(It's a post published a month ago, written in the running train on the phone. Now I update it as a lazy way for a new streak.)
There is a saying, "If you want to know what is happening in China, go and book a hard-seat train ticket. You would know all listening to what people are talking about along the trip."
When I was little, over-30-hour train trips from north to south couldn't be avoided twice a year. It's impossible for many kids, but I have never complained because of my sister's companion. We have met many people on the train who are very kind to me and my sister, two little girls traveling together.
Actually, the trip starts the moment you arrive at the train station with heavy packages looking for a seat. My sister and I have the experience of watching our packages while taking turns to have rest especially when the train is late for hours.
There is always someone interested to have a short conversation with us using the question: "so you're twins, aren't you?" However, we do look alike but we are not twins. And we look much younger than our actual age.
Also, strangers like to play a game guessing who is the elder one. Most of them would have wrong answers because my lovely elder sister looks younger and she shows more kindness in her eyes while mine more alert and less trust.
After two-round guessing games, twin and elder sister, there would be more talks about trip, school, and family. When I was young, I listened to their talking and I thought all of them are wise and brave. They are taking adventures as well as witnessing the history of the country.
But when I grow up and start to travel alone, I realize the people I met and talked to are all lived a harder life, they showed their great kindness to me and my sister to have a happy trip. I admire them.