buying a train ticket...

Beijing Travel Blog

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... is supposed to be the ultimate newbie killer in china

and that's kinda true hehe

beijing train station is really busy, thousands of people camping with their sacks of rice, food bags, luggage, etc in front of the huge station. first challenge was to find the place to buy the ticket: lonely planet mentions a special foreigner desk but of course that doesn't seem to exist anymore (according to my search and the security girl who redirected me affirmatively to the ticket hall)

so i entered the ticket hall, was laughed at by the security guard upon asking "english?" and had to choose from around 70 ticket windows that all seemed the same but had different numbers of people queuing...

i tried my luck at an empty one and was quickly moved to counter number 1... after queuing there for 10 minutes ("queuing" - it is true that the chinese don't really get that concept... it's a huge fight for the attention of the ticket clerk with loads of pushing and ellbowing... but it's fun!) only to get moved to counter number 4! anyway the lady spoke some basic english and i handed her my (that i thought was very intelligent of me) sheet were i have written from where to where, when, class and train number. a few minutes later after having a huge money mess (they love their banknotes here... 1.5 days and i got about 30 notes in my pocket.. worse than the us) i got my first chinese train ticket!

and as far as i can read it i should arrive at the right place at the right time... but i don't hold my breath... but it was only 50 yuan so a good first try

so.... on march 15th i will be travelling to datong as my first glimpse (and deciding factor how fast i will travel through china) of train journeys in china. 6 hours on a hard seat

i'm excited! i hope it will be rough as hell, chicken picking on my head, monks begging at my feet, people spitting on my bag, train breakdowns, pickpockets, etc... can't wait!

annoying thing number 2 in china: you get constantly starred at... young and old, people are watching you, girls are giggling, etc... you feel kind of special (and alien) :) i didn't expect that in beijing, though... i wonder if they will be ready for the olympics 2008... this city is pretty rough

tomorrow i'm gonna explore the forbidden city and the day after the chinese wall (or vice versa). it's tempting to do the touristy day trips - it looks so cheap compared to my last few countries :)

maggiehuang says:
can't imagine China seems to u like that.
I am a Chinese girl,a college student,and would like to chat with
u more about China.If u'd like to chat,please add me in the msn
Posted on: Apr 12, 2007
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photo by: Eric