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The Train Journey That Dreams Are Made Of!

HeyHey and a Big G'Day toya WOW, what an adventure the last few days have been! OK, remember when I said I wanted to become a not so planned traveller? I got my wish forced upon me but how strange that everything worked out just fine! OK, we got to Guilin and tried to find a bus going up to Kaili. No suck luck. It seemed that everything was sold out. Either that or they were the train station women's best friends. So we gave in and tried the train station again. Of course there was no happiness to be offered at the train station ticket office. Why would there be! GRRRR! That was it for me, I had had enough. I was not going to stay in this area one more night. Israeli Girl and I took a seat to rest and relax. Whilst looking around the station and at all the stunning Chinese girls I noticed an unmanned gateway. I guess here was my chance at bringing on 'the big change' I wanted. We grabbed our packs and simply walked through and boarded a train. There were no seats available so we grabbed some floor space with everyone else. How did I feel inside? Awesome! We had no idea where the train was going but I guess we were now going that way too! The train we would soon find out was actually going to Nanning. As we had both already been to Nanning it wasn't actually the way we wanted to go but we said 'Bugger it' let's do it, and do you know what, it was the most amazing train journey ever! Not long after the train began its journey a Chinese guy came over to me and asked in the most perfect English I have ever heard if we wanted to come sit with him and his friends. I kind of looked at him and said 'huh'. He repeated his invitation and once again I said 'huh...um...wow'. He then asked if I spoke English. I apologised and asked him where he learnt to speak 'that kind of English'. Here is the conversation; Chinese Guy: Excuse me Sir, would thou and friend like to accompany myself and my friends to Nanning? Me: Huh! Chinese Guy: Excuse me Sir, would thou and friend like to accompany myself and my friends to Nanning? Me: Huh! Oh....um....Wow! Chinese Guy: Is thou's native tongue English? Me: Wow! I'm so sorry, where did you learn to speak 'that kind of' English? Chinese Guy: I'm from Urumqi in Xinjiang Province. My father and I have acquired English through tapes and books. Mainly authors such as Dickens......on and on and on! It took everything in me to stop myself from laughing. I then found out that he had not only, NEVER seen a foreigner before but he had never spoken to one. I then found out where Urumqi and Xinjiang Province was when he showed me on my map. I stared at him in disbelief, but there he was, right before my eyes. None of his friends could speak a word of English but there he was speaking like he was born in the royal family and having no idea that no one actually spoke that way in 'real life'. It then became more unbelievable! He and his friends had been on the train, in Hard Seat for over 5 days yet they looked so happy and alive. We were surrounded by a train full of people that had never seen a foreigner before and many continually walked up and down the isle looking at us. Poor Israeli got the worst of it as she had long red hair and freckles. That really freaked them out. It then became even more unbelievable! He was part of a Dance Group that was on its way to Nanning for a Minority Dance Festival. One of the girls was super stunning and they had all been trained in many types of dance. So I found out that for the past five days they had been singing and dancing their way across China. So sing and dance they continued to do. I sat in total awe for the entire six hours it took for us to get to Nanning. They all danced and sang and the other passengers all clapped along with them. I also found out that no one could really understand what they were singing about as they were singing in their own Local Language. Sadly, so sadly the train pulled into Nanning station. I didn't want the journey to end. This was what I was searching for. We all said a sad good bye and Israeli and I sat to discuss what to do and where to go. Kunming! Let's try to get a ticket to Kunming from here was her response. Ohhhhh noooo, not again! I replied. She laughed, walked to the ticket booth and returned with two hard seat tickets for later that evening. Unfreakingbelievable! We spent a few hours walking around the town and then sat for beer and hotpot across from the station. When the train pulled in we went to get on in the hard seat carriage and were then escorted to the Hard Sleeper carriage. Wahoo, a free upgrade! See what happens when you simply let things happen. They actually do but in a totally unexpected way! Unexpected things would continue to happen! Why did we leave Yangshuo? It was bloody freezing in Yangshuo! Why were heading to Kunming? Things were warm in Kunming! Yeah Right! I woke up at seven thirty thinking how wonderful it would be to be warm again. Blue skies, sunshine, cold beer and maybe even shorts! Yeah Right! As Israeli had a lower bunk and was awake I asked her how glorious the day was outside. Oh glorious it is! She said with a funny smirk. I didn't like that smirk, it told lies. After jumping from my roof top bunk I looked outside to find......... The world had turned absolutely WHITE! The train was stopped at a station and my first views were of icicles frozen to another trains wheels. I stood in silence and thought about change. I had asked that I change to accept change and now I had change after change being thrust down my throat. Then I noticed that it was actually snowing...IT REALLY WAS SNOWING! I couldn't believe it! There was white everywhere! It was soooo beautiful, just so beautiful. I loved it. I sat and stared at it and repeated the words 'It's snowing' over and over. I then heard a strange sound. It was a foreign language and it wasn't Chinese. I walked down the carriage and found a Polish couple playing cards. They were so happy to see me and I was so happy to see them.

They came to join Israeli and me. We all stared at the unexpected white world outside our window. They too had come to Kunming for the promised warmth! And then it became even more unbelievable! Not only did he look like Leonardo Di Caprio and have many beautiful Chinese girls come to talk to him to see if it was actually 'him' (which it wasn't), but both he and his beautiful girlfriend could both actually speak back to them. When I say speak back, I mean in fluent Mandarin. I found out they had been studying Chinese for eight years and had been here in China for a year as part of their University Degree. How Wonderful and what a wonderful unexpected friendship! They too were going to the Xishuangbanna! Cheers N Beers toya...shane ______________________________________ The soundtrack to this entry was The Man Himself! Prince and one of his most awesome albums ever. 'Graffiti Bridge' PS: Leonardo Di Caprio (or better known as Rafal from Poland) and me are actually still in touch. We have continued to email and text mail each other for the past seven years. We even tried many phone calls but his spoken English had become so bad that emails were so much easier. A few years after both he and Maggie returned to Poland they had a 'not so happy' break up. He went through a hard time for several years and then found new love. The job of his dreams soon followed and soon after.....Marriage! If I ever get around to finishing this bog I will then have the fun job of adding the small amount of photos I have.....one of them is a more recent one....a beautiful wedding photo!

Dream Train Journey

Dream Train Journey


Dream Train Journey (1)

Dream Train Journey (1)


Dream Train Journey (2)

Dream Train Journey (2)


Dream Train Journey (3)

Dream Train Journey (3)


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Dream Train Journey (4)


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Dream Train Journey (5)


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Dream Train Journey (6)


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Dream Train Journey (7)


Dream Train Journey (8)

Dream Train Journey (8)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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