Sometimes a small misunderstanding can have surprising results such as this delicious albeit entirely excessive eight course meal. Somehow ‘Can you recommend something?’ came across as ‘We’d like to order for us and our six friends who are about to join us’. It was so ridiculously that a Chinese tourist took a picture of us.
This is Cranky building his middle bunk on the train to Dali. He had just painstakingly explained the numbering system of the hard sleeper beds to an elderly Chinese couple using multiple permutations of all the 27 words in his Mandarin vocabulary. His system analysis stemmed from his experience with two soft sleeper rides and careful analysis of the roman numbers displayed next to the beds and on his ticket. Only trouble was: Not only are the local people much better at reading the Chinese characters on the reservation tickets but the numbering system between soft sleeper and hard sleeper are not consistent. In soft sleeper each bed has a unique number within the train car, in hard sleeper each bed is referred to by cabin number and level: Bottom, middle and top, signified by Chinese characters.
© photo: Katja