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STORY TIME... Nearly getting knocked out by a taxi car boot in Danang, Vietnam

When i started my blog in 2013, I was backpacking South East Asia and it became a place for me to simply document my travels. A place to document moments that made me laugh, moments that made me cry and moments that i wanted to look back on in years to come and knew that i’d otherwise forget.
3 years later I’m still writing stories but additionally, i’m now sharing a lot of information and tips on here to help you guys out when planning and pursuing your travels and adventures.
I find it’s important for me to not get lost in the ‘Top 10’ articles or collaborations with brands because as much as they help me transition this blog into a business, and provide valuable ‘to the point’ information, they sidetrack from the stories that made this blog.
So i’m going to introduce some select moments from my travels from now on. 
Be it a mistake I made, a wrong turn I took, a hilarious misunderstanding or, in this case, a near pass out and beautiful travel moment.
 So, first up here’s the story behind this picture…

The time I nearly knocked myself on a taxi car boot BUT made the train with 10 seconds to go
My Asia adventure this time round consisted of 4 weeks backpacking through 3 countries – Vietnam, Cambodia + Bali.
It’s safe to say the trip was incredible but at the same time jam-packed, slightly rushed in places and left us totally exhausted!
I will be disecting every aspect of my trip  (good and bad) through blog posts + youtube videos in the coming months so stay tuned for those!
This particular incident occurred just after we left Hoi An (Central Vietnam) in a taxi. We were heading 40 minutes outside of Hoi An to Danang where we were catching an 18 hour sleeper train to Hanoi at 18:00.
Getting completely caught up in buying snacks for the journey to make sure we didn’t starve, (they only serve packet noodles / random suspicious bits of chicken on the train trolleys), we ended up leaving Hoi An later than expected.
Now, if you’ve been to Vietnam, you’ll know what I mean when I say the road are absolute chaos. Drivers take chances like no other and you feel like you witness near-crashes by the minute. Despite, for once, being happy that the driver seemed as eager to get to the train station as we did – it still wasn’t quick enough.
Due to our limited time in Vietnam, it was pretty much essential that we made this train up to Hanoi otherwise we would have had to sacrifice either The Castaway trip to Halong Bay or our homestay in Mai Chau – neither of which we wanted to do.
Another problem was that we hadn’t yet bought our train ticket (cheaper to buy them direct at the station instead of paying commission through a travel agent) added to the fact trains in Vietnam seem to always be on time (take note UK). 
So, as d-day drew closer and closer, in broken English I tried, calmy, to explain to our driver that we needed to be at the station within the next 4 minutes.
With our lives on the line we zoomed through the last few miles of the journey, overtaking everyone on the road and breaking speed limits that don’t even exist. 
‘Okay Harriet, I’ll grab my backpack and run for the ticket office, you grab your bag and hold up the train. Okay?’
The second our taxi came to a hault I shot out of the car and ran around to the back. I pushed and tugged at the edges of the run down taxis boot until I found the appropriate lever to open it before swining the boot open with the biggest ‘I’M IN A MASSIVE RUSH’ force known to man.
It was here that, instead of the boot resisting the force when it reached the top and slowing the boot down to a halt (like they do usually, well my car does), the boot swung back hit resistance and swung STRAIGHT back down… onto the ridge of my nose.
All i could see was both Harriet and the taxi drivers faces… jaws dropped.
‘Are you okay?! Do you want to sit down?’
Without even saying goodbye to the taxi driver (the taxi was prepaid) we ran for the train station where Harriet leapt for the ticket office and I handed some notes over to the mini shop to obtain any form of cold substance, which ended up being 2 water bottles, to sooth my nose.
Meeting by the door, gasping for breath, at the already pulled up and about to depart train, Harriet and I ascended the steps and looked at each other straight in the face.
With blood running down my face and sweat droplets from head to toe we smiled… 
‘We made it’.
Once the adrenalin of making the train wore off (about 10 seconds later), I felt rather dizzy and took too the closest seat possible. Within seconds the Vietnamese train guard was hurling angry looks and foreign words at us, clearly indicating we weren’t in our assigned seats.
With little patience, I stared at him from behind the two cold bottles soothing my blood covered nose and remained seated with Harriet beside me. 
{The sleeper trains in Vietnam consist of cabins in which bunk beds are 
laid out with pillows and duvets for passengers to sleep off the long winded journeys up and down the country. 
When you purchase a ticket, like in England, you are assigned a seat / bed.}
From around the corner a lovely little Vietnamese lady popped her head and was instantly confused when she saw us sat on her bed. Within seconds she noticed the blood on my face, gave me a look of empathy and begun scrambling in her bag.
At this point the Vietnamese train guard was standing persistent in his enforcement of train rules and continued to glare at me.
Murmuring something in Vietnamese to the train guard, our new Vietnamese friend handed me a tissue and some water to clear up my nose and managed to translate the situation to the guard.
Between us all we managed to clear up my nose, which after 10 minutes of applying pressure we decided needed some further assistance. 
With nothing but a plaster to aid the matter, I smiled thankfully and took it from the lovely lady who smiled in return – chuffed with her efforts (as was i).
With no common language ground between us it was a beautiful moment of connection through just visuals and sign language.
As much as I wish we had had enough time in Vietnam to not be rushing around like crazy people, between destinations, it was this fact that created this moment, and it’s moments like these that fascinate me and continue to inspire my wanderlust.
Once I had calmed down a bit, taken a couple of paracetamol and come to terms with the banging in my head caused by the impact, we made a move for our correct seats and laid down in our top bunk beds.
Obviously, it didn’t take me long to check out the damage, anxious (in vanity) that my face was black and blue, to find so far there was just a dip in my nose and a very slight swell. So far so good!
A couple of stops later we were join by the bottom bunk members of our cabin who were quite clearly fascinated by the ‘Mr.Bump’ look i had going on.
It seems universal that should one see something strange or unusual, the first thing thought of to do is take a picture. So there they were grinning at me from the side of my bunk with the selfie camera ready to rock and roll.
The next hour had us all communicate through a game of charades and a translator on their phone as told us about themselves and I attempted to obtain some ice.
I cannot tell you how hard I found it to translate ice through movement.
What would you do?
Honestly, I tried everything. I even found a photo of a cocktail on my phone and pointed to the cubes!
Like, I REALLY wanted ice to prevent the swelling on my nose but no matter how hard we tried, or how many times I put ‘I NEED ICE’ into their translator, the very best we got was a cup of water with ice in it.
Completely exhausted from ‘charading’ about the cabin, I took the ice from the cup, emptied a plastic bag I had with me and made use of what I had.
And we made it.
We arrived in Hanoi at 12pm the following day and completed both The Castaway Tour and our homestay in Mai Chau before heading back home to London.
{more on those trips soon! STAY TUNED.}

{P.s. I was on a mission after this incident to find the word for ice, which i later found to be ‘nookda’}

Thank you for reading!

Have you had any crazy travel experiences in Vietnam?
Are you a fan of ‘Storytime’?!

Leave me a comment – i’d love to hear!

Happy Adventuring!

Mollie x x


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