The Train

I arrived at the train station via a 1960’s vintage Cycle, well maybe the word vintage is a little to strong of a word and I should have used run down or old.  It was about 10:00 when I arrived for the 11:00 train.  Attempted to confirm that I really had the correct place, ticket and time without any luck, but I could see train tracks so must be close.  It was 10:30 when a large door was opened and a “conductor” confirmed I was in the correct place and had the right train. 

Notice the nice sheet and pillow another story!

I was off to find car #8 and spot #19 that turned out to be a top bunk of a 2 bunk cabin with no lights or air conditioning.  I stashed my suitcase and locked it to a bar with my backpack in a top shelf next to my bed.  I was then joined by a Danish man and a Vietnamese woman both about my age and had the bunks on the other side of my cabin.  They found the light switch but had no success with the AC.  – The car was simply old and used did I say old and used.  It reminded me of the beds at boy scout camp. again old used and not ideal for actual sleeping.  Fortunately I had been up since 5:00AM and had a beer or two so falling asleep was not an issue, I was out before I the train started to move with my cash passport etc. tucked away on my body.  Ok so falling asleep was simple staying that way was not.  The train was so damn loud, hot and the last of our cabin passengers made an ungraceful entrance before hitting the bottom bunk below me.  Next was the woman having a nightmare and yelling in her sleep, the Danish man talking, light on and off, more talking etc… 

Train hallway to my cabin

 At one point I woke up to find the door to the cabin lock and the Danish man jumping up flipping the lights on and to talk to me – apparently the screaming earlier and all the talking was from the Vietnam man below me trying to take the woman’s cash and a little more if you get my drift!  We were now down to 3 in our cabin.

I had set my iPod to wake me at 5:00AM for a 5:35AM arrival.  Unlocked my things and went to the hallway to watch out the window.  Like a dog in a car, I had my head halfway out he window letting the cool air do it magic in waking me up.   It was that moment when it was no longer night and the day had not yet begun.  The almost full moon was setting and casting a reflective glow over the rice fields and rolling mountain framed everything.  Through the haze and mist you could feel the lush green of the trees and the ever so brilliant reflection off the rice paddies as then moon set, it was a magical moment to quote Mr. Kevin Been — it was that moment, when I was drunk on what I will remember as the real Vietnam, that I almost lost my head when the train approached a small narrow bridge!

Arived Safe!

About JSH

There are more than 195 countries in the world by my count and I want to see them all before they all start to look the same – The United Nations has 192 members, but they do not recognized two independent countries, the Vatican City and Kosovo. U.S. Department of State recognizes 194 independent countries around the world, but their list has a political agenda and is missing Taiwan. All of this is without getting into the dozens of territories and colonies that are sometimes called “countries” such as Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Greenland, Palestine, Western Sahara, and even the components of the United Kingdom (such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England) and without counting states and provinces like Texas and Montréal that think they are independent countries. No madder how you count or tag them they are changing, starting to look the same and losing a little bit of themself every day. I do not want to see the world through the eyes of Las Vegas or Disney, like reading the Cliff Notes of a Hemingway novel; you get the idea but miss the point! Life is short, but how long live is up to you…
This entry was posted in Travel, Travel tip, Vietnam and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Train

  1. Mom says:

    I know that in Vietnam you are a little warm but here in Fort Covington it was 5 below zero this morning and it is going to be the same tonight!

  2. Alice says:

    Your mother is polite. Maggie and I say – enough with the darn warm weather talk!! It is friggin’ cold here 🙂

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