Saturday, March 10, 2012

china train tickets

first, i realize it's been over 6 months since my last blog. i considered making it a new year's resolution to blog more. then i remembered when i made it my resolution to floss my teeth every night and that never panned out, so i didn't even make any resolutions.

so my first blog entry of the new year (yes, i realize it's march) is concerning train ticket buying in china. when we first came to china 7 yrs ago you could only buy tickets from the departure city to the place where you wanted to go. living in a small city also meant that we were never given seats on the train. no matter where we went, if we left from our city (siping) we'd have to stand the whole way. that also meant that when you arrived at the city where you were going to, you'd have to stand in line and buy a return ticket back to siping. for chinese people, this was standard and no one seemed concerned about how stressful this was for americans. americans like to have everything planned out, especially traveling times and dates. showing up to a city and not being sure if you were even going to get a ticket to return home the day and time that you wanted was always stressful. sometimes we'd get the time we wanted, but most of the time we'd settle for some slower train and get home later and have to sit next to the guy with his pick ax and bag of dead chickens.

two years ago policy changed we were allowed to buy tickets from anywhere in china. so that meant that we could purchase a return ticket back to our city from our city. man, that was like the best day ever! i couldn't believe it! so now if we wanted to travel to beijing for the weekend, we could buy a return ticket from beijing to siping in siping. holy cow! how awesome was that?

well this year they started selling tickets online. i know. i can't believe that china is moving into the 21st century with online ticket sales. we just purchased our first tickets online this week. now let's see if we actually get on the train, but at least china is moving forward!