Odyssey to South of the Clouds ... (p23) - leaving Lijiang
Lijiang Old Town
i walked back to the hostel and went straight to meet TI at Robin's Diner for breakfast. we really took our time, while figuring out what to do for the next 12 hours. yes...our night train would only be at 930pm. we asked Allen for late check-out, but he unable to allow us.but then, he told us we could leave our luggage at the common room, and use the facilities there.
ah. that was a relief.
once done with breakfast, we went up to our room for a while, then went out again. time for last minute shopping for mementos from Lijiang. the streets of the old town were still crowded, but not as bad as over the long weekend before.one thing that i clearly noticed, the pashmina/shawl/scarf shops were like an anthem here, same like other tourists destination that i went. i decided to pass and just let TI bought few for his acquaintances and family.
once done with souvenirs shopping, we walked back to our hotels. we decided to skip lunch as we were still full with the breakfast. i made a stop at the postcards shop, and bought some mementos and sent a postcard to my friend.
we had our jama' prayer and then packed our stuff before moving them to the common area. there was still few more hours to go, and we just spent time there. TI with the internet, while me watching movies on my tablet and then grabbed another travelling book of Yunnan, reading about next destination, Kunming.
Allen came around and had a quick chat with me, as well as River's wife. She was surprised to know that we skipped Dali in our itinerary of the travel. well...next visit perhaps?
we decided to have early dinner, finishing our Brahim's instant meal. i went down to buy steam-rice from Robin, but we got free. perhaps, Robin was overwhelmed with us, being his customers for the past 4 days. hehehe.
once done with the dinner, we freshen up and got ready for the night journey. we had our jama' prayer at the common area, and then left the hotel. River's wife helped us to tell the taxi driver where we were going etc.
we met a couple from Malaysia at the entrance of the train station, and apparently they managed to get the sleeper seat, while us - the hard seats.
we waited for a while and it was time to depart. our coach which equivalent to 3rd class perhaps, located at the end. we walked and took a peek at some of the hard-seater coaches, and gosh...i started to worry as seeing a lot of people walking towards the coaches, and saw from the window some had to stand...probably looking out for their seats.
and guess what. perhaps..that was my longest night right that i'd ever experience. the hard-seater spoke for itself with almost no cushion despite the nice cover. it was narrow, and we were sharing the coach with the standing-ticket passengers.it was totally a shock for both of us...as seeing people trying to squeeze in etc. and we saw people sleeping under the seats and on the aisle. ah...i only wished that once the train moved, i'd get to my rem cycle and forget about all the things around.
but i had a sleepless night. because they closed the air-cond!!!!!!! and i had to take off my sweater. and guess what, as every single track junction where the train had to stop, we had to bear with the loud train horn....and us, being the closest coach to the locomotive...
it was my longest night ride. ever.