Continued from Huangshan Day 3.
We woke up this morning feeling sore all over. It’ll be painful walking around with our heavy packs today.
Back in our room to finish packing then heading out to the train station. I am surprised that this headline on CNN was not censored here in China. Sidenote, Wall Street Journal website is blocked here in China.
Got a cab, now we are heading to the train station. Speaking of cabs, our cabbie yesterday who took us from the bus station back to our hotel went the wrong way. And when I asked him why he was taking such a long way to our hotel, he got mad at me. Then when he pointed to where our hotel was, I told him that it was the wrong hotel. I had even given him the business card of the hotel, so it was his fault to get the place wrong. But, he did apologize afterwards and took a discounted fare for the wrong way he took.
The moment we arrived at this dingy, dirty, and loud waiting area, we knew this was going to be a shitty train ride. Since Huangshan City is a smaller place, only the slower trains come through here. Slower trains means cheaper trains, cheaper trains mean more questionable seatmates.
It didn’t take long for the trouble to start. This man was smoking in the waiting area, despite the sign saying that he is not allowed to. The train station security guy came over and yelled at him to stop smoking. Even as he was getting yelled at, he casually took one last long drag before putting away his cigarette. Then afterwards, he would turn around and stare at RL. And by stare, I mean STARE and not look away. This got so bad that I finally told him to stop staring at my wife, at which point he mumbled something derisive under his breath. Asshole!
Our seats were at the very end of the car, which turned out to be some of the worst seats ever. The area between the cars is the smoking area, so for the next 6 hours we’d be breathing second hand smoke. The poorer people would buy the cheapest tickets, the standing room tickets. Between the cars is where all the standers would congregate…which meant that all of them stared at RL nonstop. If you look at the photo above, on the right hand side is a guy standing, and you can see that he’s staring at RL, who is seated to my left. He would stare at RL constantly for the next 4 hours, until finally I had to tell him to stop. Twice in one day I had to tell guys to stop staring at my wife. Sigh. RL says that if everyone stared at her nonstop, it wouldn’t be as bad because it would just be normal. But the fact that only a select few rude men do it, it makes it not ok.
Everyone eats these cup noodles here in China. This girl with the cup noodle sat across from us the entire ride and she was very nice. She told us of some places to go visit in Nanjing. Despite the people between the train cars being terrible, at least our immediate seatmates are all very nice.
Speaking of food in China. Chinese food as been a little disappointing. Most of the Chinese food restaurants only serve food family style, which makes it very difficult for RL and I to order. For Chinese street food and whatnot, they all seem to just eat cup noodles.
With about an hour left until destination, we get a new seatmate. Like many others on this train, he brings on a giant bundle. He has the window seat, so he had no where to put his giant bundle but right in front of me…This has been a very miserable train ride. RL and I are both very eager to get off this train.
Our remote for the AC. Since the AC is on the opposite wall of the remote, they put a small mirror right on top of the remote so that the infrared signal can go across the room. Pretty simple solution.
Pudding milk tea, green tea smoothie, and fried chicken. Strange but delicious combination. We were both so tired from the long hike yesterday and the crappy train ride today. A nap after eating our fried chicken was in order.
Goose blood. RL was a huge fan of this meal and especially loved the broth. In keeping with tradition of Chinese meals, one of the bowls of rice that we ordered did not show up. It was also kind of expensive for us to eat, since there’s only two of us. This hot pot is really meant to feed 4 people. Many times during our meals in China, we kind of wish our families were here with us so we could order a giant family style dinner and eat all the different varieties of food.
There’s a boombox, and there’s outdoor dancing. They were dancing some sort of combination of ballroom and almost east coast swing. We thought about jumping in for a song, but the music was a little bit on the slow side.
To be continued at Nanjing Day 2.