A collection of travel memories pre COVID-19 - Chapter 4

Updated: Feb 7, 2021

Bawling my eyes out at Suzhou station

It was a clear sunny weekend, the sun was shining, a cheerful morning indeed. A perfect day to visit Nanjing. I mean what could go wrong, correct? A confident woman with the world in her reach.

Time was 8.30 AM, I took the metro from Central Park station and got down at Suzhou station. My 1st mistake.

The train for Nanjing was actually from Suzhou North station which I was well aware of, however, I still do not understand to date why I decided to get down at Suzhou station to collect the hard copy of the tickets against my booking via My panic button hadn't just ticked off yet but when I reached the separate ticket counters which are dedicated to the high-speed trains, my heart sank. There were long queues in front of every counter. My watch struck 9 AM when I joined a queue.

After every few seconds of watching my wristwatch, I finally reached the front of the queue, got my hard copy, and dashed to catch the metro for Suzhou North station.

It was 8 stations and 25 minutes before I caught the train. My brain kicked into Shakuntala Devi mode and got down to 3 minutes per station which would leave me with one min to run and catch the train. I assumed under my hyper-panic-irrational mindset that the train would at least stop for 5 minutes for everyone to get onboard. Second mistake.

Exactly one min to go, I dashed out of the metro station towards the train station where again there was a queue to get in. At 10.03 AM, I was able to get inside the station. On the displays, I was unable to find my train number which triggered my level 2 panic state. Unable to hold my tears, my emotions burst in front of everyone.

A friendly worker, who took pity on me, from Suzhou Railways guided me to the ticket office and told me (through Google Translate) that I can exchange my ticket for a later time. I was not quite sure how would that work. But it did. The lady behind the counter handed me a new ticket 30 minutes ahead without any extra cost. At that moment, I believe I fell in love with China transport system. The most populated country in the world has one of the most efficient transport systems ensuring minimal stress to passengers & tourists alike.

Controlling myself and prying myself away from the pitiful stares, I was finally able to visit Nanjing, albeit the journey was not entirely successful.

The repurchase of tickets for another time when you know will miss the train is something not highlighted anywhere on the Internet. Hope this blog would assist those fellow travelers who might one day happen to miss their pre-booked trains, would stumble upon this blog, and spare themselves from going into panic mode. :-D


This story is part of the travel memories collection.

Read the first chapter here - Wuxi to Shanghai airport - The most panicking journey of my entire life

And the second chapter - That first rainy night in Bali

And the third chapter - A Michelin awarded breakfast of 2$ in Singapore

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