There are plenty of people in this world who work 2 jobs like us, some even more…. and I fully give them props. It ain’t easy but if you are chasing your dreams, whether it be saving for a house, preparing for a wedding or trying to start up a business like us it’s worth the sleepless nights and blood, sweat and tears.
When things get tough, you just need to remind yourself why you are doing this and just to have fun with it. I remember standing on a crowded train from Harbin to Beijing last year. I had traveled to Harbin for their infamous Ice Festival and it my excitement to go had managed to get my ticket to Harbin without properly looking into the logistics of getting back to Beijing.
It was at the end of the Chinese New Year holiday and so it was impossible to get train tickets. For those of you unfamiliar with Chinese New Year, this is the time when those who work in Beijing, return to their home towns to visit friends and family. Once the holiday draws to a close they need to make their way back to Beijing for work, but there is only a limited number of train and plane tickets available, creating a mass frenzy to get one of the few tickets.
I only managed to find a standing ticket and there were no seated tickets available for another week. What is a standing ticket? It is exactly what it sounds like. It means standing in the aisle where food trolleys and people constantly pass you by. I don’t think they even sell this kind of ticket in Australia! I just had to suck it up.
There was nothing for me to lean on, I didn’t have a toilet break, I ate nothing and I had 3 sips of water during the entire 12 hour journey! It was one of the toughest things I have ever had to do but I thought of it as an experience to remember and passed the time by playing any kind of games I could think of with my friend. I Spy, making conversation with song lyrics, naming countries from A-Z, naming baby names A-Z etc. At the end of the day, the reason I got myself into it was to finally visit the Harbin Ice festival which I had been wanting to do for years. And that helped ease the pain of the experience.
I would never subject myself to do a standing train ride in China for that kind of length of time again but I will always remember it.