Train to Beijing

This is the Shanghai railway station. So crowded and crazy and busy.
Each train has it's own waiting room. The chairs are always already
full and we camp out on our bags on the floor.
When the boarding call for our train was announced, EVERYONE started
running. So we did too. Unfortunately all the seats were sold out when
we bought our tickets so we had 'no seat' tickets. We ran to car # 2
( which is what was on our ticket) and I almost fainted with fear
because all the floor space inside was already claimed. Then the staff
started yelling at us 'YOU GO TO CAR TEN!' 'YOU GO TO CAR TEN!' so we
ran to car 10. Upon entering we realized it was the dining car. "what
the fuck is going on?!" i said as i collapsed into a seat. We managed
to figure out from other people sitting that we got to stay here til 6
am. This would be our bed. I managed to sleep a little. Waking up
every hour as people played cards, drank and smoked until 5am. Even
with earplugs in there was not much chance of sleep. At 6:30 the staff
started yelling in chinese and everyone was grabbing their bags and
running to the back compartments. We followed. We walked and squeezed
and stepped over and around about 6 cars. Passing mothers breast
feeding on the floor, stinky men passed out in heaps in the space
between the cars ( probably the guys who were drinking all night;)
Hoping the next would be empty. They were all full. We spent the next
5 hours in a crowded aisle. Me perched on someones suitcase. Boo and
laurel sleeping in the aisle. Babies crying. Men farting burping and
smoking right beside me. People getting up and forcing us to move this
way and that every 10 minutes to get to the hot water boiler to make
noodles and tea. The smell of instant noodles is forever going to be a
bad memory. Although I did eat some at about 10am when we had been on
there for 12 hours Both my sister and her friend thought was
'hilarious!' and ' exciting!'
I was the grumpy older sister who thought it was horrible. I actually
thought we would never get off that train.
We did experience alot of true culture though so looking back I'm glad
I did it. But ... Never again!

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