Nomadic Gatherings by Michel Guntern
Chapter Five: China Travel - The Train Carriage.
There were six-berths to a section, ten sections to a carriage with no doors on the sections.
The whole carriage was like a commune, for two days everybody would eat and sleep together; sharing their lives with no barriers.
Opposite the bunk area was a small shelf of a table with two fold-away chairs under a large window. The window opened up from the bottom; most were open to allow a good circulation of cooling air.
The common corridor was awash with water and I certainly wouldn't have fancied spending the night there on a few pages of 'China Daily'.
The sun climbed and shimmered off the flooded fields.
Multi-coloured face flannels hung from the luggage-rack in the corridor above my head. One old lady put out her shabby rag, and so embarrassed her grand-daughter that the young girl hid it away.
The poor lady probably had that in the days of Chairman Mao. Now colours were in, and her rag would would have served out its days better, mopping up spills.
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