We set off to Hanoi from Hoi An armed with 10 small cans of lager and 6 chupa chups lollipops. It was an 18 hour train ride. This gear is strong but probably 10 cans was about right to take the edge off the long, long journey ahead.
· 5 pm can number 1, hmmm nector!! The train journey just began and we’d just introduced ourselves to a Canadian couple who we were sharing our 4 birth cabin consisting of 2 bunks. The usual introductory travellers questions where asked. Any one who has travelled will know the three basic questions are, Where are you from? Where are you heading to? Where have you been?
· Can number 2, and the Canadian couple have a can with us. Were starting to get the taste now and the conversation was flowing.
· Can number 3 and a kiwi couple from down the carriage way, see the party and introduce themselves to us all. Same travellers questions, Where have you been? Where are you going? Where are you from? They seem a really nice couple and the male kiwi had proposed to his girl recently so the female kiwi was eager to talk about the proposal. Drinks flowing nicely now.
· The trolley dolly makes her way down the carriage just in time for more beers as the Canadian couple had helped miss Alex and me polish off our supplies pretty quick. Can number 4!!
· Can number 5, we find out the kiwis work in South Korea as English teachers, so this turns the talk political. I was intrigued to find out what its like with the North and South Koreans so tense. Very weird situation in that region, its almost as pathetic as 2 neighbours who just don’t like each other.
· Can number 6 and the kiwis get a mention from the Rugby World Cup in which they won late last year. The Canadians have the famous dime bar look on their faces!
· Can number 7 and the drinks are well and truly flowing now, the trolley dolly is back again with more supplies as we obviously underestimated how many cans we would all need.
· New supplies and can number 8, its about 8pm now and we had been on the train for just over 3 hours.
· Can number 9 and although these cans were smaller than back home they where starting to hit home. The female kiwi stifles a yarn, not long left for this party now as the Canadian couple make it obvious they want to settle in for bed.
· Can number 10 and miss Alex and me had done it. 10 can journey and the edge was definitely taken off the journey. The kiwi couple make excuses and say goodnight thanking us for the hospitality. They leave and no sooner than this the Canadian couple pull out a bottle of red wine, 2 big baguettes with spreadable cheese and half a pound of salami. They offered miss Alex and me a little piece and that is exactly what we got . The tiniest of pieces!! Then they offered a sip of wine in which miss Alex kindly declined. The Canadians obviously didn’t really want to share with us. Considering we gave them a lot of our beer this was a bit rude but in all honesty we’d probably drank enough already. Maybe the baguette would have been nice to share. Plus I gave them one of my lollipops. So after it was obvious the Canadians wanted to be left alone, miss Alex went to sleep and I was left on my top bunk sucking on my lollipops and listening to my ipod. I woke up the next morning at 9;45am and arrival at Hanoi was due for 11;00am.
In all the long train journey is the longest we have done including all flights and buses. For this reason it was probably the most dreaded journey but by no means the worst we have had.
Speak Soon xxx