Traveling 3

ALMOST TO HEFEI, ANHUI — We’ve been cruising through the hills of western Anhui province for the last hour, peaking at 252 km/hr between stops.

This 15-unit train is bound for Shanghai, which it will reach in another three hours. The seats are comfortable, like airline seats but with twice as much leg room. You can bring own food and drink on board, and hot and cold drinking water is available. While there is a dining car, many passengers prefer to pack their own food.

No movies, though. China Rail needs to work on that amenity. Instead, I’ve been listening to my music. Just before writing this, I heard South Africans Johnny Clegg and Savuka sing “Asimbonanga.”

Welcome to the world. Listening to South African music on a Chinese bullet train.

Also, welcome to central China’s summer heat. It was 42 C in Wuhan when we left. That’s about 108 F. We visited HuangHeLou (Yellow Crane Tower), then retreated to the train station to cool off for two hours.

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