Monday, March 11, 2013

Perhaps I'm just not cut out for train rides.

10 hours on an overnight train. Easy peasy, yes? You can just sleep the whole time, right?

No, friend. No you cannot!

First, let me paint the scene for you.

We had a little four-bed cabin on this train, that looked a little something like this:

Now, imagine this space, but half as "nice" and the pillows and blankets were re-used from the last trek of people, with zero cleaning or linen changes. {I fixed the pillow situation by laying my jacket over it to serve as a barrier between my head and someone else's germs.}

Also imagine the close proximity this must be for four strangers to share.
Sitting there...staring at each other awkwardly because there's not much else to do.
Sounds fun, yes?

Let me introduce you to our bunk-mates.

Roommate #1 was a hairy man from Norway. He was a fellow backpacker and pretty much stayed to himself on his upper, right bunk.

Was he as hairy as this man above? No. But isn't it just more fun to pretend that he was?
Also pretend that he was laying on his top bunk like this the entire time. Shirt off. Lustful look in his eyes.

Okay, enough. Moving on.

Roommate #2 was an old Vietnamese lady who stayed below the Norway guy on the bottom, right. DIRECTLY across from me. Watching. Staring.

Now, again, this didn't actually look anything like the real woman in front of me, but I thought it'd be good to have a visual for the rest of the story I'm about to tell you.

Homegirl here didn't speak a word of English. Not a word.
But did that stop her from having a full on one-sided conversation with us? No.
When she was done telling us whatever she was telling us, she would then lay down on her bottom bunk and pass out within seconds...snoring loudly, mind you.
THEN, she'd start talking again. In her sleep!
And we're not talking quiet mumbling like most sleep-talkers tend to do.
She was full on, normal voice, speaking.
To which we would immediately snap our heads up from the laptop to look at her because we thought she was awake again. But no. Not at all.
And THEN, several times, she would sit up straight in her bed, wide awake from her dead sleep.
Stare at us for a bit.
Say something in Vietnamese.
Then point at the door until V Dizzle would open it for her so she could go to the bathroom.

On top of this on and off act from her, it was almost impossible to sleep on the train. We were rocking back and forth, so violently sometimes, that I was sure we would fly off the train tracks and plummet to our deaths. Or the top bunks would break loose from their bolts and crush the unlucky bottom-bunkers.
It felt stronger than even the worst turbulence I've experienced before.

But alas, by the miracle of Zeus, I must have dozed for a few hours.

And whilst I was sleeping up top, The VietDizzle was having himself a GRAND ol' time with who-he-now-refers-to-as "Gram Gram."
It's the middle of the night.
She's talking to him in Vietnamese.
She's giving him bananas to eat.
He's giving her granola bars to eat.
She's trying to get him to open the window so she can throw trash outside the moving train.
He has a little chuckle when she motions that it's okay to litter, no big deal.
Their little secret kind of thing.

So basically, they were having themselves a little train party while I was rocking away on the top bunk.

Around 7am or so, with still a few hours to go, I was jerked awake with yet another violent train movement.
But I couldn't go back to sleep because now "Gram Gram" has invited two of her little friends to come hang out on her bottom bunk with her!
They were having themselves a grand ol' time, let me tell you.
Kind of like these ladies:

^^^This is somehow what Google produces when I type in 'old ladies'...???^^^
And let me just say, I don't think they understood what it means to whisper.
They were just jibber-jabbin' away! With not a care in the world!

Needless to say, it wasn't the best night of sleep in my life.
But maybe that's just me.
Maybe I just can't "rough it" like the rest of the world.
And that's probably not even roughing it to most of you.
The Dizzle didn't seem to mind it at all.
Then again, he did score himself a new "Gram Gram."

Anyway, I'd like to say I'll never be doing that again.
But guess who's hopping on a SIXTEEN hour train ride this Wednesday night to Hanoi?
If you guessed me, you would be right.

It's possible I will be taking enough Xanax to knock me out for all 16 hours. Who knows.


PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket Photobucket


  1. Wow that sounds exhausting! I don't know if anyone is cut out for a trip like that!!

  2. All I will say is this;

    Take this awful experience and chalk it up to "character building".
    Then take this character building and forget it never happened.
    Knock yourself out Wednesday good and proper...

    p.s those pictures...totally helped me paint a picture..

  3. I would definitely take the Xanax! Not sleeping is not an option...
    At least you guys will have all of these hilarious stories to bring home with you =)

  4. these kind of travel stories are the best. vdizzle sounds like he may be THE most patient man in the whole world.

  5. Bahahaha, you're posts never cease to make me laugh! Ole Gram Gram liked her some VDizzle. Hope your 16 hour train ride is better than this one, oh and I hope my Monday is better than this 10 hour train ride you mentioned. :)

  6. LOL my favorite part of this is the visual of Vdizz and the lady having this secret rendevouz, sharing food and secrets without you. EPIC.

  7. oh my goodness, what an adventure. hoping the next train ride is better!

  8. Just reading that made me stressed out. Maybe it's cause Bean is super obsessed with trains these days, and now you're living life aboard a train....I can't take anymore choo-chooooo-ing! (As I'm sure, you are too:-) xoxo

  9. 16 hours OMG! But I do love the gram-gram stories!

  10. Where can I get one of those boob collars? ;)

  11. Girl, this has just been so funny to read! Thanks for the laugh!

  12. Oh boy! I need a comfy bed and quiet environment to sleep too. That last graphic is hilarious.

  13. Dude, buy plane tickets. We still shudder at the hell that is Vietnam trains.

  14. Haha wow!! I love your stories and descriptions!

  15. OMG awful!!! That's exactly what I was afraid of when we did our Amsterdam to Stuttgart overnight train so we upgraded so we could have a double. It's just as tiny but at least you got it to yourself. We ended up sharing a bunk which was a big mistake. We put our luggage on the upper one but we should have had our own as it was super uncomfortable.

  16. I remember sitting on a couple overnight train rides in Taiwan as a kid. First, it's old, smelly and PACKED with people... people who a bunch of shi*t. Good luck on your 16 hour ride though! Also, disappointed... thought you saw a lady wearing that on the train. That would of been awesooooome. Or buy me one :)

  17. My train ride from Paris to Venice was awful. I couldn't sleep at all either. Then of course the police stopped the train because there was some terrorist on board and they searched all of our cabins. I think trains just bring "fun" circumstances your way.

  18. I love the "tattoo" of the angel/fairy(?) surrounding the nipple of the lady on the right. What a great story!

  19. bahaha! i would call it quits on the trains if i were you! i'm glad i can say i had a more positive experience than this but i'm scared to say that we may be taking trains when we go to vietnam also. dun dun dunnnn

  20. OH MAN! What an adventure! LOL Gram Gram....hahahahahaha!

  21. Um, I would've died.
    Kudos to you and V-Dizzle for sucking it up and doing it.
    Ew..that picture of mister sasquatch makes me want to vomit.



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