What a hell night

Trip Start Mar 11, 2010
Trip End May 01, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hantang inn

Flag of China  , Shanxi,
Saturday, March 20, 2010

I was sick of hanging around the hostel, and I dont wanna be like the loosers on Airways, you know the ones "5 minutes just 5 minutes"" I was standing there and you didnt call me". I thought I would get a cab to the bus station cos I havnt cought a Chinese train yet but I have seen the stations and thought it might take a while to sort out. I was standing on the main road trying to get a cab, everyone that came by was full, and a guy pulled up on a scooter and looked at the paper I had with the name of the station on it. He said get on. I said "no Ill wait for a car" he wouldnt take no for an answer so in the end I agreed cos I was early and didnt make much difference if we got lost. I got on and 20 meter up the road he turns left across 6 lanes of traffic. I thought I was gonna die. It was just a short cut through the university. We got onto Second Ring Rd and I knew where we were cos I walked around here yesterday. We were fangin down the bike lane when we came to a set of lights and he stopped about 20 mtr before them. I thought it was so he could put his foot on the kerb instead of the road. When the lights changed he would take off and wizz around them and zip into the buss lane to get around the others. A couple of times it was close zipping into the bus lane but we managed it OK. At one set of lights he was trying to push me off and pointing at the ground. I got off and looked around and there was a cop booking someone for having two people on a bike I walked across the road and he followed me. Then I knew we were doing something against the law. I got back on and we went fangin of again down the road both chuckin the bird at the cop. It was soooo much fun I paid him more than a taxi would have cost.
We got to the station and the area was a hugh shopping area. I couldnt help myself and had to have a walk around. I walked 4 blocks and still the stalls were as far as I could see. I nearly bought a luggage trolley for my back pack. How slack is that ay?
I headed to the station and there are 14 mil people in Chengdu and 7 mil were here. The area in front of the station is about 6-8 times the size of Subi oval and was full of people. Seriously there must have been close to 200,000 people there. It was the most people I have ever seen in one place. As I walked to the entrance there was an imformation window. I went up to it and put my ticket to the window and the woman looked it up and said 1. I assumed she meant platform 1 and knew I was in the right place. Inside the place was enormous and just one seething mass of people. It was so hot and stuffy. The timetables were all in Chinese but the train number and time were in english. It wasnt as hard as it looked. The Indian trains were easier and the Chinese could learn a few things from the Indians. All anouncements were made in Chinese only so if anything changed I would not know. One train got changed to another platform but not mine luckily enough. Finally time came to get on so they opened up the gates to let us onto the platform. It was pretty easy to find my place. The trains are a similar layout to the ones in India but here they give you a nice white pillow and doona. I got the middle bunk and these are all bunks and dont fold up like in India to make seats. I was lucky to have a couple of young Chinese girls in with me who spoke broken english. Every carriage has a dragon lady in charge and ours came and yelled at me in Chinese so I dont know what I did.Dragon lady later came and took all our tickets and replaced them with a credit card type of thiong and put the tickets in a stamp book type of book.
 We also had Elmer Fudd. Your clasic chinese bloke. The train left just after 9.30 so he decided he would go to bed. He took off his shirt and folded it neatly and put it under his pillow. Then he dropped his pants and stood there with his skivey tucked into his long johns, what a good look. No probs. His phone went off 3 times and he does not realise you dont have to shout to be heard. He went to sleep first so that was the end of any thought of sleep for me. I have never heard anyone snore so loud ever before. (that was the hell night cos it lasted 9 hours). Some time in the wee small hours I remembered I had a lacky in my pocket so I rolled up same wads of paper and flicked them at his ass. He just rubbed it, rolled over and went back to sleep. I thought it was getting light so I got up to clean my teeth and sit up for a while. It wanst light it was just another station. I walked to the bathroom in bare feet...not a good idea. There were wet patches everywhere and a couple of slimey ones. When I got back the first thing I did was put on shoes. When I opened the curtains for a better look Dragon lady came and told me of again. When it did get light Dragon lady was back insisting the curtains be opened. I think she was just picking on me.Dragon lady made an anouncement in Chinese then put on her best sinopop album for our listening pleasure. The train has hot water available at each end of the carriage so everyone seemed to be having 2 min noodles for breaky. The other dragon ladies were coming through selling everything from noodles (goreng) to some sloppy rice stuff with an egg or fruit. Elmer got up and paraded around the train in his Reg Grundies. Then came back and lounged around in them for a while. No point in getting dressed right now! Dragon lady was back again with the stamp album and took all the credit cards and gave back our tickets. Elmer was not here when she did the swap yesterday so he got yelled at and that has taken some of the heat off me. Just before we got into Xian Dragon lady was back,AGAIN, this time to get the doonas folded. They had to be folded the right way and everybody helped her fold them. Everybody except me. I said “ I dont do this at home so there is NO WAY Im gonna do it while Im on holiday"
The wee small hours of the night with Elmer snoring like a freight train were HELL. The stuff around that was soo much fun.

Im in Xian for 3 nights then on another train for 2 days (40hour) to Urumqi. In staying at Hantan Lodge, it is the best place I have ever stayed in. Bloody luxury. It would want to be for the price Im paying, about $21/night. Its in a dodgy neighbourhood and looks rubbish from the outside but brilliant inside.

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chris on

me and kate are laughing at how you were flipping off the cop you big rebel, and i think its funny how you nailed elmer in the ass with the paper haha! glad to hear your having a good time and causing some trouble:).

Aprille on

Tracey and I are sitting here in Augusta in fron t of our laptops overlooking the Blackwood River, reading your Travel Pod. How many bloody times have I told you to respect the law in these countries. You will get locked up and we will never see you again. XX

Ngaere on

Train stations are all the same in China - huge, smelly, full of chinese not very inviting but necessary if you want to go somewhere. You were very 'silly/stupid"walking around the train with no shoes. I didn't care how long the trip was, I never used a toilet on a train. Did you have the people selling toys as well as the food on the train? Good that you got the middle bunk, the top one is very uncomfortable. Bottom bunk is the best. While in Xian, you can hire a bike and ride around the city wall. It was fun doing it. Don't buy souveniers at the Warrior's tea house - very expensive and you can pick up the same things in the markets for less than half the price. Look forward to reading the next message. Stay safe.

dzasta on

You still in Augusta??? I thought you were there last week? With the new house surely you have a LIST for Tony by now.

dzasta on

SO Boy I hear you are the big drinker now?????????

No toy sellers just food. im not riding a bike round the city walls, happy to walk, only 14km.

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