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How not to get a train

Xi'an, China

Here is an interesting tale - the moral is never to do anything with a hangover. Essentially what you need to know is that I bought a ticket first thing one morning (even before my hostel fry up) and that I was told about two different trains, details of which were scribbled on a piece of paper. Realising that the first train was full, the ticket seller turned over the paper and wrote details of the second train on the other side - I bought a ticket and was happy.

Now, I assumed that the earlier train had no space and therefore I was put onto the one after. Logical no? No. I got to the train station at 19.40, well in advance of my 21.04 train, but strangely it seemed to be boarding. More strange was that I seemed to be one of only two people actually getting the train... and the other person was running. So I ran too. I sprprinted in fact. Next thing I hear a bell ringing and realise that I have to get on the train despite being about 4 carriages short of my bed. A few miserable minutes of sweating my way through narrow, crowded corridors and pissing off entire carriages at a time, I found my bed and collapsed onto it spectacularly in front of five evidently amused chinese men. I took the piece of paper out and looked at the other side. 19.45. Oh well, at least there was no waiting around...

I spent the next 14 hours trying to Pacsafe my bag and get a decent nights sleep without offending the guys around me. I think I managed it because the next morning I was well slept and chatting to a couple of guys from Xian (Xianese?) about how bad we were at speaking each others language:

Me: My Chinese very bad.

Xianese man: My English very bad.

We laugh.

permalink written by  steve_stamp on April 11, 2009 from Xi'an, China
from the travel blog: The art of being lost
tagged Train, Xianese and Ticket

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Waiting for the ticket!

Sydney, Australia

So I would love to write how excited I am and how I'm getting all prepared to go and checking in with my visa and passport etc. BUT I'M NOT!

I am waiting for the ticket!

Interesting Story.....

My company recently had their Annual Charity Golf Day- in this day is an auction and Garuda were generous enough to donate a ticket to Jakarta, Indonesia. I bid on it, but once it got to $400 I was out. BUT I know the guy from garuda well so I said " If I ever need a ticket to Bali I will call you." This was on the 14th August. That very evening I get a call from my friend saying " I need someone to go to bali with me, wanna come?" Ummmmmmmmmmm FREAKY!

So I call my Garuda person to arrange the ticket, this is Monday 17th, AND THEN that Afternoon, I get an email from the man who bought the ticket stating he can no longer use it and would I like to buy it for $300 for Charity and he will donate the rest! AGAIN Hell yes!!

So all this good fortune and freakiness of coincidential events has lead to this..... me now discussing with Garuda to fly to Jakarta, or Bali, or Jakarta then bali, on the 17th or the 18th or come back on the 26th, wait I gotta be back on the 26th...... Argh!

So Monday is the day! COME ON BALI TICKET!

Let's get excited!

In the meantime I have managed to get in contact with the Vice President of the Balinesian Tourist Board through a friend in Indonesia.... Smooth sailing me hopes!

permalink written by  Lovelly on August 26, 2009 from Sydney, Australia
from the travel blog: Bali Bliss
tagged Flights, Bali, Ticket, Garuda, Friend and Excited

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The Developing Country Game!

Dali, China

Let's count how many things can go wrong in one day:

Haven't eaten in 36 hours due to stomach bug. -1

Even after drinking water, I don't need to use the toilet +1

Pack bags quickly and am out of room early. +1

Bus not there at expected time -1

Comment to staff that bus is late, staff looks surprised; he checks book - my name is not on the list but I have the receipt. Best guess is he forgot and I actually missed the bus even though I was waiting well before departure. -5

Staff quickly refunds the 10rmb difference in cost for the next bus. +1

Small bottle of plum juice [a Yunnan specialty] does not upset my tummy. +1

Next bus is also late. -2

Taxi comes, takes me three blocks to bus. Bus than drives rigth past hostel. I realize that though the hostel says no 'booking fee' I probably could have crossed the road and caught the very same bus for about half the price. -3

I happen to pick the shaded side of the bus, so no sun in my eyes. +0.5

Two lanes of traffic headed North on a two lane road [the truck on the left was passing a vehicle on the right] means total traffic stoppage. People are getting out of their vehicles to look at the road block. I've got a plane to catch and I'm already twice delayed! -5 [Turns out it was a traffic accident, the passing truck forced a south-bound van to veer to its left but the veer was insufficiant and CRASH! Twas just the corner of the passenger side so hopefully no one was injured.]

Traffic delay number two - just an overturned mini-truck on the side of the road to drive around. At least it was a shorter delay. -1

Three hour bus to Lijiang takes 4 hours to get to Lijiang outskirts. -2

Dropped off at airport road. I thought I was to flag down another bus but it turned out that the airport was literally across the road. I walked up the trafficless Departure Ramp to the terminal. +3

Lugged all my travel possessions in two backpacks [one worn front, one back] the block distance to the terminal without having eaten any solid food in 40+ hours. -1

Get to the airport 30 minutes before the check in counter closes for my flight. Phew! +1

Chose the shortest line at the check-in counter but apparently the slowest agent. The line next to me moved much faster. -1

Agent tells me I don't have a ticket. I show her my passport. No. I show her my ticket number as emailed to me by Delta. Nope. "Take your luggage and go to the ticket counter across the hall." -2

Ticket counter checks my passport & ticket number. Verdict? No ticket. :-O -6

Delta's China ticket office is only open during US business hours which means that's it is closed during China's business day. Now what?? I guess that my boarding pass for my flight from Beijing will prove that I have a ticket. I actually find it and... I'm right! They send me back to the check in counter. +5

It is 2 minutes past check in counter closing time [30 minutes before flight time]. They check me in quickly and tag my bag. -/+0 [They had better check me in quickly!]

I still have security to go through and the get to get to. Final score??? I made it to Beijing. But what a day!

The ticket number Delta gave me had one extra digit on the end. But wouldn't my name have made the difference? There were only two people on the flight with non-character names. It's not like there was a Jane Fu Jonah Du on the flight. Not in English, anyway.

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 16, 2012 from Dali, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Food, Bus, Beijing, Ticket, Accident and Late

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