Re-Adjustment Woes #4: Super-Duper Fast Trains (Apparently)

For years upon years now I and much of the population of northern China have taken to standing on trains in order to get where we’re going sooner. Here’s how it works: you buy a ticket for one train, then when an earlier train is boarding you show your ticket to a railroad employee and stand in the space between the cars. Considering the trip from Beijing to Tianjin (and vice-versa) is only thirty minutes, that’s barely even an inconvenience. The last time I was in Beijing, though, and tried to do the same thing I’ve done hundreds of times, the man in charge waved his hand at me and said, “No! You can’t stand! It’s too dangerous!”

“Why is it dangerous?” I asked.

His answer? “Because the train is moving too fast.”

I assured him I stood on the train just that morning, but he just waved his hand at me again. (By the way, that one gesture more than any other drives me insane. The person giving it invariably purses his or her lips, closes his eyes, and makes a shaking or sweeping motion with his or her hand that has all the characteristics of a supreme potentate dismissing a troublesome underling.) So I waited for another hour and a half in the lovely Beijing train station.


1 Responses to Re-Adjustment Woes #4: Super-Duper Fast Trains (Apparently)

  1. Kristin says:

    Oh Rob. :)

    Tianjin/Beijing is just having fun playing with you now.

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