Magun's Compass - Online Home of Nomadic Gatherings Travel Notes Nomadic Gatherings: Travels in Asia and Australia Nomadic Gatherings Michel Guntern (Author) 5. China Travel - Reveille to Piped Music

Like a reveille, music piped up at 6.30am.

I had no intention of getting up so early; we still had all day on the train.

The rest of the passengers felt different; the Chinese rose early.

The carriages were swept out and moped, screw-top jars were filled with boiling water that disturbed the dried leaves at the bottom, flannels were used and replaced, people walked up and down, and there were queues at the wash area.

By nine o'clock most of the morning greetings were over, the window seats were taken, and the faces next to the glass watched a moving scene hardly change.

A labourer carried a pail in one hand and a hoe on his shoulder; another was bent over his crop. Our passage was nothing to them, they didn't look up; we didn't affect their lives.

The sixth man still read his book, the San Francisco couple talked to their neighbours, the two girls breakfasted on hard-boiled eggs and pears.

Jenny invited me to join them and after breakfast we played cards.

The girls laughed, as I lost, and dealt again.

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