we had a wonderful lunch with family and friends. The venue was quite appropriately The Reform Club in Pall Mall. It is of course immortalized as the place where Phileas Fogg placed the wager of twenty thousand pounds to go Around the World in 80 Days in Jules Verne’s famous book.

Thanks to the guests who made time to attend and share this joyous occasion with Mas and I, and especially to Pooma, as a member of the Reform Club to make this happen! We read from the opening lines of the 3rd chapter of Around the World in both English (by Tasnim) and the original French (by Pooma), from copies of the books from the club’s own library!

We also read from the famous opening paragraph of Paul Theroux’s classic account of Asia and back by train, The Great Railway Bazaar, the book that planted the seeds of this Kembara almost 40 years ago. Alhamdullilah, a special thanks to Kak Zaila and Abang Ezani who had me as their tenant in Colindale (3rd last stop on the Northern Line, Edgware branch) back in the early 80s, a period that permanently infected me with the wanderlust virus … hitchhiking and taking trains over thousands of kms around Europe and America between 1980 and 1983. I read GRB at 19, reread at 39, and InsyaAllah will do it and more before 59!

Syukur, Alhamdullilah; 40 days, 42 trains, 26,837km, 17 countries, 33 cities, 14 assorted cars, taxis, buses, ferries, tuktuks, trishaws and so on, first half of KK2019 has safely concluded. We look forward to the second half commencing Sunday 25/8 InsyaAllah. 🙏🏽🚂📖 #kretapikir. Video credit: Irwan, Mas


23 August 2019