An Angel and a chat with Joy

Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  , Guangdong,
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First travel day towards the beginning of the real adventure of countries with little English.

Finished packing my pack and for the first time have the daypack attached to the main pack. It's really heavy. This won't be good. Walk to the ferry terminal, over to Central, take the Star Ferry over to Kowloon, one long walk to the subway station, then 1 stop to the inter-city train station. Yup. The pack is heavy.

I'm a little early and hang out. Time to get on the train. Car #7. Seat #1. My seat mate is a pretty young woman. Unfortunately she moves to an empty row as the train gets on it's way. Oh well, at least I now have 2 seats to myself. This part of the journey is on the high speed train. Maximum 140 km/hr.

Two hours later we arrive at the East Gungzhou train station. I get through immigration without a problem. Next is finding a taxi to bring me cross town to the West Train Station. I'm coming down an escalator and a guy comes up indicating taxi. He grabs my backpack and starts walking outside towards his car. On the way out we pass a booth with Taxi marked overhead. As we head out the building it's raining and this guy is quickly moving in a direction where there are no taxis and across the street. Hmmm! What have I gotten myself into?

We get to the car (a minivan) that doesn't have a taxi light or markings on it. Definitely a private "taxi". We agree on a price and I pay him. Off we go. A half hour later we get to the train station. There seems to be about a million people there. It's a real zoo.

I get in line to cross security prior to even getting into the building. Then another line. Then put my stuff through an x-ray machine. There's another million people inside the building. Not exactly, but the building was wall to wall people. I get to the waiting hall for my gate. There's a few empty seats against a far wall. I grab the seat at the end.

A short while later I notice a young lady, her mom and younger brother and sister grab a couple seats across from me and one a couple seats down from me. For what ever reason the young lady keeps on looking in my direction and smiling. Then the guy next to me leaves and the whole family moves next to me.

The young woman grabs her camera and takes a picture of her mom and siblings aiming the camera in my direction. She starts laughing as I must be in the picture. I try and move over so that I'm not in the photo. For whatever reason we bonded at this moment. The young woman, whom I'll call Angel, wants to take my picture. Then they offer me some food. Then they ask to see my train ticket. Mine says 13 and 9 and they show me theirs that says 14 and 10. Then they indicate that we should switch tickets indicating that the little girl can fit in my bunk easier. Well, that's what it seemed they were trying to tell me. The whole conversation was smiles and gestures, and whole lot of laughing on their part.

I agree, and exchange ticket. I believed that the ticket numbers were bunk rows and position. They give me more food. I give them some Canada flag pins and stickers that I have. I start chatting with a couple of young students who are leaning against the wall now waiting. They know a little english. Then the announcement comes that it's time to embark. We all grab our stuff and head towards the platform. The young woman and mother ensure I'm not far behind. As we get on the platform I now realize that the mother and son are not coming along. It's only the young woman and the little girl.

We have a long way to walk to our train cars. Angel making sure I'm right behind her. Yes, I've been adopted. Either that or she thinks she's found someone to bring her to Canada. Not that I'd mind. She is quite beautiful.

Then we get to train car 13 and she indicates mine is the next car. Hmmm! Guess we aren't that close to each other. Angel says goodbye.

This doesn't make sense anymore. I find my berth. Or actually, I find the row but haven't the faintest idea which bunk, top, middle, or lower. I sit on the side for a while. The train departs. Then the train employee comes by and takes my ticket and gives a plastic card. The card indicates that I'm in the top bunk. Well this goes against what I believed the bunk switching was all about. As I'm sitting along the aisle I notice a woman sitting on the bunk across from me. She smiles. Then she comes over and sits on the bunk next to me. Her name is Joy.

She knows some English and we start chatting. She teaches me a couple of Chinese words. Hello and Thank You. Then Angels shows up with her sister in tow. She hands me some yogurt. Guess my Angel feels I need more food. Angel walks towards the far end of the car and leaves her sister sitting next to me. When she returns she grabs the bed comforter from the bunk from the other ticket she had and takes that pillow and puts it on my bunk. Then she and her sister go back to the car and bunk from my original ticket.

That was the end of her. Gone. Angel and her sister must have shared a bunk while the one next to me was empty all night. The next morning Angel returned the comforter, turned around and left.

I layed down in the bunk a short while later and fell asleep.

Many many thanks to my Angel whose real name will forever remain unknown.
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