3 April 2017. It was a six-hour trip for a distance of more than 900 kilometers from Shenyang to Shijiazhuang on the high speed G-train, a trip punctuated by periods of 350-km-per-hour speed in some segments of the trip. That trip brought me back to 1988 when I first went to Beijing from Guangzhou, a journey of 1,890 kilometers which took me 36 hours. How I wish I had taken photos of that time!
China had indeed changed a lot these past 30 years. I used to bring my own toilet paper when I traveled on the train for use in the squat toilet which was a hole that opens directly to flush down all unwanted materials down to the railway track. Now, passengers have a choice between a squat toilet and a “throne,” with water flush for both, but you don’t get to see the track anymore. And the best part of it is the soft two-ply toilet paper to be had in abundance!