Check out time is always noon in China. There are no special exceptions even though the sun was coming up when we got back to the hotel as the sun was rising. The singing went on late into the morning and when I awoke the effect of this reverly were still being felt. The noodle dish before bed was a good idea.
I broke away from the group and sought out the comfort and familiarity of my favorite coffee shop. There was an outpost near in the mall. It gave me a chance to replenish my body’s need for caffeine in order to judge the state of my recovery. It was alright actually. All that is really needed was time and some more sleep. There would be time to do that on the train later on today.
The bags were gathered together in the lobby. Sitting there with the British guys in our group inside the coffee shop we quietly recovered. The weather outside was really nice. The temperature outside reached thirty according to one of the screens. I made my way back to the hotel in order to finish uploading all the pictures that I wanted to include in my post. The wifi wasn’t as quick inside the shop. It was a little disappointing.
Time spent in the lobby of the hotel wasn’t that bad. It was a little cooler than the outside so the tiredness wasn’t as much of a burden. Hydration and time helped reinvigorate my body and mind enough to seek some food. With my post safely in cyberspace I went out in search of a meal. I found a Chinese fast food joint that had pictures of what it had on offer in the windows. I was curious to see what fast food was like here. It was pretty good and very economical.
Five-thirty was the time that we were supposed to leave. Harvey prepared papers with instructions that we were to give to our drivers. These essentially told them to drive us to the train station and that we needed a receipt. We got to the station and went through our customary security screening. There was forty-five minutes before we were to start boarding the train and then another thirty before it leaves the station.
Throughout these pauses there is always some sort of conversation as we get to know each other. We share stories about our lives and experiences as well as impressions of where we are. I think the consensus is that it is good that we are doing this in a group. Especially since this is the first time for all of us here in China. This gives us an opportunity to experience what it’s like and get to know our way around in the company of others. I like the people that are in this group. We have had some good times together.
This train ride will be a little different. We are all together in the same car and occupying sequential spaces. There are three beds to a number and two numbers to a space making it six beds. This time we are able to be together sharing stories and eating. The journey takes about twelve hours and we should be arriving in Xi’an at about seven.
Xi’an is the historic ancient capital of China and the beginning of the Silk Road. We will be spending two nights there and luckily have three days to explore the city. Being tired has some good benefits mainly that it’s easyer to fall asleep amidst the drifting odors and quiet noise of the moving train. It should be a good time here.