T718 express to Chengdu


Thursday 26th July 2012

Packed and ready to leave Beijing for the early start on the new high speed train T718 to Chengdu. Funnily enough this isn’t the high speed train they had just a few months earlier and which I took in the reverse direction. That train made the journey in 14hrs but was silently taken off the schedule. Some people even refute the train existed. The fastest option now is the overnight sleeper. 

Our driver is waiting, we’re a little late and both tired. Lily forgot the honey melon in the fridge which will be my fault the whole day. But I did find a spoon in McD at Beijing West station, so may be forgiven. Yes food is always important! 
We are sharing the soft sleeper 4 berth cabin with a mother, daughter and her daughter so three generations. The seven month old little girl worked out well as a fun distraction and she rarely cried. A few other children on the carriage came to say hello, to her rather than to me, so an even better distraction.

We bounced along on the train journey like Tom Woolfe’s Day Glo magical bus on the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, which I started reading. It was one of a pile of books Jochen has left for me. The author has been recommended my others and it about a journey so to speak, so a good choice and a definite distraction to have my head in the book and let the time fly by at the 200km or so this train reaches. 

The first day was soon over with sleeping sessions, reading sessions, eating sessions, out the window gazing sessions and baby interaction moments, and an early lights out. Painless. 

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