Planes: Travel to China takes about 16 hours with a stop in Tokyo. It is a long journey, but not the longest I’ve been on. I’m still seeking God for his grace to be able to sleep on my plane travels.
Trains: This trip to China has been a unique one as the Lord has created an opportunity for us to venture out and visit a town in central China. In order to arrive at our destination, we had to travel by overnight train. This is my first overnight trip on a train. I’l set up the scene: 2 bunks in a compartment. For safety, 2 men and 2 ladies would share the bay. I was surprised to see that we had a luxury coach. It had a western bathroom and was very clean. One of men sharing the bay shared his train experiences from Eastern Europe quite different. The 12 hour journey is filled with stops at towns along the way. You are rocked to sleep by the motion of the train. You are jolted awake by the sudden application of the brakes to slow the train down. All in all, I quite enjoyed the experience.
Our train ride back was a different experience. Same set up with bays, but the train was not the luxury liner we had experienced on the first trip. We enjoyed the coolness of the room provided by windows falling down every time a train passed from the other direction or a sudden braking. Would not be bad but it was really cold and add the wind chill factor in let’s just say, I slept with all socks, hats, gloves and apparel on to keep warm. What a wonderful adventure.
Rickshaws are carriages drawn by either a person pulling them or riding a bike. It is a nice way to see the city as we can go into back alleys that a car would not take you. I laughed as we had to balance the rides with shifting bodies around to evenly distribute the weight younger folks hauled more people and the older drivers took on fewer people. It was cold but enjoyable. Our tour took us around a lake in the center of the town. At one point man in a bathing suit runs in front of the rickshaw and jumps into the lake. I looked out and saw many men swimming across the lake. I guess it is the Chinese version of the polar bear club.