This. Was. Hell. including the bus ride from Shenzhen to Guangzhou, the wait for the train and the train it’s self, we were travelling for approximately 24 hours. The bus was a pain, but no problem.
Got to Guangzhou fine, but then things began to get ugly. We all had a LOT of luggage, fortuantely for the other two, they could rotate it between the two of them, but I was stuck carrying three bags on my own. Which would have been fine, had it not been for the fact that to cross roads in main cities, the Chinese use bridges. Which involve stairs. And my luggage was on wheels. Anyway, 4 or 5 bridges and one violent Scottish outburst from Graham at one little man with a trolly who kept trying to carry our luggage -which sent sharp jolts of homesickness running through me- later we were outside the trainstation and instead of going straight into the HUGE que to get in, we opted to get some KFC. Which, as usual, was excellent.
After having hung around in the station for a couple of hours, we finally got on the train. For some reason, I let Graham take the lead at this point and followed somewhat blindly (In retrospect I have no idea why since I’ve had far more experience with public transport in China). After having forced our way down the carrage to the opposite end where he was convinced our seats were, we found them to already be occupied. A brief look from my ticket to the seats revealed that he’d led us to the wrong seats (015 to 017 instead of 115 to 117 where we should have been), I pointed this out and we looked back along to the end of the carrage to where we’d boarded and where our seats were. At this point I should probably take a minute to point out that only about half the people on Chinese trains actually get seats. the rest of the passnagers are left to stand/sit/sleep in the isle. SO we had to force our way back down the isle with all of our luggage to our proper seats (Which were also occupied), we spoke to the ticket guy or whatever he was, and got our seats back. We were next to these perfectly charming Chinese blokes who spent the entire ride playing cards, which we watched with interest but due to the language barrier and the complexity of the games, we were unable to participate.