The journey from Xian to Chengdu started with some complications.The ticket from Xian to Chongching I bought already in Beijing, but the ticket continuing to Chengdu I still had to organize. So I asked at my hostel to write down something in Chinese which I could present at the ticket office, as they didn‘t speak any english. I went to the trainstation and queued for the ticket. After 30 minutes it was my turn, but the woman just signalled me, that there aren‘t any tickets left. So I decided to buy the ticket in Chongching.
In the evening, the train left at 9.20 pm, I asked around 6.30 which railway station I have to go to. At the hostel they told me, that it‘s Xian South, which is far outside the city and the last bus already left and I need to hurry up and take a taxi. So I packed all my stuff and searched for an empty taxi, which was not easy. Finally I found one and showed my train ticket to the driver. He told me that it would be 30 Yuan which I considered very little due to the distance. I was quite surprised that he dropped me after ten minutes in front of the main Xian railway station. I showed someone from the Chinese railways my ticket and as he told me „NO“, it was clear to me, that I had to take a taxi again to get to the other station. After some minutes I was sitting in a cab, where the driver told me the price of 200 Yuan (roughly 20€), which is more then the ticket costs itselves. As I was quite nervous if I was still able to catch the train and due to all the hurry, I forgot to bargain the price and was just glad to be on my way to the (hopefully) correct train station. Always looking at the clock, time was running, we arrived finally 30 minutes before the departure of the train at the railway station.
When the train arrived, I found my compartment quite easily and I was the only Westener in my carriage. As I was standing around and watching the whole scenery, a young guy started to talk to me in quite good English. He was interesting where I am from and what I‘m doing in China. I was quite surprised, that he knew the capital of Austria and our national flag with the eagle. Our discussions ended up somewhere at the history of WW II and similarities between Taiwan and China and Austria and Germany. According to him it was only one nation for both examples and many similarities in culture and language. He also wanted to write some Chinese saying in one of my books and told me that he was glad to be part of my journey.
After a quiet night on the train, we arrived the next day around 7.30 am in Chongching. Before that, the guy wrote down for me that I need a ticket with a high speed train do Chengdu, with which I bought my ticket later easily. Thanks for that!
Chongching used to be the capital of China once and now it‘s the fastest growing city in the world. The district is almost as big as Austria with 30 mio people, seven of them living in the city itself.
After five hours of waiting at the railway station, which I spent with writing my latest blog entries, I catched the train and arrived two hours later in Chengdu.