Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

that train had done me in

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:58 PM
the night on halong bay was cold but although the room was tiny and without heater, it was comfortable and I had a good night sleep. No motorbike or traffic noise. no dogs barking. no people yelling. all quiet and serene. The breakfast was simple but nonetheless absolutely delicious. I had 3 full meals the day before but I've found myself hungry in the morning. The toasted sliced bread was surprisingly good, the fried egg filling and even the bacon was tasty. I didnt do the orange juice as I never did on my trips and didnt taste the banana but took a few pieces of pineapple for vitamin C. The coffee was OK and I was still waiting for the good vietnamese coffee. The boat chef showed us how to peel the fishing net from a carrot and how to cut a cucumber into a flower. This dude, who cooked our super delicious meals, was very young and good looking. He bowed and smiled and allowed us to take his picture with his creations. Back on land and the 4 hours drive back to the May de Ville hotel to pick up our big luggage. A few hours to while away before boarding the overnight Reunification train, for the 500KM to Hue. We found a french bakery and I had my first cake, a black forest that was neither sweet nor chocolaty. Bought a small round pizza for the evening meal on the train. Our first class cabin with soft beds was tiny for 4 people, with 2 bunk beds and I took one of the upper ones. however, the linen looked fresh, the walls equipped with good lighting (even reading light) and plenty of storage space on top. It even came with a table with complimentary water bottles, snacks and flower. 2 toilets, one on each end of the compartment. one was western and didnt smell too bad but the floor was wet because of the train rocking motion. 2 sinks on this side. the other toilet was eastern, smelly but the floor not so wet. After munching the cold tasteless pizza, I walked the train to discover what other classes were like. 2nd class compartments exactly the same as the first except for the cleaniness, lighting and complimentary stuff. 3rd class was airplane seating and then the next lower class simple hard benches. the toilets and sinks progressively got worse and smellier as you go down in class levels. The restaurant looked dirty and unsavory. Didnt linger there. back in our first class cabin, I perched on my top bunk and continued to read 'vulgar' while my 3 roommates played word games. The ride was jerky and loud with frequent hard brakes that woke you up. Nonetheless I've expected a good night sleep although the bed was hard (you call that a soft bed?) Around 5AM i ran for the nearest toilet and puked. Guess the pizza didnt get digested because it all came out. For the rest of the journey, I hung on our cabin door, in front of a big window, on the corridor. Never had motion sickness so bad, I thought. My last overnight train journey from budapest to bucharest was enjoyable and fun and i slept all through the night. and the cabin wasnt even as clean and nice as this one. so what happened this time? I puked a second time and the rest of whatever I had the night before came out too. When people started to wake up and get out of their cabins, I've discovered I wasnt the only one sick on the train.

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