26 Hours

I have 48 hours of life to update you on, 26 of which were spent on a train… where to begin?!
Well shortly after my last post Kate, Alex and I woke up from our nap (it was too short to call a night’s sleep).  We said good bye, they got a taxi to the airport, and I went back to sleep.  I had a few hours in Beijing by myself which I spent getting snackage for my train ride, drinking coffee (surprise surprise), talking to Will, AND eating a McFlurry at McDonalds while wearing my newly acquired Wendy’s shirt.  I found humor in that last one, but seen as there are no Wendy’s in China I was alone in that sentiment.
I got to the train station plenty early for my train, so I go some caomei nai (strawberry milk). If you are ever in Beijing go to the Beijing West Railroad Station; it is just like an airport.  It is huge, has book stores, snack shops, and restaurants (including the Kungfu noodle place!).  So while at the Beijing Xi station I made friends with another person getting on my train.  He was trying to teach me some Chinese.  Also he thought I was Australian lol.  He was a very helpful guy.  He was telling me how to hold my ticket so that no one would steal it, and he helped me carry my bag through the crazy mob of people. 
Something that is very foreign to Americans is the overwhelming amount of people in China.  No joke, I have never seen anything like the mobs of people that exist here.  You never run out of people in China.  Never.  In fact often times you have the opposite problem; you can hardly breathe let alone move because there are so many people.
Strange as it seems though I am really getting used to it.  I think that it will be strange to come back to America to not be surrounded by swarms of people. BUT it will be nice.  Being surrounded is draining.
Well when I got to my seat (they were out of sleepers) I sat there for 26 hours.  Many interesting events followed.  There were 6 Chinese people who were all about my age sitting across from me.  They tried to talk to me a few times, but I speak very little Chinese.  So instead of speaking TO me they resorted to speaking ABOUT me.  Mind you I understand enough Chinese to know when someone is talking about me. 
That was humorous because I could tell that one of them was trying to argue with the other 5 and tell them I could understand them.  It was humorous. 
Will called me for a few minutes… I felt like I was their favorite TV show because as soon as I answered the phone they all ceased their chit chat and turned and watched me for about 5 minutes before resuming their banter. 
After that phone call and before everyone tried to sleep, one of the girls came and sat by me.  Through heavy use of the dictionary we were able to communicate some.  I found out she is 2 years older than me and married.  She was very sweet, and really liked my big eyes…. That is a trend among Chinese; they always compliment me on my eyes. 
Other interesting stories from the train:
IT WAS PACKED!!!!! In the sitting car people also have standing tickets so the aisles are full!  As I sat in my seat eating my apple I realized that the butt of the man who was standing in the aisle next me was literally inches from my face and the apple I was eating.  In America that would not be acceptable at all.
The other issue with so many people is making your way to the bathroom and back.  When I looked at the sheer massive amount of people between me and the bathroom I wasn’t sure that it was physically possible for me to make it through.  But I stepped on countless people’s feet and cannot even begin to depict for you how I was in their tighter than sardines as I slowly squeezed my way through to the bathroom. 
Well I made it and I took my sleeping pill.  It is a good thing I posses the strange but oh so handy talent of sleeping in positions that most people find unfathomable.  It is definitely something that I count as a blessing when traveling.  I chalk that one up to God’s foresight in creating me the way I am.            
Well that was the majority of the interesting part of my train ride.  When I woke up there were not near as many people on the train, and I still had 6 hoursish left.  The morning/afternoon was much more chill with the exception of one Chinese guy who spoke English and came to talk to me… I had to drop in there that I had a boyfriend who is an engineer.  In other words sorry hombre, but your English speaking Chinese doctor self isn’t as impressive as you think.  I also found it interesting that he plans to go to Germany next year to make beer. 
Anyway I made it home, I showered the smell of  body odor, smoke, beer (they drink a lot of beer here), and the squatty off of me and then helped make tacos for dinner because our friends were coming over. 
Today has been a long day… and the fact that I am still up at 1 am probably isn’t the best.  But I mean that is why God gave us coffee (which I made some on the train).
Hasta luego,
Devra
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