Wally World


Soon I will be making the flight from Guangzhou to Tokyo to Portland. Then home to see my family in Walla Walla and other parts. It is now nearly 5 in the morning and I am in Guangzhou. Lately I have been commuting between Jiangxi and Guangdong Provinces. I get on the K87 at ten at night in Jian and wake up in Guangzhou. The train arrives around 7:30 or 8. Going back, I grab the K85 at about 7:30 in the evening and arrive at about 5:30 in the morning. Tickets cost between 100 and 300 RMB depending upon what kind of sleeping accomodations I get. 

Last week I could only get a standing ticket, so that was a bit grueling. I alternated standing and sharing a seat with some kind Chinese students. Quite often the trains in China are full of standers (or is it standees?). I have a few students who live in remote provinces. They will stand for up to five days and nights traveling during Spring Festival. Even if they could afford a sleeper, there are usually none available.

This week is the Canton Fair. I learned yesterday that foreigners need only present a passport for free admission. Chinese, on the other hand, must pay 300 RMB to get in. This is just one more example of the harsh reality most Chinese face.

Well, I think I will get more coffee…

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