January 14—Puyang-Zhengzhou-Shanghai

It was another 24-course breakfast in Puyang before boarding the bus for the 160-mile drive to Zhengzhou where we would board bullet train D284 for Shanghai.Just prior to departure, Mr. Li Da Qing, General Secretary of the Daming church, boarded our bus to express his heartfelt thanks and good wishes to our group.

Halfway to Zhengzhou we pulled into a truck stop for some relief and were amused by several of the ”Chinglish” signs in the restrooms. The sign above the lavatories urged conservation in water use: “Economy uses this water”; the hand washing area was dubbed “Water pool”; the foot pedal flushing device on the stools had the name “trample flush”.

By 11:30 AM we arrived in Zhengzhou. At the (new) Zhengzhou train station, found our departure gate in this exceedingly busy traffic hub, and located the train car that was to take us to Shangahai.

But all went well. While waiting at the gate to the departure area, our national guide, Paul, explained to a group of young Chinese in the line ahead of us that our party included a “senior” who was 94 years of age who would much appreciate the courtesy being allowed to move to the front of the line. In a gesture so typical of young Chinese when interacting with adults, the Chinese quickly moved aside and welcomed our group, with Jake Goering in the lead, to move to the front of the line. It is this deep respect for elders that Shirley and I find so endearing about the youth of China!

We arrived at the Hong Qiao station a few minutes late where we encountered a cold rain and a warm welcome from “Jack” who would be our local guide during our 5-day stay in this city of 23 million!