Oh and I can't finish my vacation blog posts without mentioning the dear friend we made on the 33 hour train ride from Haikou to Shanghai. Before boarding the train in Haikou a few of us walked across the street to the food carts set up to get some dinner. It was a popular hang out for the train conductors and this is where we first met our new friend who was chowing down on a chicken's foot. He started joking with us and we told him what train we'd be on and then learned we'd be traveling together.
He was so friendly to us the entire time and would come and sit on our bunks with us to take a break. We'd try to teach each other how to speak and write our native language. We shared laughs at our inability to communicate with each other properly. He was so patient with us and truly wanted to help us speak Chinese. He was also really funny and sang a great rendition of Happy Birthday in English. He was very proud of that.
We were only able to purchase five beds for the six of us which meant one of us would spend two nights and one day sitting in a chair. We decided we'd take shifts. After Wayne slept the first night in the chair we decided to take shifts all during the day and following night but Isaac figured we could just sneak everyone into the five beds we did have and it would all work out. Hannah and I were scared we'd get in big trouble and didn't want our new friend to get mad at us. When it was Isaac's turn to take over my two hour shift sitting in the chair alone with crowds of Chinese people staring at the one blonde headed, white girl on their train he decided he'd come for a little while and then join us back at the beds without any of else taking over his spot. The seat was probably taken by someone who had a standing only ticket in a matter of seconds.
We think because we had become such good friends with the conductor that when they came to check our tickets that night and saw two people in one bed they let it slide. Phew! It was a relief and a risk I probably wouldn't have taken on my own. I was grateful our new friend didn't get offended by our actions or think we were trying to take advantage of him.
We snapped this picture once we arrived in Shanghai after being crowded on a train together for 33 hours without showering. Not our finest moment but sometimes you sacrifice beauty for memories.