Doing the final preparations I realized that it might not be the central station that the train left from and some power googling indicated that instead it would be the west station. My ticket was full of chinese letters, perhaps it had some clues? When dropping off my stuff at Alex I asked and indeed it said west station on my ticket, it would have been a rather lame thing to find out at central station.
Perhaps I didn’t had that much time to play with given that I was uncertain of the distance to this west station. I said my goodbyes to Ulf and Laura, jumped into a cab and showed him my ticket. Now I was alone without knowing the language at all and on a tight schedule, I felt that this was the start of the more adventure-style part of my trip.
I got to the station, a well 20 minutes before the train left, after passing security (they scan all luggage) I managed to find the correct waiting room, the right platform and after some questions finally my coach and hard sleeper. I had 10 minutes of margin rather than the 30 I planned. Fair enough.
It was me and five locals, or so I thought until I understood that there was another guy who didn’t understand a word of what the others were saying as well. Apparently a korean backpacker also planned to visit Lhasa. We bonded by the traditional exchange of food, in this case I traded away a newly purchased muffin against a sweet-potato. After some indications by the giggling chinese I started to peel the skin rather than eat it all as well.
When words fail, music speaks H.C Andersen once said, in this case it’s more like when language doesn’t match, smile. We had a nice conversation consisting of signs, smiles and some very few english words. Being a nice guy I rearranged everyone’s luggage so the poor korean guy didn’t have to have his backpack where he slept (not that big to begin with).
After some reading I felt I could use a good nights sleep, tomorrows mission will be to see if I can locate power, food and toilet paper. Not necessarily in that order though.