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3. Train Ride: Beijing to Harbin

The pulses of the rail soothe me to sleep. Each compartment on train fits four people, and I’m sharing the room with Shan, Niu, and my mother. Suitcases are crammed into every corner of the room.


There’s no outlet in our compartment, so I let my phone remain dead for the time being. NiuNiu’s on the top bunk reading a book, my sister’s uploading photos from her camera to her laptop, my mother’s outside chatting with my father, and I’m fidgeting with my journal. Every so often, a conversation bubbles up, and we fall back into our solitary activities.

The next morning, we hear a voice calling, “stir fry tomato and egg boxed breakfasts for sale, freshly made! You won’t want to miss it!”

Before long, we arrive in Harbin.



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