As this was to be our last day in Xi’an, we decided that we were going to be lazy. So, we had a leisurely breakfast at a decadently late hour, and then went to a park for Chinese lessons with Jacky! Mostly I just worked on my sock knitting and Emily learned the names of some of the historical sites around Xi’an. Then we set off in search of bao zi.

We had a little trouble finding it as it was, once again, about 3:00 in the afternoon by the time we got around to eating lunch. (Why does this keep happening!?) But once we finally got the food, it was super delicious. The bao zi we get at home are stuffed dumplings steamed in a basket, but these bao zi were a bit bigger, maybe the size of a small fist, and they were fried or baked or something. Delicious! hao chi!

After more bumming around, we headed out to the train station to begin our long road home. If you’ve never traveled in China during the Spring Festival rush, then you’ve never really been in a crowd. I also learned that roller suitcases are generally just as tall as the back of my knees! In short, there were a lot of people.

Then we hopped our train! Train travel in China is so much cooler than train travel in the U.S. First of all, it’s actually affordable. The only reason we flew on the way to Xi’an was because we found a really good deal on a flight. Otherwise the 13 hour train ride is a much better deal. Second of all, you can get a little hard sleeper bunk. It’s better than going coach on an Amtrack train, and is not as plush, nor as expensive as a sleeper car. Sure you have to sleep in the same small room with a bunch of random Chinese people, but really, what do you expect from being in China? Third, the beds are actually decently comfortable, and they give you a pillow and blanket. Awesome! Fourth, you get to see the countryside a little bit. Fifth, you don’t have that awkward "time and space get frozen in the terrible noise of the jet engines" feeling that you get from flying (maybe that’s just me?)

So, beside the fact that the man in the bunk across from me snored in the most inhuman fashion possible, and the man in the bunk under me kept answering his phone at full volume at 3 in the morning, I’d say that the train ride was pretty awesome. Oh, and the waking up at 6 in the morning was not super awesome either. But yeah. Train travel is definitely an adventure.

Then we arrived home safely! At about 10 in the morning. It’s good to be back on home territory! I missed Beijing!


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