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Hustle and Bustle, Goodbyes

Last night was the most busy night of my life. All of the Chinese students came to see us one last time at the hotel before we rushed onto the bus. We all got to give them quick hugs and then piled onto the bus. We were running late, so when we got to the train station we had to basically run. The "parking lot" area of the train station, though was filled with cement railroad ties, so wheeling our suitcases was impossible. My suitcase weighs approximately 60 pounds, and along with my smaller suitcase, backpack, and purse, I was struggling as much as anyone else. We got into the station and had to put all of our bags through a security check conveyor belt. So, we were all frantically throwing, literally, our stuff onto this conveyor belt and running to the other side to grab our stuff, reload up, and run some more. We had to scale about 3 flights of stairs (with a small ramp on the side that was about a 45 degree grade) with ALL of our luggage. At this point, Laura started up the ramp with her suitcases, and proceeded to fall straight over backwards when she realized how steep the grade was. Also, at the same spot, Stacey's handle broke off of her rolling suitcase. John came to her rescue and became a human packhorse. Without him, we probably would have missed our train. Once we got up the stairs, we had to go down another set of stairs to get to our train (why we had to go up and then down again, don't ask me). Everyone was frantic going down the stairs, but we didn't have any casualties this time. When we got to the platform for our train, we had to bustle into the car, with no time to say goodbye to Rena. She came all the way to the train station with us, and we were all too hurried to say goodbye to her. It made me sad. We made it, and got our room assignments. After our luggage was stored and ready to go, we got to relax on the sleeper train. 10 hours later, Shanghai.