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ill-prepared to say the least.
Our seat tickets from the consulate had to be upgraded to hard-sleeper berths for the mammoth 32-hour journey
To be unable to stretch out and wrap ourselves in blankets for two long nights, would have been a terrible Chinese torture as the thermometer plunged to hostile depths.
The seating-coaches persisted with the air-conditioning, and the lights would remain on all night. Very comforting.
To travel in a hard-sleeper carriage on such a long journey is to really see the Chinese, and all their characteristics. Eleven open compartments of six, make up your travelling companions for the long weekend.
Years before, this was a great way to see China....
Open windows rattling, warm breeze circulating, and views for miles across flooded paddy fields.
Not this time.
At daybreak, the windows remained securely closed, but I still didn't have enough clothes to keep warm. The view outside could only be imagined.
Behind the silhouettes, must be the miles of rice fields I remembered, yet the clattering train would not disturb the winter cloud that cloaked us....
Some eating habits are so disgusting: slurping, and shoveling; chewing rapidly with open mouths; that now it was not only the thought of eating....
that put us off.
Slowly, the sun warms up this large land once more, the cloud is burned off, and the people are visible again; going about their physically intensive, arable farming as they have for hundreds of years.
The fields are mostly brown in December, with highlights of green vegetable crops breaking up the stubble.
Get me out of China
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