Magun's Compass - Online Home of Nomadic Gatherings Travel Notes Nomadic Gatherings: Travels in Asia and Australia Nomadic Gatherings Michel Guntern (Author) 6. Northern Capitals - First Class Waiting-Room

I was forced to travel soft-sleeper back to Beijing, so I made use of the first class waiting-room away from the masses.

There were glass-topped tables in between the soft, brown armchairs.

I made myself comfortable by a table in the corner, spread out my book, notebook, pencils, and sharpener.

The pendulum of the solid clock swung gently behind its glass front. I had two and a half hours to wait, plenty of time to think, reflect, and plan.

I spread out my map of the People's Republic and tried to co-ordinate some plans to coincide with trains in the timetable I had bought in Beijing.

From Inner Mongolia I hoped to swing south to Chengdu and Kunming, and back round to the warmer climes of Canton and Hong Kong.

The thought of a winter in the sun relieved my wind-burnt face and chilly feet.

In Hong Kong I had some processed film to be picked up and a flight reservation to Melbourne. Tibet was a possibility, but perhaps I was ill-equipped for the cold and would better appreciate the Guilin landscape.

I would take it from Hohhot.

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