22.12.2011 - 23.12.2011 25 °C
So from memory on my last blog I told you we were going to Nha Trang on the 625am train and we had already booked the tickets with soft sleeper (which means we have a four bed compartment to ourselves for the journey that will arrive in Nha Trang at about 1330hrs. This method, in respect of the level of comfort is the best so I didn't mind so much having to get up at 5am for the journey as we had a bed each on the train to snooze and take in the views.
A regular saying with me is that you can't control what goes on around you and ....yet again.... no matter how well I have planned something - there is always the chance of it going wrong. I honestly think someone up there has a right old laugh with me because some of the things that happen - you wouldn't believe because it's nearly alll the time crazy stuff happens.
We went to bed at a reasonable time as we didn't really do very much in Ho Chi Minh aside from dodge traffic, get ripped off and eat. At about 2am we heard "clip, clop, clip, clop, clip, clop" on and on someone with high heeled shoes walking around above us then they came downstairs and that was the que for the major row to start. Im guessing it was husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend shouting at the top of their voices about god knows what it was just a muffled "rahh rahh rahh." The staff in the hotel did nothing and I later found the "one" member of staff who was sound asleep on the sofa in the lobby with the TV on.
This row was a row of all rows, even when the couple had finished the man took to phoning someone and was rowing with them about how HE hadn't had much sleep - crickey....it's because of him we didn't have much sleep!
I went downstairs at about 540am to check out and woke the member of staff up who spoke very little English. I wrote a list of the problems in the room.....toilet and sink leaks onto the bathroom floor, big hole in the bath, cobwebs on ceiling, kettle and cups but no where to plug kettle in, bed broken, shouting all night staff did nothing.....I gave him the list and realised he couldn't read it so asked him to pass it onto the manager.
NOW - I don't usually do that - write notes complaining but this place wasn't cheap in comparison to hotels in the city and it was a nightmare - no hotwater, noisy, breakfast was served but they only had 2 tables in the hotel so if wanted to eat you had to wait for someone else to finish. Whats that all about? Especially there are 30 rooms there - thats at most 60 people to feed between 7 and 9 - 2 hrs =120 minutes so my maths tell me that you have 2 minutes to sit down order, wait for the food, eat it and get the table cleared. What a joke! So I felt that they should realise this and wrote my note. Maybe it's a bit sad but I look at it as maybe helping them to improve.....famous last words!
The guy says to me "five nigh - you pay 100 dollar now" so we begin....we actually stayed two nights and from my book we owed about 50 and I told him this and he checked his books and I paid $50. By this time the taxi is outside and its nearly 6am and we are on track for the train. That was until we walked out the door and he came running after us "$50 more dollar!! $50 more dollar!" I asked him what for and he didn't understand me. I showed him by book and he couldn't read it. I went back into the hotel and he couldn't show me any papers but only repeat "pay more." By this time I was getting stressed if we miss the train - we've lost our money you see - you can't get on another one without a new ticket. He pointed me to go on the computer and I was guessing he wanted me to show him by booking confirmation. I tried but the computer was off and was taking ages to fire up. I told him "We are going to miss out train!!" "Yes" he said still looking half asleep. I though what the hell is going on here....I have paid....I don't owe any more...I don't need to stay here so I left and got in the cab on route to the station....we were too late - we missed the train because of the idiot at the hotel - 60 quid down. Next train in 4 hours taking an extra 2 hours to get there (10am to 1830) and worst to come HARD SEATS. Hard seats are like a slatted hard bench with a straight flat slatted back - really uncomfortable, not suitable for this journey. We sucked it in and pushed on waiting for the next train - yes we squabbled abit about why I tried to sort it out, why didn't I just get in the cab, why didn't the girls come down abit earlier etc ...bottom line is it happened.
We got on the train and it was FULL with no aircon only a few fans, we found out seat and I was sat next to Maggie with two local people opposite. One lady was crying as she waved her family off - lets call her Ann for this bit. Ann was sat with a huge mouth mask on. So many women wear them here covering their noses and mouths to combat inhaling pollution but they don't take them off. Ann is sat infront of me speaking to me in Vietnamese slowly like I would understand it slower - but all I see is the tears in her eyes and her family outside crying. I felt sorry for her and being tired didn't know how much crying I could watch without starting me off especially after that mornings escapades!
I thought the journey would be ok until Ann took a big sheet of plastic - smacked my ankles away to put the sheet under my feet. Like when you feed a baby - you put a mat down - this is the same thing. I wondered if it was so our feet stayed clean - how ignorant of me - it was so Ann could lay on the floor under my seat across to the other seat - she smacked my ankles again and i had to sit with my legs either over to one side of wide apart so she could have the room under my feet. Bloody typical! The longest journey and I can't even put my feet on the floor. Ann stayed like this the entire time even chatting on her phone - it was so odd but looking around the train - they were all doing it. It's a case of the floor is the best seat and sod you if you didn't get on it first.
When we arrived in Nha Trang it was already dark and we were bombarded by taxi drivers as we left the station. We arrived at our hotel and it was brilliant! Green Peace Hotel - really nice place a complete contrast to Sunny Hotel Ho Chi Ming City.