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My vacation in China part 2, the train ride to Chongqing.

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  • My vacation in China part 2, the train ride to Chongqing.

    I'm letting the train ride to Chongqing be part 2 and Chongqing itself will be part 3 because I recieved a lot of complaints about part 1 being too large and crashing computers.

    If any of you haven’t seen the first part of the series, please do.
    My vacation in China Part 1

    Sit back with a cold one and enjoy!

    Sunday Feb. 5th

    I woke up in the morning, packed my backpack and headed towards McDonalds to meet up with Barry. We had agreed to meet in McDonalds at 1pm to head off to the train station that was across the street. One of the things I was told before going on this trip was not to trust anyone, even other travelers. I waited until 1:30pm and went to the train station by myself hoping that things were all right with Barry I didn't want to risk loosing my train ride. I waited in one of the large waiting rooms within the train station for my time to get on the train.

    1

    As you can see the room is large and full of people. I kept looking around for Barry but couldn't find him anywhere.

    2

    Looking through a window you can see another large room full of people with other rooms beyond that one. This train station is HUGE. Later on I saw a janitor use a bamboo ladder to climb out of the window on the other side and pick up the litter.

    3

    Looking down from the same window you can see the rail cars.

    I struck up a good conversation with another passenger who happened to be going on the same train that I was, he was very kind and helped me find my rail car. When I entered the car I found Barry unpacking his luggage. It was good to see that Barry made it, he apologized for being late. Apparently he went to the cushier hard sleeper waiting area while I waited in the standard hard seat waiting area.

    4

    As you can see from the beds hard sleeper isn't really hard at all. Basically you have 3 beds on top of each other. Barry and me chose the top beds so we could have some privacy. The best beds to choose is the ones in the middle because the one on top can be difficult to get on and off while everyone uses the bottom one during the day to sit and talk.

    5

    This would be my first experience in using a squat toilet, it wasn't easy to get used to but I managed. In China you must have toilet paper with you at all times because they don't supply them in the bathrooms.

    Traveling by train in China is in my opinion the best way to travel. You have a great opportunity to view the countryside and talk to the locals. This train ride from Shanghai to Chongqing will take 2 days. During the trip I met up with a Chinese guy named Hot, he knew some English and was helpful in answering any questions me and Barry had.

    6

    The person who is standing calls himself Hot while the guy sitting next to him is Barry.

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    Here I am.

    The whistle is blown and train starts to move. I found viewing China from the train a fascinating experience as shown in the following pics.

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    All houses are of the same design; some of the better houses have white tiles on the exterior. In China All houses are made with cement and brick, unlike the wood, stucco and vinyl siding used for homes in North America.

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    Greenhouses protecting some plants from the cold weather.

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    Skyscrapers!

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    There is a lot of trash lying around, even in people's back yard.

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    Notice the pollution in the canal.

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    An old factory.

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    It started to get dark so me, Barry and Hot went to the dinning car to get something to eat. A typical chinese meal consists of a bunch of food dishes in the middle of the table, everyone eating would have a small bowl of rice in front of them, they would share the food on the dishes and eat it with rice in their bowl. They say that this way of eating encourages more interaction amongst family members; I agree with that. Hot helped us order a spicy chicken dish, egg and tomato dish, and something else that I can't remember for some reason he warned us not to eat the eel served on the train. What I do remember is the spice in the chicken dish; it was hot but also made my tongue feel numb as if it was on drugs or something. Hot told me that poppy seeds in the dish were the cause of the strange sensation. Later on when I met up with Brent he told me that Poppy seed is part of the opium pant grown in Afghanistan, this part of the plant doesn't make you "high" so it's legal. The same way hemp is to pot. Barry noticed that beer was sold on the train for only 4 Yuan a bottle so we bought some. While we were eating a police officer came and sit at our table. He asked us if the food was good and then talked in Chinese to Hot. News from China always gave me the impression that the police were very powerful. So I made an effort to be on my best manners at the same time Barry decides to have another beer and looks at me, he was as clueless as I was about Chinese customs and ways but didn't let it bother him. He but both hands out to the police officer and said, "arrest me!" the officer looked at him questioning and said, "No, that's not necessary". The officer talked with Hot again and I could see from Hots facial expression that he was starting to get worried. When the officer left I asked Hot what he said, Hot told me that the police officer was concerned about us getting drunk and rowdy. I told him, that we weren't going to get rowdy, at least I wasn't. After eating supper we went back to our rail car, I decided to call it a day while Barry continued to hang out with the locals. The lights went out at 10 pm so everyone could sleep.

    22

    Barry having a chat with the locals.

    Monday Feb. 6

    I woke up in the morning and had the traditional Chinese breakfast, which consists of a hard-boiled egg with rice pudding (rice boiled in water), a steamed flour muffin, and some spicy stuff for flavor. The countryside changed from being flat to having hills. Towns and villages are everywhere in the countryside unlike Canada where you could be in the middle of a wheat field and see nothing else in sight.

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    An old house.

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    Terraced rice paddies.

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    You can see Barry's reflection staring out the window. Watching the countryside was as fun as watching TV.

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    A large aquaduct or bridge.

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    Very beautiful.

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    Traditional Chinese houses are very rare.

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    A factory.

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    We're going to go through a tunnel yay!

    38

    This must be the Yangzee River; we were in Chongqing an hour of so later.


    Stay tuned for part 3, Chongqing!
    Edmonton first, everything else second.

  • #2
    China certainly is something. The story about the police officer and and the photos of the polution and garbage gives an interesting perspective. The rules and things that are acceptable really are very different over there. I can't really say I'm surprised (i'm not that far removed from the culture after all) but it's different seeing images of it.

    This photo essay reminds me of the great Frontline documentary on the subject of what China can be like. For someone who hasn't travelled much outside of Canada it is an eye opener.
    Time to grow up.

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