Sleepwalking Scare

by - June 24, 2019

Little Sissy Pham was a serial sleepwalker growing up. Most of the time it was harmless episodes like she'd stand up from the couch where she'd fallen asleep and bend double over trying to look for her slides, which were by her feet but in dream land she couldn't see them. Other times were a little scarier like when she'd try to open the front door, though luckily in dream land she couldn't see the deadlock was still locked. The worst was when she'd try to walk out onto the balcony in her sleep. Big Brother Pham caught her that time, and held the door shut while she tried to get out.

Well, that was the worst episode until the last time she sleepwalked. It traumatised her so badly it scared the sleepwalk right out of her.

Mum Pham and her three Phamlings were on a train from Melbourne to meet Dad Pham in our new home, Brisbane. It was the middle of the night and Little Sissy Pham and I were seated next to each other across the aisle from Mum Pham and Big Brother Pham. When the train stopped at a station near the border of NSW-QLD, Little Sissy Pham got up and sleepy me let her out thinking she was going to the bathroom. I flopped over and went promptly back to sleep without realising she was in a sleepwalk.

Little Sissy Pham blinked awake when a horn sounded. She felt disoriented like she was in a dream but fully alert. Where was she? What was she seeing? A train pulling away from a train platform. A train she was meant to be on. She looked around and there were a handful of other train passengers who disembarked but they all left shortly because it was the middle of the night in an isolated regional train station. She was lost.

Little Sissy Pham had no phone, no phone numbers, and no idea where she was. Luckily payphones were still a thing back then, and the phone at that station worked. She called 000 who directed her to the nearest police station, which was a long time away for a 15 year old waiting alone in the middle of the night.

The cops eventually arrived and drove her to their station where they interviewed Little Sissy Pham and couldn't believe her predicament. She didn't have a number for Melbourne because we moved and disconnected the line, and she didn't have a number for Brisbane because we didn't have a number there yet. The young officers tried to keep a straight face but she could hear them laughing at her outside the room. Eventually a senior officer arrived to weigh up the options, and he determined the best plan was their only plan - get Little Sissy Pham back on that train.

They called the trainline and had it stopped, while an officer sped through the regional NSW at 180km/h to get Little Sissy Pham back on the train. It was all very dramatic and Mum Pham got the shock of her life when police officers boarded the train and approached her. She thought she was in trouble for letting us smuggle our cats onto the train, but turns out it was about the daughter she didn't know was lost. Needless to say Little Sissy Pham was devastated none of us had noticed her missing when she was safely returned to the train. After the worst night of her life, she never sleep-walked again.


If you want to start from the beginning of Phamly history, read:
Part 1 - O Captain! My Captain! Dad Pham's navy days during the Vietnam War.
Part 2 - P.O.W. Viet Cong Re-education Camp Dad Pham's time as a prisoner of war.
Part 3 - Living with Viet Cong Mum Pham's experience with communism.
Part 4 - Boat People Dad Pham seeks refuge after the war.
Part 5 - Finding Faith Dad finds peace.
Part 6 - When Herr met Frau - Dad Pham meets Mum Pham.
Part 7 - Life in Germany: the early years - Dad Pham sets up life in Germany.
Part 8 - Life in Germany: the later years - Dad gets sick, Mum steps up.
Part 9 - Getting ready for Australia - Mum Pham is on a mission.
Part 10 - Coming to Australia - My first memories of Australia.
Part 11 - Live in Brisbane the first time - The story of why we left Brisbane.
Part 12 - Moving to Melbourne - First impressions.
Part 13 - Life in Melbourne - Dad Pham - The good old days.
Part 14 - The Other Phams - Our neighbours in Melbourne were Phams too.
Part 15 - Life in Melbourne - Mum Pham - Our Sunday Phamly traditions began in Melbourne.
Part 16 - Cats On A Train - Moving to Brisbane
Part 17 - Sleepwalking Scare - Moving to Brisbane continued
Part 18 - A House in Brisbane - Moving to Brisbane continued some more

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