M'sian City Life #33: A 5-Year-Old's First Experience Of Taking The Train In KL

"As we grow up, everything becomes less interesting. You start to develop stress and anxiety."

Cover image via Fadza Ishak

Recently, Fadza Ishak brought his niece on a "mini-adventure" to the Kuala Lumpur city centre.

He decided that it was time his niece experiences the thrills of riding a train.

Image via Fadza Ishak

"When I was a kid, I remember that every step is part of an adventure. When I got into a public bus, I felt l like I was the one who was driving the vehicle. When I stepped outside, I always imagined that I was in an enchanted forest where I am about to disembark into a super cool adventure. But not until my mum called me to come home as it was getting dark. I obeyed," the 32-year-old Fadza Ishak recalled.

Bringing his niece, Nadine Soraya, out in the city he grew up in reminded him about finding joy in the simplest things such as riding the public bus or train. It was also a day where he reminisced his own experiences as a little boy in Kuala Lumpur.

"As we grow up, everything becomes less interesting. You start to develop stress and anxiety. Your imagination is gone and you are stuck in a harsh reality that everything you are doing now is just for the sake of bills. You no longer have any carefree time for yourself."

However, for a kid like Nadine, even what seemed to be a mundane trip to the city centre could be an adventure

Image via

With a little backpack hanging by her shoulders, the five-year-old carried her overflowing enthusiasm and excitement to wherever she went

Image via Fadza Ishak

"We took the train to the city centre as we thought that this was the best way to educate her and expose her about one of Malaysia's public transport system."

"One thousand and one questions were asked throughout the whole the journey," the freelance travel and documentary photographer said, referring to his niece's endless curiosity.

"What's that sound?"
"Hey, it stopped!"
"Why are people going in and out of this train?"
"Hey, what is that there?"

Naturally, the little adventurer had a lot of questions on her mind as it was her first time taking the train. She wasn't afraid of expressing her excitement over the little things she discovered.

Image via Fadza Ishak

"She asked a lot of questions, and we managed to answer a few of them. Some we answered it directly as it is easy to explain what is going on. Some other questions required more understanding so we just allowed her to make sense of things based on her own imagination."

Fadza is of the opinion that some kids like Nadine rarely get the chance to experience what is it like to ride on public transportation at their early age, which results in them having little confidence when they have to do it alone later.

The short trip reminded Fadza that he too, was once like Nadine, curious and constantly fascinated by the smallest of things

Image via Fadza Ishak

"There are not many differences between Nadine and me as a kid. When I was a kid, I used to have this imaginary friend that would be on the bus with me whenever I travelled to the city with my dad. I would pretend to talk to someone, and that was exactly what Nadine did when we took the train."

"As I grow up and become older, I wish that we could retain this sort of imagination, even if it's just a fragment of it. We don't need drugs to enhance and make our imagination run wild, we just need to be ourselves and off we go. Our imagination will get us going."

Fadza is also reminded that children should not be confined within the four walls of a room but allowed to go outside to experience the true beauty of nature

Image via Fadza Ishak

"Most kids these days are given smartphones or tablets to play with or to keep them occupied. But there are real discoveries and adventures awaiting them outside."

"Let kids be kids, let them explore. They may ask a lot of question now, but soon you will miss all this. They will grow up and all this role-play may just another memory that you keep inside you photo albums or home videos."

"A child is the greatest gift that God has bestowed on us. Cherish them. Love."

Living in the city ain’t a piece of cake but it could also be exciting and adventurous. How are you coping? How are you making the best out of things? Do you have a story or experience to share?

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Stay tuned for the next episode!

Previously on Malaysian City Life #32, Esther Erin shared her incredible story as a sibling to a cancer survivor: