Know it or not, I just touched ground 11 days ago. Yes, I was overseas for work for more than half of Janurary. So where have I been to? I was away to China to audit a subsidiary of a listed company here. The journey itself can really kill a person!
I first flew for about 5 boring and horrendous hours from Singapore to Cheng Du (成都) and change flight to Xi An (西安) for another stoning 1.5 hours (plus the silly waiting time at the airport), and took a flashing van running 160km/hr for around 4 good hours to San Men Xia (三门峡), and board the whopping 9 hours train ride to Xu Zhou (徐州), and then took another slightly slower but still fast van to Feng Xian (丰县) under 2 cool hours where I am finally pleased to declare that we have reached the destination! No need for that calculator, it took me a whole day just to reach the subsidiary..
If there are any memorable things that happened throughout the trip, there are a few which I must state here emphatically:
1. Having been through a hell ride on that 160km/hr flashing van, overtaking huge and super overloaded trucks on a two-lanes express way, it certainly makes me feel that the drivers here are driving like kids playing in the playground compared to those professionally and locally trained hell riders over there.
2. Getting onto a train in China with luggage is as tough as getting through a 100 men-strong laser barrier in a game of rugby.
3. Sleeping in the train can be a dangerous thing (there are 3 levels of beds in the average cabin with beds) because firstly, you have to becareful of losing your luggage and important documents; and secondly, you better watch out for those who like to spit from the upper levels.
4. Don't expect great customer services in the less developed towns because the people there are pretty much as less developed as the the food there, I meant in terms of quality.
5. Surprise or not, the people around the area I have been to, love to eat cold veggie (凉菜) even during winter!
6. That the client could fly us pigeon for some two good hours in one morning and made us waited for him at the hotel lobby, which I could share with my colleague about my testimony. Maybe God planned this, so I am complaining about it.
7. I saw, touched and threw a snowball for the first time of my life! It was snowing that day while I went to get a train ticket back.
8. The disparity between the upper and lower class is as great as usual. With money and foreign passport, you could get better services than the ordinary folks.
9. For the first time in my whole singaporean life, never had I waited for anything such a long time as waiting for the train back home, which delayed for a magnificent 26 hours due to the big snow.
10. Nothing beats being at home with your loved ones.