Three weeks ago on Sunday morning, I recovered slowly from my stomach ache. As I didn’t really slept the night, it was in the end a good option to have taken a room with my own bathroom. At late morning I was fit enough to head to the train station. The bus driver was very surprised to see me, and also tried to communicate with me….with the help of Google translator. The first train ride in China was maybe the shortest on my journey since Lithuania, from Kaunas to Vilnius. Compared to Russia, there are always some kind of settlements in the vicinity of the tracks. Additionally it was the first time since Europe that I have seen wind turbines on the hills nearby. This was really evident compared to Russia and Kazakhstan, where I haven’t seen one. Due to the newly built tracks we reached Mudanjiang after less than 2 hours. In order to connect to the other train, you’ll first need to get out of the railway station, then enter it again, cross again the security and ticket controls before you’re in the waiting room. This is always the case. I waited there for a couple of hours. In the beginning the sound pressure level was modest, but after a while it heavily increased as waiting people where increasing.
Before I get in to the train I was invited to visit the locomotive and take a seat in the cockpit. I didn’t expected this and was a bit surprised, as it seems that there are always security officers everywhere. In the train itself, which was a very basic one, Maxim (at least he said this is his Russian name – it is typical that Chines people also have some kind of “latin” name) was sitting next to. He spokes a little bit of English and Russian, which I didn’t expected at all. So we were able to communicate a bit with each other, even it was not much, it was a bit of fun for both of us. In Tumen a young boy helped me to find my hotel, he even accompanied me to it, as it was already late. But unfortunately this hotel was already closed. So I tried to ask the old guy, if there is an alternative somewhere and he pointed to the next street. There was a larger one, which has seen better days, and not really cheap. So I agreed to pay 260 yuan, which was slightly more as twice the price as the night before, but as it was late now and they accepted foreigners, I wasn’t really sure to get a cheaper hotel here in the border town.