31 August 2009

Beijing to Shanghai Train

2009.08.30 Sunday night 9:50 pm.

On the train to Shanghai. Just left Beijing 20 minutes ago. The
train actually left 2 minutes early! Don't know why.

I can hear restful Chinese music playing as I lie on my sleeper. I
can smell the instant noodles I'm waiting for. I hear and feel the
train moving along the tracks fast enough to let me know this is no
old train. It's less than 1 year old. Ten hours to get between the
destinations. TV screen in front of me and 2 channels to choose from.
Air con. 4 beds in this cabin. It's a soft sleeper... not hard
sleeper. I wanted the cheaper hard sleeper (you could say, economy),
but there were none left. It was about 600 RMB (Chinese Yuan) which
is about $100 in Australia.

I feel sad leaving Beijing. Not exactly sure why... Maybe the music I
hear now... I made good friends at the hostel I stayed in... and
friendly staff. Met a good old friend. Saw some nice beaut spots
during the 4 days I was here: Temple of Heaven, Great Wall, Tiananmen
Square, Summer Palace, Forbidden City, Olympic Stadium.

It was my first place to visit in China. I won't forget my first
memories of China.

My camera decided not to work yesterday when I was in church (strange
place for it to stop working... it's totally dead now). So, after
walking for a while in the rain trying to find the Olympic stadium, we
found Wu-Mart which provided a good place for me to get a new camera!
So, that was good. The price was 1400 RMB but bargained a bit and got
it down to 1250 Yuan, with 2Gb card and case, so, not bad for about
AUD 200. It's a Nikon, so I'm happy with the quality.

Time to get to those noodles. I'll miss the people I met in
Beijing... Chinese, hostel staff, old friends, church people, other
foreign travellers. I'll remember the nice sights I saw. I'll miss
Beijing itself.

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