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Travelling Alone

Popularity 6Viewed 2389 times 2016-1-25 16:47 |Personal category:Travelling|System category:Life

※ Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

It would be a loss if you go to Germany without watching one soccer match. But as the tickets for Bayern Munich were sold out long ago, I decided to try my luck at the arena before the game started. So one Saturday morning in October, I took the train from Nuremberg and arrived in Munich with a crowd of young men and women attending the Oktoberfest in traditional costumes and got off at the Arena Stop with ardent fans dressed in red. I thought there would be scalpers selling tickets everywhere, but to my great surprise, all I saw was a gigantic architecture standing erect and people coming in twos and threes. No scalpers. 

So I changed my strategy. I approached another man with yellow face holding a sign “for two tickets” (in German) and after ceaseless negotiations and he getting his tickets, he gave me the sign. In the follow one and a half hours, you’d see an Asian girl holding a sign for one ticket under the scorching sun and kept chuckling despite herself from time to time. Most people passed by without looking at me; some cryptically shifted sights between me and the sign and couldn’t help laughing or murmuring something to his partners; and a few did come to me, saying: “I’ve got an extra ticket. 100 Euros. What do you say?” “Sorry, it’s too high for me.” When I began to feel helpless and exhausted, an elderly gentleman came to me, put one ticket in my hand and left. Before I realized what happened, he came back: “You have to go to see the game. You can’t sell the ticket.” “Sure” I nodded my head. “I have travelled so long to see it. Thank you so much.” So I came in, cheering, applauding and dancing with the excited fans together and experienced what was the authentic soccer craze. More than that. During the interval, the amiable gentleman came to talk to me again. “I can see you quite enjoyed the game.” “Yes, I did.”

 I truly did.

※ Museum Square, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The last day before I left Amsterdam for China, I wandered around the Museum Square where stood the iconic I AMSTERDAM. Out of nowhere came a young man with a bicycle, smiling to me: “Hi! Do you have time for a drink or something?” As I had no interest in this kind of romance at all, I directly rejected him: “Sorry, I don’t have time. I have to rush for the train station.” “It won’t take much time.” “Sorry, I really got to go. I’m leaving tonight.” So I left quickly and deliberately chose the main roads with more people. When I felt I was finally safe, to my astonishment, he appeared again. “Hi, it’s you! Can we have a drink, please?” “Sorry, I’m really sorry.” I quickened my steps, leaving him murmuring: “Sorry, always sorry...”

※ Train Stations, New Delhi& Agra, India

The train tickets system in India is perplexing. You have to book them online a long time before travelling, but often couldn’t be sure whether you’ve got them or not until the last moment.

When I was waiting for the train for Agra that had been delayed for two hours already, I started to talk with a young lady nearby. Knowing I hadn’t get the ticket, she took me, among swarms of people and through an archway, until we finally arrived at the women-only ticket window. There she helped me get a general ticket, and explained patiently how I could change it into a valid ticket after getting on board. She had brightened my travelling day.

The next afternoon I left Agra for Jodhpur by train once again with no ticket. After having failed to get a general ticket at the ticket window, I had no choice but to try to get on the train first. While I was waiting in the Staff’s Office for the delayed train, one man working there told me where I could get a ticket. So I went to another office and it turned out to be quite efficient. One officer asked for my destination, checked my passport and handed me one ticket, saying: “Here, 1350 Rs.” “Thank you very much.” I felt so grateful and gave him 2000 Rs, which he quickly put into his pocket. Then he continued to talk with his colleagues, never turning and looking at me again.

Do you have any interesting story of travelling alone?

Soccer craze at Allianz Arena

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


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Comment Comment (5 comments)

Reply Report Igo 2016-1-26 11:56
You, a little woman, travelled in India alone? And even by taking train?     Well, we do have all kinds of people here.
Reply Report 宁檬 2016-1-26 13:45
Igo: You, a little woman, travelled in India alone? And even by taking train?        Well, we do have all kinds of people here.
Shall I interpret this as “奇葩”, which I'm really not? Well, I travelled alone half of the trip and except for a lot of starings, rip-off from one Tutu driver and crowds of people, I was totally fine. Most of the local people were kind and ready to help and they made my trip special. It was when I ran into some of our own people that made me feel most comfortable, as they were trying to take advantage of you becuase you travelled alone in a foreign country. So my advice for girls travelling alone is protecting themselves according to the situation and the people they truly met rather than on stereotypes.
Reply Report Igo 2016-1-27 12:21
宁檬: Shall I interpret this as “奇葩”, which I'm really not? Well, I travelled alone half of the trip and except for a lot of starings, rip-off from one  ...
You were just lucky. No further explanation is needed.
Reply Report guml 2016-3-15 15:53
You are  fan of Bayern Munich. I am fan of Real Madrid.
I think you are a brave girl.I am very admire you can travel alone.
Reply Report 宁檬 2016-3-17 09:56
guml: You are  fan of Bayern Munich. I am fan of Real Madrid.
I think you are a brave girl.I am very admire you can travel alone.
I will go and watch one soccer game of Real Madrid if I visit Spain some day. It's more about the atmosphere.

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