Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tofu, Bud, and a Wobbly Doll: Killing Time on an Overnight Train in China

Not long ago, I felt inspired to make a long trip by overnight train instead of taking a plane. To pass some time during the evening portion of the ride, I decided to buy one of no-frills meals for sale from a passing cart. When I asked if there was a chicken option, the man pushing the cart looked at me like I was crazy. So like the last time I rode an overnight train, I paid 25 RMB (about U.S. $4) for the only option available. I also noticed beer in the cart. Although it was far from my favorite, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy a can of the unexpected brand for 10 RMB.

The meal was more substantial than my earlier overnight train meal, and the fried fish tasted just like the fish sticks I commonly ate as a kid. The tofu-like object tasted like tofu. The other stuff had flavors. And the beer had just as little taste as I expected, so I ordered a second one to wash down the first one. Overall I give the meal and the beer a passing grade, as they proved successful in helping me kill some time in a cramped space.

After sleeping, or finishing trying to sleep, the next day dragged on more than expected since the train arrived two hours late. But fortunately a friendly four-year-old girl provided some entertainment.

girl in pink hat smiling at an egg doll made out of two ping pong balls

Better than the beer.

Needless to say, I am not in Shanghai at the moment. And I am not even sure where I will be tomorrow night. But I will be somewhere, and I will be moving forward with the various posts mentioned earlier, plus other posts, including one about a wonderful item I found in Shanghai for the first time which surprised me far more than finding American Budweiser as the sole beer for sale on a Chinese train.

can of American Budweiser next to a prepared meal purchased on a train in China

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