Published: June 11th 2011June 11th 2011
Yesterday I went on my first train adventure, which can only be preparation for the upcoming train journeys in the months ahead!
So we decided to go to Tianjin, I have no idea why since we actually had no idea what was there, we pretty much rocked up to the city and were like, "well, now what?"
We got out of the train station and luckily the architecture pretty much jumps out and slaps you in the face. So we went for a wander along the river and took lots of photos. The architecture was really European and really modern in style so it was very interesting. It was really ridiculously hot though so we didn't really make it very far.
We then met up with one of Ralph's friends who is studying there and went for some food. It's really weird in China how a meal will cost between 40p and 2quid (there's no pound sign on this laptop!) depending on where you go, yet if you go to a cafe the drinks will not be less than 2 quid each. It's strange.
So we didn't actually DO anything in Tianjin, but it was still a really nice day. But then when we tried to get home the fun *really* began!
Turns out we had accidentally managed to buy standing tickets for the journey home. And this is on a two hour train... In the heat. Luckily being foreigners everyone wanted to be our friends, so we got some spare seat no problem. In China there are high speed trains and local slow trains, we'd taken the slow train which foreigners never would normally do because they're slow and uncomfortable. We got it because it's way way cheaper, out ticket cost about a pound. One pound for a 2 hour train journey! Oh if only it were so cheap back home!
Anyway so half way through the journey a man in a conductor's uniform enters the carriage and starts yelling. At first we were thinking maybe he was checking tickets or something, but then he whips out a whiteboard and starts writing sums on it. That's right, sums. He goes on for a about 10 minutes showing off just how good at maths he is (not that ANYONE on that train would have known if he was doing the sums right or not!) and then gets out a load of books and CDs to teach people how to be as good at maths as he is and tries to sell them! It was a little bit bizarre!
Ralph's computer has now well and truly died so I don't know how often I'll be online since I didn't bring my laptop in the end. At the moment I'm on one of the other teacher's netbooks at the school.
In other news, today I got the subway on my own. Now I know what your thinking, you went half way across south america on your own, what's the big deal? But everything is in chinese here! It's a lot easier to wander round on your own when you know how to ask for directions! Anyways, so I am proud of myself.
I think I might get a little bit bored for this first month here in Beijing, there's probably only enough touristy stuff to last a week so I'll be spreading that out. But then at the beginning of next month we're going to Shanghai for 2 days and then Tokyo for 4 days (which I am peeing my pants in excitement about! Going to spend my life savings on clothes. Yes please.) and then after that I'll be travelling round China with Matt before going on to Mongolia so that'll be more interesting. But right now, yeah, kinda bored. I should have brought my laptop with me.
I think you might have to wait until I'm home for any photos at all, since I'm only going to have borrowed laptops for the foreseeable future!