The Trains with Hard Seats

Published: 2021-06-29 07:11:29
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Category: Social Issues

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The Train with Hard SeatsLife is like a journey. Every person looks forward to arriving at the destination with a favorable wind all the way, yet the fact is that most of them cannot reach rapidly and smoothly. And just like the train with hard seats, it definitely has never been among the priorities for me while it is the most impressive one.Once reminding of the train with hard seats, I cannot help associating my mind with the smell of instant noodles. One of my friends once shared her experience of the train with me two years ago. “I had never seen so many packets of instant noodles before the time when I was on that train. It seemed to be the only food on it. Especially for those who had to take the hard seats for over twenty-four hours, each of them was prepared for themselves with five or six packets. They even ate the same brand with same taste.”I didn’t believe her words at first until the time when I saw a short documentary about the train journey on TV. It shot and recorded all the details true happened in the train with hard seats. Each time for lunch, passengers took out their prepared food——instant noodles, heated them with the under-boiling water for about ten minutes, and then ate them up quickly. “For us, the instant noodles are the most convenient food with high cost-efficiency. We have few choices and they are the best.” One male passenger said so to the camera.For me, the instant noodles are the alternative food just in some emergency. Yet in the train with hard seats, it has become the main food with a particular popularity.In China, actually, the train with hard seats has already left behind the times due to its discomfort and low speed. For many peasant-workers with low earnings, however, it is still the main vehicle for quite a long journey.As a young adult born in 1995, I just have caught up with the tail of the glory times of the hard-seat train and took the train for only two times. I still remember that my first encounter with it was in my six on a journey from Wuxi, my hometown, to Beijing. At that time when motor trains and high-speed rails hadn’t sprung up to the stage, the hard-seat train still occupied half the sky of China’s traffic. Each person stepped onto the train with a suitcase and a smile. So did I. Hurriedly seated on my place, my curiosity as a child was stirred up to the new environment where I stayed——Five minutes before setting out, there were no empty seats left. Even that narrow corridor had been stuffed with passengers leaning against the seatback or sitting on the ground. The space used for relaxing legs under seats also had suitcases overfilled. For a little child like me, I could hardly stretch out or move my legs at ease but kept sitting straightforward next to my mother. During the near-24-hour journey, quiet and peace never occurred. Chatting, laughing, complaining and even crying from little babies echoed in the coach.

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