Crazy Train

Shanghai Travel Blog

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Looks ok, but it wasn't!

People who made my travels more enjoyable: Michelle (USA) 
 
So the train ride from Hangzhou to Shanghai was definitely the craziest of my life. I admit, I do not have a lot of experience riding trains. I find them stressful and they are definitely one of my least favorite modes of transportation. Once I sat down on this particularly train though, I knew I was in for a wild ride. Firstly, nobody sat in their assigned seats. Second, people from the country packed all sorts of strange supplies for their short journey. The train ride was supposed to take three hours, but the way people had packed made me think that they were expecting to travel for months.

Outside view of the train
They had produce, fans, crates, chickens... the list goes on. I think I even say a CRT TV at one point (is that stranger than a Chicken... it's certainly heavier). We sat across from two girls texting away on their phones. They were excited to visit the large and modern city of Shanghai. Also across from us were two middle-aged lovers who were clearly infatuated with each other. They were very cute and to our astonishment they were having an affair and going on a vacation together. A toothless grandfather sat to my right and on his lap he had a toddler who's pajama bottom was missing, leaving his bare bum fully exposed. 

Had it not been for the incredible heat, I probably would have enjoyed the train ride quite a bit. 

The train made frequent stops and it seemed that more and more passengers clambered into the crowded cars.

Is he doing surgery?
It was not until we reached the outskirts of Shanghai that people began to disembark the train. Finally, Michelle and I reached our destination, Shanghai! 

This was a city that I had heard so much about, but this was the first time I was actually able to see it up close (no the airport did not count). Michelle and I took one final cab from the train station to our hotel. It had been a long day and no doubt Michelle was about ready to lose her temper with me. My constant complaining over the heat was enough to drive any travel companion mad, and I definitely owed her a big apology by the time we reached our hotel. The reality was, without Michelle I would have been completely lost in China. But thanks to her I was able to see more and do more than I could have ever done alone. Her ability to speak Shanghainese and her familiarity with the city also made the adventure that much more pleasant.

No! He's cutting and serving Peking Duck
 

After we checked into the hotel and changed clothes we set out into the city in search of dinner. Michelle gave me a few options and what did I settle on? Peking Duck. Why in the world would someone choose Peking Duck in Shanghai? Well according to Michelle, the Peking Duck in Shanghai rivals that of Beijing 

And the verdict?! Freaking delicious. I could use so many adjectives to describe the amazing meal that I had at "Duck King" but I would need to break out my thesaurus (and I'm a bit too lazy for that). If you haven't had traditional Peking Duck, I'll explain the process to you. First you get some small tortillas (I don't know the official word, but that is basically what they are), along with some plum dipping sauce and little onion shoots.

One of the best meals I've ever had
Then out comes the surgeon, I mean, the guy that cuts up the duck. He has some incredibly sharp knives that slice the duck like it's a stick of butter. In fact, it's so fatty and tender, it might as well be a stick of butter. The flavor is just incredible. I dug in, and I mean, I really dug in. Once you are beyond full, you take a few more pieces of duck. Once you are afraid they might have call an ambulance because you overate yourself, they bring out a soup made from the carcass of the duck. YUMMMMMM! Please just do me a favor. In fact, do everyone a favor. Eat Peking Duck when you visit Shanghai. 

The End.  

 

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Looks ok, but it wasnt!
Looks ok, but it wasn't!
Outside view of the train
Outside view of the train
Is he doing surgery?
Is he doing surgery?
No! Hes cutting and serving Pekin…
No! He's cutting and serving Peki…
One of the best meals Ive ever had
One of the best meals I've ever had
I couldnt get enough
I couldn't get enough
Simple, yet delicious
Simple, yet delicious
Hangzhou train
Hangzhou train
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photo by: Chokk