Saturday, 2 August 2014

Landscapes of Sichuan and Shaanxi

Halfway through the train ride there was a violent vibration. 'What was the trouble back there?' asked a passenger, 'I thought it was supposed to be a smooth ride.'
'Sorry sir,' said the porter. 'We ran over the Minister of Transport while he was inspecting the railways.'
'Goodness, what was he doing on the tracks?'
'Oh, he wasn't on the tracks Sir, but we got him.'

After the terrifying experience of flying domestically across China, taking a train seemed like a real pleasure, especially considering how cheap it is for us to buy first class tickets. Being a fourteen hour train ride, there was not much to do but to witness the amazing sites of the outside world, that is the unknown China in between the grand prosperous cities. What lies there is a ever changing canopy swapping between untouched landscapes of natural beauty and dystopian images of the nation's rush towards modernisation. It is a story of green meadows, towering cranes, rubbish, rivers and nuclear coolers. One cannot help but stop and wonder what kind of lives are lived by those who dwell in the most isolated, and or dilapidated parts of the countryside.