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Snake on the Changsha Train!

Popularity 14Viewed 6609 times 2014-6-3 08:39 |Personal category:Lifestyle|System category:Life| Travel, Changsha, China, Funny

It all started with an Iphone. Of all things one could buy in China, my sister asked for an Iphone. And I still have the Whatsapp recording she sent after I told her that I had bought one for her.


She said: ‘Iphoooone, I phoneee Bra…. Haw haw hawwww,’ yes, like a rugby team.


That is why I needed to go to Changsha. A friend from my university days was briefly visiting Changsha and if my sister was to have the phone any sooner, I needed to go to Changsha.


The ticket seller had to ask me several times if I was sure about getting a hard seat without a sleeping bunker on a slow train … I said I was.



According to my calculations, I was to have a window seat. The problem is, there was someone in my seat. I just stood in the aisle and gazed at him, not afraid but at a loss for words, being a bad Chinese speaker. But protocol needs no Chinese, I just waved my ticket at them and the guilty guy sprung from my seat.


My seat faced three people facing me; they all were looking at me.


Silence reigned. Gazing and chatter rambled elsewhere. Babies pointing at me had their arms shot down by embarrassed mothers.


One uncle in front of me summoned his courage and started things moving. In a Chinese phrase I have heard over a thousand times he asked:


‘Nǐ shì nǎlǐ rén’


I told him that I was from Shandong and added: ‘ Wǒ shì zhōngguó rén’


There is nothing gratifying to a Chinese than a foreigner who can speak Chinese. The whole carriage heard my joke and chatter ensued, people rose to peek at me.


I cannot speak Chinese, I gave false hopes, so I told them I was actually foreign.


The guy next to me was tired, but needed some sleep, but had nowhere to lean. I tapped his shoulders and patted mine and behold the guy was soon snoring on my shoulder – and I felt like a mother.


I had no idea where I was going, and I planned not be proud, so I kept on asking – each time I saw a city I would ask if it was closer to Changsha – a guy sitting on the other side understood me and said to me in calm and cool English that he was going to Changsha too and that he would tell me, or wake me up when we got there. Such a relief! Especially because when I asked for Changsha, we were still in Shandong!


At Jining, the guys on my seat got off, hot girl got in and sat next to me, spoke perfect English and was the highlight of the journey but was also the source of my troubles.


Enter Mr. X, he comes and stands by me and asks the girl to translate. First he says I am beautiful, I needed no translation. Then asks if I like Mao, I said I didn’t but that I had good amounts of respect for Deng Xiaoping instead.


He asked what music I liked and I said Reggae and he accused me of being a pot smoker, I laughed in denial. Funny guy.


At Wuhan the hot girl got off and Mr. X sat next to me, he asks for a co-selfie and I granted him. Soon after he snapped his picture on one of his three phones– he sent it directly to Wechat Moments.


Despite it being in the early hours of the day he got a comment on the photo. I still wonder what the comment said, or what Mr. X described the photo but he was all smiles as he replied to the commenter.


I have a strong feeling that he lied that he was sitting next to an NBA Star because he had accused me of looking like a James or Jones from the NBA, none of whom I know, or care to, being a hater of basketball.


He was so worked up and loud in talking to me in Chinese despite me replying in torrents of ting bu dongs …one elder commuter had to take it personal and hushed him to silence.


Silence reigned, so Mr. X fished out and gave me his business card. I was later to learn than he is a consultant for a fertilizer chemical manufacturer – I wondered why he gave me that card, that one day I would need fertilizer chemicals?


At this point I wished I had bought a bunker, my buttocks were on fire and the carriage was too hot - a combination that robs all sleep one can garner.


I was hungry as a rat, all my Chinese friends had brought food, and the biggest highlight was instant noodles, packets and packets. At all times of the journey people filed to the hot water booth to fix their noodles.


When morning came, I ordered my breakfast: Lotus roots, eggs and rice porridge – Mr. X said I should bring my own food next time I travel because the food on the train is expensive. It was just 10RMB and he was fertilizer seller! Expensive?

Started off at 7pm and by 11am we were still on the rails.


I needed to pee, went to the toilet and at first I thought it was the sleep… in front of me was a hole that revealed the rails zooming past below that is to say all the excreta people dumped was spewed on the ground.

 

I was taken aback and peed under duress and told myself that maybe the cistern was broken.


Soon we arrived. I shook hands with Mr. X and bade the others that talked to me goodbye as they continued to Guangzhou.

I had an Iphone to deliver. In five hours, I would be on another train back to Jinan, I could hear my buttocks protesting. 


Oh yeah, there was no snake of the train...just a foreigner who caused a stir like a snake would... 


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


Passing

Eggs
2

Flowers
3

Shake hands

Ray

Friends who just made a statement (5 Person)

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Comment Comment (34 comments)

Reply Report mutafire 2014-6-4 12:55
voice_cd: Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted your blog.
Thanks
Reply Report mutafire 2014-6-4 12:55
teamkrejados: Happy travels! Wish you a great day.
You too, Mademoiselle
Reply Report xnzcoffee 2014-6-4 14:23
mutafire: OMG! hahaha... okay, i got her number...happy? hahaha...but you are right, sometimes to see the real China, you need to get into places where real Chi ...
Actually Chinese people are traditional and they won't give a stanger phone number even they pleased. You are so lucky...
Reply Report objchina 2014-6-4 15:16
mutafire: Haha, yes...and the mosquito that attacked you while you slept...haha you are crazy!
haha!  
Reply Report Maierwei 2014-6-4 18:05
teamkrejados: I too get plagued with everyone who wants to practice English, and/or are curious about foreigners. Usually I tell them "不好意思.我是法国人,英文 ...
Good strategy!
Reply Report Maierwei 2014-6-4 18:06
"The guy next to me was tired, but needed some sleep, but had nowhere to lean. I tapped his shoulders and patted mine and behold the guy was soon snoring on my shoulder – and I felt like a mother."

THIS IS SO CUTE!!!
Reply Report PatrickInBeijin 2014-6-4 19:47
Funny story!!  Thanks for it!  I always avoid the hard seats because I am so old.  But taking the bus in America have shared shoulders with many a stranger, male and females.  Good for you.  (One time I held a woman's baby for several hours as she snored).
The helpfulness of ordinary people is one of the reasons I like to  travel in China.
Reply Report mutafire 2014-6-4 20:24
xnzcoffee: Actually Chinese people are traditional and they won't give a stanger phone number even they pleased. You are so lucky...
[em:3:   
Reply Report mutafire 2014-6-5 08:06
PatrickInBeijin: Funny story!!  Thanks for it!  I always avoid the hard seats because I am so old.  But taking the bus in America have shared shoulders with many a str ...
I am usually caught between giving my seat to an elder person and keeping it...if i am traveling under 100KM, i give up my seat...not on long distances...indeed the hard seats are a nightmare, but they say they are healthy
Reply Report mutafire 2014-6-5 08:07
Maierwei: "The guy next to me was tired, but needed some sleep, but had nowhere to lean. I tapped his shoulders and patted mine and behold the guy was soon ...
    thanks, you know inside this big mass there is a gooey space full of kindness... haha
Reply Report Maierwei 2014-6-5 15:32
mutafire:      thanks, you know inside this big mass there is a gooey space full of kindness... haha
A very kind snake!

Was that guy young or old? I wonder what he was telling his friends: "Hey, I met a laowai today! A black guy! He was sitting next to me. And I slept on his shoulder!   "
Reply Report mutafire 2014-6-5 20:45
Maierwei: A very kind snake!

Was that guy young or old? I wonder what he was telling his friends: "Hey, I met a laowai today! A black guy! He was sitting  ...
he was 45ish...but i dont think he would want to reveal that he got a shoulder from a guy, this is China...
Reply Report snowipine 2014-6-6 07:18
A funny journey with unforgettable experience.
The Mr X as a marketer naturally has tons of topics for him to chat with anyone he encounted, if he likes to do so.
Reply Report mutafire 2014-6-6 12:34
snowipine: A funny journey with unforgettable experience.
The Mr X as a marketer naturally has tons of topics for him to chat with anyone he encounted, if he li ...
yes, yes...he is a goods seller for sure!

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