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Train to the North

To end our third day the group had the opportunity to be able to ride on an over night train. When we entered the Kunming train station, group decided to put our bags down in order to get ready for the new journey ahead. Some decided to stay by the bags, others decided to travel around. Those that stayed with the bags were able to jam out to some of Mr. Hustad’s music. With Chinese eyes following our every move. After ending the dance-off with ‘The Final Countdown’ it was time for the group to board the train. The train was filled with rows and rows of beds and endless people. The overnight train strongly reminded me of ‘Harry Potter’ and his friends when they, as well, had their own train adventure. We were separated into our rooms which each contained 6 tightly packed bunk beds, (perfect for bonding, right?) Throughout the night our group discussed philosophical questions relating to religion and the fear of the unknown. As our journey on the train was ending, our tired minds and restless thoughts drifted off to sleep as the train softly took us towards our destination.

Awakening from our slumber, we prepared for our long day of exploring Li Jiang(麗江). When we finally arrived in Li Jiang we found our way to the busses and we made some friends on the ride. Having little to no idea where we were we asked our friends who were getting off at the same stop as us. Because they had been so kind to us, we decided to offer breakfast to our friends which they accepted. We found some bao zi and bread and went to town, feasting and feasting until our stomachs could no longer pack in any more food, as every crevice had been filled.

Kai connected with a past neighbor in the village asked him to drive our packs to the village where we’ll be staying tonight while in individual groups we headed into the village and markets. We walked by hundreds of chickens for sale, vibrant bouquets of flowers, many exotic fruits of all shapes and sizes, and the stench of fish in the air. We traveled around, following the map to unknown locations that we could just see with our eyes. With only a map and the words ‘zhe ge zar mar’ (this is where?) we were able to find our way around the market place and to a closed off temple. From there we decided to try and find the town square; however, we did not know it at first. We walked around the square for several minutes trying to figure out how to get there. Finally, we swallowed or pride and asked someone where it was. To our obvious surprise, the person said that we were here. We had been walking around the place we had been looking for. Right under our noses! As of right now, present day, this is where we are as a group now walking around the market place and the town square.