|Our train arrived at Xining at about 7.20am, and I was awake for quite a long time before that. This train travel leads to early mornings, and not such good sleeps, but I guess we will all survive it.
Anyway, off the train, and we went looking for somewhere to sit, while we wait for time to go. It was quite a way into the city centre, and we did not really feel up to facing the journey there, and then back, in a totally unknown environment.
And we needed to hang around the train station anyway, because our tickets for this afternoon's train, taking us on to Lhasa were to be delivered to us, this morning.
We found a waiting room, which it turns out was in a bus station, but we did manage to get some hot water, and made a coffee. It was cold there, and of course, early in the morning still, so we sat for a bit on the metal seats, before heading outside, to look for some warmth.
There seemed to be nothing, back toward the train station, so we walked in the opposite direction. There were a few simple fast food restaurants, but nothing that appealed to us. It is pretty obvious that they do not see too many Westerners here, judging by the stares. The people of quite obviously not Han Chinese, by their facial features. There were also quite a lot of traditionally costumed Tibetan people too.
We ended up sitting on a wall for quite a bit, and attracted a lot of interest in the passers-by, but at least we were outside, and could watch whatever was happening.
After a couple of hours, we had a call from the travel agent, to say that he was on his way, with our train tickets. So at least we knew we were making progress, and had not been forgotten. The guy who arrived to deliver the tickets was a very pleasant young man, and he spoke good English too.
Once we had our tickets, and he had made sure that we understood exactly what was to happen from here, he took us into the station building, and talked us into a VIP waiting room, which had very comfortable chairs, and almost no people, so we made ourselves very comfortable and settled down for a rest. Not sure about Cheryl, but I know that I nodded off for a while, until a man in the next chair was snoring so loudly that he woke me up. Not sure about all the heavy snorers in this part of China.
While we were waiting, there was quite a commotion in the next waiting room, which appeared to be a staff waiting room, and I went to have a look and see what was going on. There was a woman in there, who was definitely in full control of her senses, and she was chasing one of the guys around and around the room. There were gales of laughter from everyone else, except the guy who was being pursued!!
After a while, she was shepherded out of the room, and told to get on her way, but it did not take very long, and she was back again. She certainly did a job of keeping the passengers from getting too bored, waiting for departure time!!
As our travel agent had alerted the women in the waiting room, as to the fact that we could not speak Chinese, when it was time to board the train, they came and made sure that we knew to get on board.
And sure enough, when we got out to the platform, there was our train. It was a very long train, so it seems that it is kept very well patronized.