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Resident Profile: The Westons


Introducing Jane and Stephen Weston from St Ives Northshore.

There’s something about train travel – the slow rocking motion, the romantic views out the window and the interesting characters you meet. That’s why it’s the Weston’s favourite mode of transport, however on a trip to Vietnam in 2000 they received plenty of the latter and not a huge amount of the former.

“We were travelling on the Reunification Express Train from Hanoi to Saigon. It was the most murderous train you’ve ever been on, it was huge! It was two stories high and miles long with holes in the floor for toilets,” Stephen described as Jane shuddered from the memory.

Stephen is a Vietnam veteran and the two were returning for the first time since the war. The Weston’s had requested a private cabin but ended up sharing with four drunken Thais. Luckily, the Weston’s unwelcome cabinmates kept their wits about them enough to wake them in the middle of the night with shouts of ‘get out, get out!’ There was flooding on the line and the train couldn’t go any further.

“It was two o’clock in the morning and we had to rush out of the train with all of our things and wait in the middle of nowhere. Suddenly, lights were coming towards us – people were coming out of their homes selling coffee! Any opportunity to make a dollar I guess.”

After a three hour wait, a bus pulled up with a very angry driver who picked the Weston’s up and dropped them off at a new stop, swerving wildly across the road as he did so. The Westons were already wondering if he’d also had a few drinks when he arrived at their destination and classily came to a halt by driving straight into a brick wall.

The experience didn’t impact on what was a very emotional trip back to Vietnam, nor did it stop their love of train travel, even when it isn’t romantic!

For more great articles, check out the latest edition of our Thrive magazine here.