Chinese Fire Drill on the E&O Express
Trip Start Nov 15, 2010
49Trip End Ongoing
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Chinese people are extremely well traveled domestically. They go to the cities from the rural areas for work and then back home. However, they are only just beginning to be able to afford to travel internationally, and what is normal behavior in China is memorable to observe for the Wandering falang.
Halfway to the Thai border, a group of about 20 Chinese borded the train. I have been in a Chinese train station where the signage was all in Mandarin, so I am sympathetic to those who cannot read the train ticket. The train has a conductor.
Now friends, you would think that if you were so situated you would hand your ticket to the conductor and he would show you your seat
The Chinese way involves a lot of very loud talking. The western observer would think they were angry and arguing. They are not. I have seen Chinese order a cup of tea in that tone.
One of them colllected all of the tickets for the group and began barking out orders telling folks where to sit. Regrettably, he too could not read English. When I returned from the toilet there were 2 Chinese sitting in my seat. A German couple got up and moved because 1 sat next to them in their two seater and three sat across.
The leader actually continued yelling after the beds were turnd down, regrettably immediately next to my berth.
I was afraid these guys were going to sleep in my single bed berth with me (they didn't). It was friggin' hilarious.
The Chinese also cough from the lungs and spit--even the women. When they see a sink they don't just wash their hands--the wash their face, hair, blow the nose (loudly) and spit. And spit. And spit.
I can only imagine what being on a cross-China 2nd class train must be like.
But now you know where the term Chinese Fire Drill comes from.
P.S.-- Pics have been successfully uploaded on the previous entry.