Monday, July 16, 2012

Made it to Beijing! (via the train ride from H-E-doublehockeysticks)

Arrived in Beijing today after a 33 hour train ride, over 3000km or 1900 miles, from way way South to way way North. I can now check off my bucket list "try to have the nastiest travel experience ever."

Luckily I had mentally prepared myself for a nightmare experience for weeks in advance, and I found myself having the most patience I've ever had in my life. I was a peaceful little buddha.

But somewhere around hour 18, I was shocked awake by a screaming baby sitting at our table. Nothing was going to make this baby happy. Next thing I know, I start to smell something awful, and I look over, and the mom is holding the baby over the aisle (the baby is wearing split plants btw) while it poops all over the floor just a foot from our feet. (I'll spare you the details, but this was not your normal little baby poop).

No one made a big deal or said anything, and the mom wiped it up with newspaper the best she could. The most anyone did was discretely cover their noses. But because all she had was newspaper to smear it about, the last 15 hours of the trip were pretty smelly.

I conjured up all the happy places I could think to go to in my mind. And the baby screamed for several more hours late into the night, and off and on until about 4am, again, while no one even said anything or grimaced. I did have an urge to gently pull the mother aside though and tell her, "You know, it's probably not the best idea to feed a one year old baby a bucket of spicy instant noodles and a bunch of candies for dinner."

Overall it was quite the experience. I was lucky to have a seat at all (so many people had to stand in the aisles or sit on a nasty floor near the restrooms) and lucky to have some cool seat mates for most of the trip.

There were so many weird, annoying or disgusting things that happened that I found myself just laughing to myself. I think that's all you can do here.


  1. doublehockeysticks? Don't think I've ever seen Hockey and China referenced together, EVER. Note to self: The next time I think about taking a 33 hour train ride through China, remember this blog. Hope the rest of your stay is better.

    PS I'm slowly becoming a big fan of your blog - you have a very 'eccentric' method of communication. - gh

  2. I've taken the trip from Guangzhou to Beijing. Fortunately we had hard sleepers, but I did manage to spill a sweet old man's sunflower seeds all over the cabin.

    "Been here too long" happens when you see a picture of a baby in a post about trains and your first thought is, "that baby pooped on that train, didn't it?"

    1. So you've done the DTFH too, huh? I told a friend in the states about the experience and we dubbed it the DTFH... Death Train From Hell. But we're weird and exaggeratey like that.

      I seriously lol'd at your comment, "that baby pooped on that train, didn't it?"

      It's funny what you come to expect after living here for awhile, and what no longer surprises you.