Most Americans never have the experience of traveling by train. They either drive or fly to their destinations. In China, many people travel by train. It’s economical and reliable.
My friends and I got on the train Sunday night, traveled about 15 hours, and arrived Monday morning in time for breakfast at McDonalds. (A real treat for us since we don’t have one in our town.)
We shopped, went to the American consulate, and shopped some more. With our bags filled, we arrived back at the train station Monday night ready for the long ride home.
We had been warned that the train would be cold, so we all dressed warmly. Good thing. When the over head lights were turned off, there we were still dressed in our clothes (with long-johns, light jacket, and extra socks) bundled up on our bunks under a thick blanket.
The Chinese thought we were crazy, I’m sure. They all peel off their outer layer and wander around the train in their long underwear. It can be pretty shocking for an unsuspecting foreigner.
Even though my friends and I knew what to expect, it didn’t stop me from gasping and quickly looking away as an older man near me had a near wardrobe malfunction. Apparently his long-johns were somehow attached to his pants and he was anxious to get that outer layer off. I don’t think any one else was even bothered by his accidental flashing show.