The sleeper train from Kunming to Chengdu takes about 18 hours and passes through more than 200 tunnels. It took 10 years to build the railroad…mostly by political prisoners…and looking through the train windows many of their graves can be seen high on the hillsides.
New Year’s Eve
This is not cold compared to Omaha Nebraska in the winter…but it’s damn cold! We were in a triple in Sam’s Guesthouse…and it was damn cold!
After a good Western dinner at “Granmas,” giving homage to the Western New Year, (Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is on January 28 this year) Jana and I curled up in bed in our comforters and hot water bottles…no we weren’t in our hot water bottles but we would have been if we could have been…
Bob went out in search of the New Year in China and found himself the only reveler 20 minutes before midnight at a “party” in an empty room at the Holiday Inn complete with appetizers and favors. He didn�t stay long, lamenting “It’s hard to party by yourself.” But the evening quickly picked up as he walked into Mao Square to find several thousand Chinese counting down the New Year (in English) while watching the Square clock hanging on the side of a building just to the right of Mao’s head…then giving a short cheer and dispersing unsentimentally 30 seconds afterward…which, hating to say goodbye, is what the Chinese do after any social occasion. Bob was back home…yes, hotels have become home…twenty minutes after midnight.