I am on the high speed train from Suzhou to Bejing. It is super space age and quiet and floaty, and white and bullet shaped. It is very crowded, and very fast. I am getting used to the lack of personal space, and the culture of pushing in to line is livable, but the combination of the pushing and then the stubborn refusal to give up any ground is a bit much. The woman beside me right now is in my window seat. Fine, I am a good guy and she can have it, she was here first, but, she has her purse tucked in between her and the window, and it is a big purse. That means that half of her body is over on my middle seat (which should be her seat anyways). I am a big guy but right now a tiny woman is taking up one and a half seats and i am cramped. I keep trying to assert my right to the space, but she just shoves right back (in her sleep). Morag is across the aisle, in a little single window seat, completely trapped in by everyone's luggage that won't fit over-head so is piled up around her, it is like she is in a fort.
You really get a sense of how fast we are going when you pass a train headed in the opposite direction, just a blur of white blue and red and a humming noise.
Otherwise it is just flat, suburban, semi-rural houses and vegetable gardens, hydro lines, canals and grey grey pollution. It is something out of a dystopian novel, no bright lights, just flat grey air pollution that fades into a white wall at about 1km. Little Ms. Bony Bum and I are in for a long ride.