On a midnight train to Xian – Challenges and triumphs


A spontaneous decision was made to take a weekend trip to Xian, a province south of Beijing. It was difficult to get tickets due to school holidays in China so we settled for Soft sleep (cabin bed) to Xian, and Hard Seat back to Beijing.

It was a 13 hour long trip from Beijing to Xian, and after fighting my way through the masses commuting from the mammoth Beijing West Train station, I was relieved to finally board the train.

‘I love top bunks!’ Sharon clapped excitedly after discovering that our allocated beds were both top bunks, but in separate cabins.

I couldn’t believe she was happy about this – the top bunk is really awesome and fun when you’re little, but when you morph into something heavy, lumpy and awkward, the new game is called how to keep your arse as close to the ground as possible.

The cabbins included 2 bunk beds in quite a small space, with some storage for the luggage above the entry door. There was a 6 inch long single step to help the top bunkers get into their beds, which didn’t offer much footing, and not only did I need to get myself up there, I had to somehow get my 70ltr wheely bag up there with me. Did I mention that I left Sydney last week with a sprained left wrist that hasn’t healed? And I consume water like a camel getting ready to take a trip through the Sahara Desert? And I visit the bathroom most nights religeously (good friends know this about me). sigh I immediately saw the challenges.

Challenge 1 – How to get my 15kg bag into the top bunk?
Answer – Men.
As I struggled to lift my bag off the ground (I’m used to only dragging luggage,) a couple of men appeared out of nowhere and lifted my bag effortlessly into my bunk.
Side note – The thing about having big boobs is that they are always being watched, and if the owner of the boobs (me) is in distress, help or hindrance, is never far away. Fortunately, this time it was help.

The men waited and watched patiently as I attempted to conjure up my inner primate and climb into the top bunk. I managed to get the gorrilla huffs and grunts going, but the climbing technique was more like dragging myself out of the deep end of the pool, with wet and heavy clothes on, and no ladder. It was disgustingly graceful.

Final grunt ‘ Xiaxia, Xiaxia ‘ (thank you thank you) waiving the men away.

Phew… I made it….. what. what’s that? I. need. to ….pee?

Challenge 2 – The Toilet.
Apart from the logistical difficulties of getting to the carriage toilet from my top bunk, with only 2 toilets per 2 full carriages, I was not expecting it to be pretty. And was prepared to avoid a toilet trip at all cost.. Apart from peeing in the bed.

What to do?
FirstlyDon’t panic! If you panic, your bladder will feel your fear and need to pee even more. Try to think happy, non-urinating related thoughts.

Secondlylie on your back. Your bladder does not need the extra pressure of your body weight. You’ll just confuse it by sending the wrong signals.

ThirdlyNo more water or liquids of any type! This can help greatly, but may also invite another challenger called Dehydration, who comes with an army of Dry throat, Dry mouth, Dry lips and Headaches.

In the end, it was just a waiting game. Or as Iron Chef would say ‘ whose cuisine will reign supreme?’ Will my parchness over come my need for release??

As I let my dehydration and bladder battle it out, it soon became obvious that I was going to lose the war to both. I ended up going to the toilet 3 times before falling asleep, exhausted, to Country Death Song by the Voilent Femmes playing on my iPod.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jax
    Aug 08, 2010 @ 00:30:24

    As a member of the big boob brigade, I share in the advantages and disadvantages.

    Reply

  2. Tiara in Transit
    Aug 08, 2010 @ 05:39:40

    breast buddy ; )

    Reply

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