Dreams of White Tiles . . .


Take the Z Train

Filed under: Uncategorized — Roddy @ 9:36 pm

Took one of China’s shiny new Z trains to and from Shanghai over the weekend. 12 hour non-stop trip, which is an hour or two less than the regular expresses which stop at the major cities en route.

The service is a fairly good one – for a more expensive ticket (499Y soft sleeper, 283Y soft seat, no hard class) you save a bit of time and get a better nights sleep as you don’t get bounced off your bunk every time the train pulls into a station. You also get a free evening meal, air-line style, except it’s infinitely more palatable than anything you’d get on an internal Chinese flight (motto: is it cheese? Is it ham? No, it’s Cham!) and the attendants are friendly and helpful.

It’s not much fun though. Soft sleeper always seems a bit unfriendly – as if people don’t pay more to have to speak to others. In hard sleeper you’ll hardly get a chance to put on your slippers before someone offers you sunflower seeds, a game of cards and the chance to teach at their cousin’s new English school. Soft sleeper folk are much less communicative. They don’t snore any less though.

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