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The Overnight Train

Hey friends and family following the dragons via Yak posts, I apologize for the late post. We are currently in Hemu right now, and have had some trouble with wifi, or ways to post. As you all may know, the 15 of us all took an overnight train from Kashgar to Turpan.

Like most of the other participants, I had never taken an overnight train before. As appealing as being trapped in a small moving tin can for 18+ hours sounds, I was (understandably) a bit skeptical. As we stocked up on snacks and water at the train station, I tried not to dread the upcoming travel. When we finally boarded the train, I checked my ticket and saw I was on the top bunk. The train was set up so there was a walk way to the right, and bunks of 3 situated to the left- two bunks across from each other between each set of walls. The ladders for the bunks were much too small and set up on the walls.

After we stashed our bags, most people crashed and took a nap. I read, and took a nap (albeit a pretty painful one). When I woke up, it was dinner time and almost everyone was eating their instant noodles and oreos (yes, the dinner of champions). There was quite a bit more chatting, eating, reading, and generally lazing about. Surprisingly a restful day after a nonstop few weeks. Eventually we gradually went to bed, surprised that the time had passed so fast. I’m not sure about anyone else, but I slept great.

We had a slow morning to get up and packed. We took a van from the train station to Turpan, and on the way Abigail and I remarked about how that experience was surprisingly painless, and how we had actually had fun. Like every other Dragons experience we’ve had, there’s always a superficial story and an underlying lesson. It might vary from person to person, but I learned that being anxious or annoyed about something you can’t change, or something you don’t know will be a positive or negative experience won’t change anything. It will only make you upset. I also learned to give things that may sound awful (like being trapped in a train for 18 hours) a try before dreading it.

I appreciate the many chances I get on this trip to use what I’ve learned with my other experiences, and to keep a positive attitude no matter how anxious I get.