I heard someone said, "If you want to know what is happening in China, go and book a hard-seat train ticket. You would know all listening what people are talking about along the trip."
When I was little, I used to take many train trips over 30 hours from north to south. Sitting the whole 30 hours is impossible for many kids, but I have never complained because I had my sister's companion and I knew it's my parents' choice for fanatical reasons. So I have met all kinds of people on the train because they are very kind for me and my sister, two little girls.
Actually, the trip starts before you on the train when you arrive at the train station with heavy packages and look for some space to sit. My sister and I have exprience to watch our packages while take turns to have rest especially when the train is late for hours. There are always someone interested to have a short conversation with us and begins with the question: "so you're twins, aren't you?" However, we do look alike but we are not twins. And we look much younger than our actual age, most importantly, strangers like to play a game guessing who is the elder one. Most of them would have wrong answers because my lovely elder sister looks younger and she would show more kindness in her eyes while my eyes show more alert and less trust.
After two-round guessing games, twin and elder sister, there would be more talks about trip, school and family. When I was young, I listened to their talking and I thought all of them are wise and brave. They are taking adventures and they witness the history of the country. But when I grow up and start to travel alone, I realize the people I met and talked to are all lived a harder life, they showed thier great kindness to me and my sister to have a happy trip. I admire them.