It was pouring down as I left the Guilin hostel at 6am on the Thursday morning to catch the train to Shanghai. It was the first time had to use me rain mac!
On the recommendation of the hostel I found a taxi to take me the 40 minutes or so to Guilin North station, had it been the main Guilin station I could have walked to it in less than 5 minutes.
Arriving at the station I handed my ticket and passport over to verify that I am the owner of the ticket, every train ticket has the persons name and ID number (my passport number) on it, at this point I notice that the train leaves at 8:43am and not 8am as I’d imagined. This meant I had 2 hours to wait until the train left. I remembering thinking at the time better that way round than realising it was just about to leave or even worse had gone. I wandered the station and found a Bruce Lee themed restaurant, handing my note over explaining I am vegetarian and ending up with an egg dumpling which I have to say tasted really nice.
Heading to the correct waiting area to catch the K150 to Shanghai I found a place to wait until I followed everyone else who had heard and understood the announcement.
Boarding the train I quickly realised the difference between 2nd and 3rd class on Chinese trains. It was not just the beds stacked 3 high it was the no dividing wall to create a corridor that added to the untidied mad feel. I also requested a bottom bunk, but they had all gone so I was told at the point of purchasing I would have a middle bunk. This is much better than a top bunk because on the middle you can at least sit up with out banging you head. However when I found my ‘cabin’ space there was a man fast a sleep in the middle bunk and a family occupying the bottom bunks on either side. The conductor came along to take my ticket and give me a card which she would get back in return for waking me up before the Shanghai stop. I explained the best I could that I had paid for a middle bunk and she shrugged and pointed to the top bunk which I think meant that my ticket allowed me any bed in cabin 5 row 2. The first to arrive gets the bottom, second the middle and then me the top bunk. As you can see from one of the photos in the gallery the height difference of each bed it quite distinct. Oh well at least it would only be one night. I accepted this and moved quickly to getting settled in.
I thought in between reading, looking out the window, eating the food I had bought, playing patience on the iPad and Meditating the journey would go fast. It did however I had adapt my order a little because at first when I tried to meditate some Chinese music ( or music as it is called when I am in China 🙂 ) began to play through the whole carriages PA system, along with this the children on the bottom bunk both had swirling tops that played happy birthday every time the spun it, this was every 10 seconds or so. I looked out of the window for while, before playing patience and then meditating. I then practiced the Noesitherapy techniques to see if I could completely numb my thumb with nothing other than direct suggestion. For the first time I got the complete numbness, I felt it tingle before it happened. With all these long train journeys I am getting rather good at this technique. I still have a little way to go to master it, however I have most definitely improved vastly since leaving the UK.
For most of the journey I practiced acceptance, being in the moment, not wanting to change a thing. It was a really nice meditation that I kept coming back to throughout my time on the train.
Waking up at 5:30am ready for the 6:22am departure from the train I meditated once more for 20 minutes before getting up, having some breakfast and checking I had packed everything ready for the train to pull in to Shanghai South Train Station which it did exactly on time.