Beijing, China, Day Four
It is lovely being in China again, although frustratingly I confess to having a few issues with our G adventures tour. The itinerary changed a week before we left to a marginally less appealing one and we were left uniformed about several key things until we arrived. I’ll need to look into it more to see if it was a case of us not looking or a subtle case of misinformation. One of the things we’ve taken issue with is the travel between hotels, bearing in mind we do this a fair bit we would usually grab a cab from the airport or train station to our hotel and vice versa. On arrival it turned out Ma’s prebooked collection at £45 was also collecting 3 other people so they were getting £180 for a £20 journey! Outrageous enough but the 3 others failed to turn up and having travelled for over 24 hours and then waited 45 minutes for them to show up she gave up and got a taxi to the hotel.
Today we’re taking the overnight train to Shanghai and have been booked in hard sleepers, so 6 in a tiny cabin when soft sleepers really aren’t that much more costly but provide so much more space and we are expected to take the bus at rush hour to the station with all of our bags. What a whinger you might think, well I’m not so keen on my mid sixties mother having to lug her bag and backpack up and down stairs while unable to help her as I’ll be carrying my own case which as it currently contains my whole world and yes I have a shopping problem, is huge AND this trip was certainly not priced as a roughing it one. Also the pollution is Beijing was 163 AQI yesterday, the safe limit being below 50 and today it is almost double that and visibly worse, we are all struggling enough to breathe as it is.
As it turns out everyone seems to be sharing our frustrations so I think subtle misinformation is to blame more than anything else.
12 HOURS LATER
It was pretty much as expected, maybe a little more arduous and security conscious and with a whole lot more camaraderie and smiles than I imagined and now Egil, Roger, Anna, Ma, J and I are all safely tucked into our gross open cabin with the others and 60 some more Chinese peeps in the cabins next door. Although there is no actual door because apparently hard sleepers don’t come with doors, who knew!
I’m looking forward to arriving in Shanghai and unwinding myself from the narrow bunk that is my home until then, wishing you a great day whatever you are doing Xx