All Aboard for the Orient Express! Next Stop … Canton
"That's right. Our guidebook says the train ride to Guangzhou will take us 33 hours."
Even though I was excited about my first long distance train ride in China, I couldn't believe we'd be in one little space on the train for 33 hours. That's a day and a half? What in the world could we do for that long? Looking out the window would get boring after a while, and I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep the entire time. I was happy that at least I'd have Jazzy along with me to keep me company.
At the train station, we were able to easily buy tickets to Guangzhou for the very next day and bought what are called "hard sleeper seats." "Hard sleepers?" How was I going to sleep on something hard? I had awful thoughts of tiny wooden platforms for us to sleep on. Yuck! Happily, though, we got on the train to find soft, comfortable mattresses in rows of three up and down covered with Chinese-style bedding. The train was also extremely clean.
Jasmine took a lower bunk in our sleeper compartment, and I took the bunk above hers. There was plenty of room for us to sit up on her bed, and we could look out the window at either side of the train.
All around us on the train, there were people chatting, napping, eating, and playing cards. I was very eager to join in on the fun, so our neighbors offered to show me how to play. Different people took turns pairing up with me to show me how to play until I got the hang of things.
By the end of our trip, I was sad that these 33 hours had passed by so quickly. We said good-bye to all the new friends we had made on the train. Nainai, still with her hair in Jazzy's superbly styled braids, reminded us to call her once we were settled into our hotel room so that her son could show us around Guangzhou. What great memories I now have of our first long train ride through China!
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