I overheard from the airport crew saying to the pilot as we step out from the plane that the typhoon is approaching Guangzhou via Hong Kong. The weather seems to be fine and warm. I approached the information counter as I got out from the arrival hall to enquire about the direction to go to the train station. Then I took the express bus to the east train station. The ticket counter was crowded though, but I still need to Que to get the night ticket to Xiamen. It was very hot and they don't have the air conditioner on at the ticketing hall. The Que was long and some people were seen arguing with the ticketing officer, which I don't understand what it is all about. Well, the Chinese seems to like arguing. This is a common sight in China. And nobody cares. As it approached my turn after the long Que, the ticketing officer just pull on the 'closed for lunch' notice and closed the counter. They should have informed earlier so that people behind me, or at least myself won't have to Que for so long. I stop the lady before she leave the counter to find out that I am at the wrong station. I have to get to the North Train Station. It already begin to rain by then. So, I took a taxi to the North Station.
It was another long Que again. The ticketing counter which I was on is having problem again. This time the computer broke down when it reaches my turn. I refuse to move to another Que. I stood there and wait for them to repair the computer. It was almost 30 minutes later that they finally got the PC fixed. With my 'half past six' Chinese language, I got the sitting seat. It was a soft seat but unable to decline and full of standing crowd. And the air condition wasn't functioning well. Prior to that, I spend about 6 hours around the train station, walking around and getting in and out of some fast food restaurants with air conditioner trying to cool myself on this hot day. And outside, it was raining the whole day.
The departure hall at the station is extremely large as at the airport. The air condition was perfect. The train was in time. Everything was fine except the interior of the coach. I was lucky to be seated around the young aged group of Chinese. Everyone seems to be like a stranger to each other but for a short while. In no time, it turn out to be just like at a market scene, so noisy with people talking, eating and playing cards. Crowd passing by, squatting and sharing seats. Everything seems so strange to me. Instant noodles seems to be the fave of the Chinese. I felt pity for the young boy who stand the whole night waiting for someone to let go off the seat. He left the train along with the big crowd after half the journey around 3 am. I finally found two empty seat to have it on my own to lay back and sleep finally. We reached Xiamen around 10 am the following day. Tony Lin, my net friend was there waiting to welcome me at the arrival.