Thursday, October 2, 2014

High Speed Train

Forgot to tell you about my trip from Kunshan to Beijing.

Took a taxi by myself to the train station.  My friend set it up and had someone with me to tell the driver where to go which was a great help.  The driver stopped before the door and I had no idea what was going on because there was plenty of space to get closer.  All the signs were in Chinese so I wasn't sure where in the world I was suppose to be.  Luckily people were going I. Somewhere so I followed.  Found some people in uniform and showed them my ticket and shrugged my shoulders not saying a word.  They pointed me I. The right direction without saying a word and I found my way no problem.  I have realized with the older generations it doesn't help to speak... Things get confusing and they start to yell as if speaking louder will help me understand.  So I use complete hand gestures.  Show what I have to help but nothing more.  The younger generations I will speak English and hope maybe they know what I am saying.  

I found my way thru security... Which was next to nothing.  Put bag thru scanner and walk thru the detector but I had my iPad in hand.  There were two gates but it was confusing as it looked all automated so I wasn't sure if you go thru the first gate and then go to the gate of the train or what.  I have only taken a train maybe twice while living in Kingston, NY to go to the city and I am not a public transportation kind of person so I just waited to see if anyone else went thru.  No one did but time was getting close for departure and I was getting nervous so I asked a young man what was going to happen.  He spoke a little English and we figured out what was needed.  Then finally people started to line up and I felt much better.

My train ticket... The important things were the numbers.  On the signs at the gate was all in Chinese characters so it was helpful to have the names of the cities in English with the characters so I could compare and be sure I was in the right place.

As I was about to go thru the young man came back to be sure I was going in the right place and then showed me where I was suppose to stand and my seat.  I thought that was really nice but I pretty much figured it all out just wasn't sure when we were suppose to go in.  

As we were walking to where I needed to be he asked me if he could take a picture with me.  There is the never seeing a white person thing.   Said yes since he helped me and he asked me where I was from.  Told him the U.S. and we waited to get on the train.  I saw his ticket and knew he wasn't sitting by me but he followed me on the train.  I found my seat and he stood in the open area in front and off to the side of where I was sitting... And kept looking at me.  

I started to freak out a bit because the train started and he was standing there looking around, checking his phone like he was waiting for someone while every once in awhile staring at me.  Of course all these horrible thoughts of being jumped or what have you were going thru my mind but I figured I could take a bunch of Chinese.  Hahaha

I remembered what the town was on his ticket and realized he was the next stop.  And lo and behold at the next stop he was getting off.  I look over and say thanks and he said "want you to get off now". But I think he meant he was getting off now.  So I nodded my head and said goodbye.  He got out and looked at me thru the window and I waved.

Being white in China is a bit confusing.  No personal space, people stare and you just don't know what they are thinking.

Anywhos... That is how my trip to Beijing started.  

Such a smooth ride.  We were going over 300 km/hr.  (The elbow in the picture below is the young man who was helpful yet stalking)

This lady got on when I got on and got off in Beijing... Carrying these crabs the entire way.... Over 5 hours.  You can actually get those crabs just like that at Walmart in Beijing.

The view wasn't all that great.  Smog, high rises, run down places but I was happy to see some green.

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