Monday, April 1, 2013

Nha Trang bound

We caught the 6:25am train out of Saigon station (Ga Saigon) on Wednesday bound for Nha Trang. We had tickets for 2 soft sleepers in a four berth compartment.

Despite the trains being a tad old and rundown the sleepers were not too bad. They even had power sockets for us to charge our devices which was a bonus.

They also had carts selling food and drinks coming through regularly, and we purchased some hard boiled eggs which were still steaming hot.

For the majority of our train ride we shared our room with a young mother and her little girl who is only 2 months older than Kien. Man, if we thought Kien was feisty this little girl can sure give him a run for his money. Also when she saw Kien's koala she just wanted it, and after borrowing it for a few minutes to hold she didn't look like she had any intentions of giving it back. Kien couldn't handle seeing someone else with koala, so he went over to her to get it back. There's something cute and morbidly funny about 2 kids who don't speak the same language trying to talk to each other; one saying, "I want my koala back", in Engligh, while the other says, "I want this bear", in Vietnamese, and then since neither can understand each other they resort to pushing and there is a tug of war, and then a smile from one child who proudly exclaims, "I got him! I got koala", and wailing from the other child. Her mother waved a lollipop at Kien and pointed at koala, Kien did the exchange, and all was peaceful for half an hour. Then he decided he wanted koala back, and so he went to get it. The girl sobbed for forty five minutes, and I could hear her getting told off by other people on the train. But once the koala episode was over they were both fine with each other.

It was an interesting journey; seeing the countryside from a different perspective, and the contrast between towns where some have lush patty fields while others are bone dry.

7 hours later we were in Nha Trang. We caught a taxi to my great aunt's place. This is where we met up with my family.

At the front of her house is a little shop, similar to a convenience store, and she sells anything and everything, from lollies and chips to nappies and beer, cigarettes by the carton or packet or individually if you like, and water, juice, and petrol for scooters. Here she is measuring out a litre of fuel for the guy to put in his scooter.

Nha Trang is the same as how I remember it, and of course different at the same time. It's weird being here with my family; this is the first time I've been back to Vietnam with my dad since we jumped on a boat and escaped this place so many moons ago.


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