Managed to board a train from Shanghai to Nanjing with few problems. A bit different to India, chaotic but seriously organized. We manage to find help and end up being the first people on the train which with the amount of luggage we have is a good thing. The Chinese look at us, smiling and laughing when they see the mountain of bags we travel with.
There are some of the super fast trains in the station, I get a few pictures of them, the bullet train look. Axel wants to know if we are on one, I show him the pictures of the bullet trains and tell him we are on that one. Apparently we are on a slow train, I notice on the tv screen in the carriage it is traveling at 236kph, and faster and smoother than any train I have ever been on. We get into Nanjing station and enlist three porters to help us with our bags. They are definitely not as pushy as their Indian counterparts. We need two taxis in Nanjing, they run on gas and have those big cylinders in their trunks, so the luggage necessitates two. We are staying in the Grand Hightown Hotel, no sigh of it being a high town but at least we aren’t staying in the Sun Rain Hotel round the corner.
The children and Lisa are knackered so they go to bed early, I need a beer. I can’t find a regular bar so I opt for a KTV, karaoke tv bar, such a weird place. I take the lift up to the second floor and the doors open, wow! a hotel lobby type of place surrounded by 4 floors of karaoke booths, the place is bigger than a lot of hotels, there must be eighty or a hundred booths in the place. The music is awful, I order a couple of bottles of Tsingtao put on my ipod to drown out the boy-bands and take a seat in a big semicircular sofa. Big parties of locals come and go, led up to the booths by black uniformed staff. I decide it is time to go and go up to the booze shop on the second floor of the place to get a couple of take outs, it is Saturday you know. I get accosted by three guys I saw earlier and get dragged into their booth. I listen to some awful Chinese screeching for about ten minutes when I get handed the microphone, I can’t work the machine, trying to sift through all the Britney crap. I end up doing a killer version or else I killed a version of the only song I recognized on the machine, good god, ‘I don’t like reggae’ 10cc, the shame, mind you my new mates thought It was good.