Outside Beijing station, a huge video-screen seemed to be showing the seven o'clock news.
The whole area in front of the station was littered with bodies, curled up on bags, or eating vegetables and rice out of polystyrene, lunch-boxes.
"Don't they have a waiting room?" a Belgian asked.
There was hardly any more room to wait.
Accommodation in Beijing was as hard to find as buying the ticket you want, to the destination you want, on the day you want.
And in some of the establishments, the client is considered an inconvenience. Forms are filled in, slips of paper passed to another person, and a receipt handed over to be shown to the floor-attendant; when they materialise.
I was never thanked for my custom, or asked to enjoy my stay and all the facilities at my disposal.