On our way to Hong Kong ! 

Just made it!!! Both Eva and me were convinced the train departure was in the afternoon. But actually it was leaving at 11:41 and I realised this at 9:20 in the morning after waking up calmly and taking it easy, because we had so much time left… . If we wouldn’t be in one of the biggest cities in the world, Shanghai, I wouldn’t have reacted as stressed. 

Why do these situations always occur when it’s important ? For us it was important because during this season trains generally are sold out for Chinese New Year and we have to leave the country to not overstay in China.
Shanghai – Shenzhen will take us 18hours, it is slow and I can’t help to have a nostalgic feeling of our russian adventures. This because we are traveling in a sleeper train equivalent to the platskart (3rd class) in Russia but Chinese style. The Chinese version is rougher and dirtier but it has all the ingredients of making an epic journey :

  • kids staring at us
  • people shouting in the wagon 
  • a person sitting at the opposite of me in statuesque like manner, really impressive this from 11:41 – 23:58. How does he do it? Is he medidating?
  • salesmen walking around, selling their food. It looks good, but nooooo way I won’t fall for the trap and sit for hours on the toilet
  • a very friendly women talking to us in English about her life and sharing chocolate. That’s always a winner with me
  • a cute couple giggling next to me. I tried to socialise with them, without success though. As far as I understood they went to Shanghai for holidays and are now on their way home to Ganzhou to celebrate New Year with their family (this like the majority of the passengers I assume)
  • a guy telling Eva that I’m handsome, cool I’ll take any compliments since I’m starting to look like Tom Hanks in Castaway…
  • yezzzz I can stretch my legs completely without anyone bumping continuously against my feet
  • fireworks being launched in the villages we pass by
  • 21:30 “LIGHTS OUT!” was yelled loudly by the carriage attendant and a couple of minutes later all lights were out and no noice was to be heard. Really impressive. In Russia people would still be talking/whispering, drinking together, singing, playing guitare… . Yeps this is definitely Chinese style 🙂
  • waw I can see the stars shining, beautiful, how fitting together with Coldplay’s Midnight, goosebumps

I’m enjoying the ride so far and try to occupy myself by listening to music and reminisce about our travels. Thinking about the places we have been to, the people we have met,… 

It’s been now almost 9 months Eva and me started this trip. It’s an amazing experience, I never thought I’d be able to handle this. These were so far the challenges I encountered.

You need to :

  • adapt yourself continuously, you are a guest and not home
  • find ways to make yourself understood, some people will do effort to try to understand you and many won’t 
  • learn to accept that you are a passenger. You will have to say goodbye to great people you meet and amazing places you go to. This for me has always been difficult and still is. I hate goodbye’s…
  • learn to not be scared of strangers, be focussed and observant of what’s happening around you and trust the right people, some people will try to get the better of you and you have other people that will dedicate a part of their day giving you a helping hand without asking for anything in return.
  • enjoy the now, the time is here and now, so be present. In the beginning of the trip I was continuously thinking about pictures I should take or stories I should tell to share with family and friends without focussing with what mattered and was happening in front of me
  • be aware that there are times you’ll be homesick. I miss my family and I’m looking forward meeting them again

06:15 the lights are on, we are the only ones but 4 left in carriage number 9 and are soon arriving in Shenzhen. Afterwards we’ll leave China and head to the mythical Hong Kong. Let’s get ready…

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