Train from Danang to Hue

All aboard

All aboard

Soft seats

Soft seats

Hard seat

Hard seat

4 travelers and only 3 soft seats with air con. Bill takes the hard seat with no air.

It’s only a 3 hour trip – what can go wrong? It’s our lucky day.

The soft seats are last in the car. Kim and Stephen take 2 seats together. My seat is filled with a 75 lb. 75 year old Vietnamese women in pjs, knees scrunched up to her belly. I show her my ticket and she slides half way over to the next seat – not bothering to move the travel bags which also occupy her seat.
2 women sit in the 6 inches of unoccupied space between the wall and the back of our seats.
Half way through eating a Ritz cracker my seat mate starts throwing up. Yummy! Her napkin fills, spilling vomit on the floor next to my feet. I offer a plastic bag – Kim offers wipes. The plastic bag is immediately used but the wipes are stored for later.
My seat mate leans over to try to clean the floor and Kim spots a cricket on her back. I brush it away only the have it hop back on her leg. Kim starts shrieking.
Crickets and ...

Crickets

We look to the floor to recon the damage. Under her tiny brown feet there is a card board box poked full of holes and with crickets escaping! Crickets everywhere! Kim’s eyes are huge – she is petrified.
What is really in the box? The conductor passes and I point to the box – a flurry of activity follows.
The conductor quickly removes the box and puts it in a cabinet behind our seats – returns to get a second (unknown) box from under my feet and attempts to get a third box from under Kim’s. She hops out of her seat, eyes big as saucers and tells the conductor not to touch the box until she moves.
Now scared, the conductor leaves the box under her seat! What to do? Kim sat on her feet until there was no feeling left in her legs.
Kim escaping the crickets

Kim escaping the crickets

The boxes caused concern amongst the conductors – one by one they stopped by the cabinet to take a peek. Curious, I tried to join them only to be turned away.
Things settled down. The boxes always in our subconscious.
A Vietnamese woman picked up her 6″ tall plastic stool, placed it next to Kim’s seat and started speaking in rapid fire Vietnamese. Quick to bore with Kim’s limited Vietnamese she leaned over my arm rest hoping I had more to say. Taking out my cell, I taught her to play Angry Birds instead.
Is Bill having this much fun?
What was in the box? I say a snake.
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About Bill and Paige

Years ago we were bitten by the Wanderlust bug and the result was a serious case of “we gotta get out of here” syndrome. Pressed for time to see the world – we want to live it, breathe it, feel it and give back! So… we’re on the move!

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