From the Arch to the Great Wall

9. Train ride to Luoyang

Inside the train car

This morning's breakfast made me take back my statement about how breakfast at the Gloria Park Hotel (Xian) was really bad. I started off with some fried rice and pancakes because there was nothing else to get. Then I saw some fresh shiao long bao being brought out so Jason and I went to go get some. In total we both had 18 which equals out to about 3 steam trays full of shiao long bao. I had mine with soy sauce and a little bit of hot sauce. I think it was the best breakfast I had on the whole trip, even better than the Holiday Inn breakfast.

Today was our last day in Xian. After breakfast we went directly to the Xian train station to get on a train to Luoyang. This was my first time in a train station so I was pretty amazed at how classified everything was. There were two waiting rooms - a hard seat regular waiting room and a soft seat VIP waiting room - and our group got to sit in the VIP lounge. Lisa was nice enough to get us all a lunch (or late breakfast) from KFC: a chicken sandwich, fries, mashed potatoes, and a coke. It was a very welcome break from eggplant, rice, and tea.

The train ride to Luoyang was only 6 hours. Our train moved really slow and we stopped at different locations in between so the actual time between Xian and Luoyang probably wasn't 6 hours. The actual train itself was a little old but it was my first time on a train so just being there was really fun. Coincidentally, the group next to us on the train was from Springfield, MO - SMSU to be exact - and many of us started talking to them. It was a few college students working on some sort of project and they were led by two Chinese guides. Their stop was after Luoyang so we packed up and said goodbye at Luoyang.

Luoyang seemed like a cool city even though it was dirty and not as developed. The people there were really nice and that's what made the city nice. After the train station we took the bus to the hotel. I walked around a bit and then went to dinner. I would have to say this was the worst dinner so far. I remember the chicken and noodles were decent, everything else was bad. Our hotel is horrible, too. The key isn't a key or a card key but a metal disk that you aim at the door. The beds were hard and the rooms smelled like old furniture. During free time I went to an internet bar with Henry. I got an hour for 7 yuan and spent it quickly without haste. I checked emails and replied to some, and then I sent emails to my girlfriend and my parents updating them about the trip. I still had some time on my card after that so I played a few computer games until it was time to leave.

Before I went to sleep that night I took a look at the itinerary and noticed that we were about halfway done with our trip. It was amazing to think that time had gone that fast and relieving to know that if there was anything we didn't like, it would all be gone within a few more days.

第九章 火車洛陽


Shiao long bao at breakfast 小籠包早餐

在西安Gloria Park旅館的早餐,今天有些變化,我本來祇吃了些炒飯和薄煎餅, 但卻看到有小籠包端出來,我和奕傑(Jason)喜出望外,兩個人不客氣的各吃了18個小籠包, 等於是三籠小籠包。吃小籠包應該是先咬一小口,吸到包內的湯汁,再沾醋和醬油 來吃,我則喜歡沾醬油和辣油,這頓小籠包是我這次中國之旅裡最棒的早餐,甚至比 在北京假日大旅館的早餐還要好。

今天是我們在西安的最後一天。早餐後我們直接趕到西安火車站,要搭火車到洛陽, 這是我第一次在中國乘火車,各種火車的級別對我而言都很新奇,連候車室都分有硬臥的 一般候車室,和軟臥的貴賓候車室兩種,我們這團有幸坐到貴賓區,導遊Lisa好心地 為每一個人準備了肯他基午餐盒,內有雞肉三明治,炸薯條,馬鈴薯泥和一罐可樂, 吃了好幾天的米飯、茄子和喝茶,這個午餐盒廣受大家的歡迎。

坐火車由西安到洛陽需六小時,我們坐的火車開得很慢,沿途停了很多站,所以實 際上花了不祇六小時,火車本身有些老舊,但因為是第一次坐火車,還是滿好玩的。 很巧的,在我們旁邊有一個來自位於密蘇里州春田市之西南密蘇里州立大學的團體, 我們自然地跟他們聊了起來。這幾位大學生由兩位中國導遊領隊,他們的終 點站在洛陽之後,所以我們就在洛陽與他們道再見。

洛陽的人非常好,使得這個不怎麼開發、市容也不是很乾淨的城市感受上還不錯, 下火車後乘巴士到旅館,四處逛逛後去吃晚餐。這頓晚餐是旅遊到目前為止,最差的 一餐。我記得麵和雞肉還可以,其他都不行。我們住的旅館更糟糕,房間鑰匙不是一張 卡片,而是一塊鐵片,床很硬,房間有著舊傢俱的味道,自由活動時間,我和Henry去網吧 上網,一小時才7元人民幣,我毫不猶豫就買票 進場,上網查電子郵件,回信,再寫信給女朋友和父母親,告訴他們旅遊的情形,時 間還有剩下,我得空玩了幾個電腦遊戲才下網。

睡前看看旅遊行程表,我注意到中國之旅將近過了一半,時間過得真快,在中國就 祇剩幾天了。

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