Next we headed back to the city, Nanjing, mostly as a means to get to our next non-city destination. This was my first true Chinese train experience – crowded, smoky, dirty, only one cheek able to fit on the seat. While I am by nature a pretty calm, easy going person who doesn’t mind being dirty, I am battling a mounting germ phobia, what with all the respiratory secretions flying around. I’ll leave it at that. This mere six hour train ride took some serious deep breathing and meditation. But overall, trains are really fun. Full of life… chatter, hawkers, music, food, strange smells. There are lively exchanges going on between total strangers, a far cry from the quiet, isolating, almost sterile train experience at home.