Having to move my ass after such a long period of laziness and pure luxury was not an easy task. I got used to the city life so fast that when I looked at my backpack I thought to myself: nèèèèh, maybe next week.
From the moment I shut the door behind me, all of that seemed to disappear in a nano second.
An unknown energy filled my adventurous heart with joy.
I’m going to travel the world today.
I had booked a hard seat for my 37 hours of train fun (whatever that meant).
It was super cheap, so probably worth the misery.
I was afraid that I had booked a seat in the hallway, but I guess pretending to be a stupid tourist scored me a bed after all.
There was luggage on the upper beds, but - after some Tetris - I raised myself into my new room for the upcoming days. I made a nest with my sleeping bag and fleece, wrapped myself in my big sweater, gloves, scarf, earplugs, sleeping mask, ... and gone to dreamland I was.
I could hear through the earplugs that my surroundings were loud and that there was a bright light shining through my sleeping mask. Who ordered the sun this early?
Once in a while, the smell of cigarette smoke entered my nose and I could feel them putting luggage on my bed once I bended my knees. They probably tried to wake me up, but somehow, I managed to sleep better in public places than in a real bed.
The 8 people squeezed on the seats beneath me were joyfully shouting while eating, and applauded when I finally descended the bed. Yes, I am alive! There was a very good vibe and I loved being a part of it.
The first thing that caught my eye was a funny, but familiar looking sculpture between the bags of junk food on the small train table. I touched my earlobes, pointed at it and tried to shape it in its original form to put it back into my ear.
It was an awkward moment.
The whole train knew that there was a foreigner in wagon 2. People passed by with their children asking me for taking pictures and giving me gifts. I felt like Santa, but then with presents in the other direction.
All of a sudden, someone passed me a notepad with a message for me on it: "hi, where are you from?". I told her that I was from Belgium and asked her the same question back. She nodded her head and and pointed with her finger at the notepad and pen. We interacted by writing down the words we actually wanted to say.
The train was smelly, people were smoking everywhere, it was incredibly dirty and the toilet never closed, or got cleaned. But I didn’t mind. I was on the road again, I had a bed (which in theory was not mine) for 16 euros and good people to share an unbelievable small space with.
I feel kind of stupid that I stayed in Beijing so long. From the moment my feet stepped on unknown soil again, I felt more alive than ever.
It’s funny how easy you forget how good something feels.
I love to be lazy, but frankly, not being lazy feels way much better. I wish I didn’t keep on forgetting that. Dammit.
Memo to self: Go slow, move slow, do not stand still.
I enjoyed having a home away from home, but I was as stuck in the same city life that I had always known.
The time flies when you’re having fun. I magically found my way by taking two buses to my new workaway adventure.
Seriously, In Belgium, I seemed not to be able to catch my train in time or get on the right bus, but in China, no problem.