A Chinese youth walked down the corridor and stopped to talk to us.
He was a management teacher, not wholly content with his country's present position, or future prospects.
"It is too crowded," he said in vain.
The older engineer disappeared into his compartment to join his wife.
"You are lucky," the teacher said; meaning that we had soft-sleepers.
The crowds at the other end of the train had obviously worn him down. "I have connections at the station and I cannot get this soft-sleeper," he continued.
"Ah, Guang Xi!" the Swiss man was also aware of the power of connections.
"You have Guang Xi at ze station, jah. Oh, so much happens in China with zis Guang Xi."
He went on to tell of so much that was not available one minute, but readily became so with the right introduction letters.