How to survive a Chinese Train station

If you want to prepare for Boxing Day sales and the resultant stampedes, or if you’re a doomsday prepper wanting to equip yourselves with the necessary skills to survive an apocalypse and the associated scrummage for the last remaining food on earth – drop what you’re doing and catch a train in China!

It starts off pretty easily. You arrive at the train station and all looks normal. But you notice that as you get closer to the entrance to the place that the number of people start increasing exponentially.

Then the queuing starts: The first queue is to make sure you have a ticket which is valid. As if I’d go to a train station for fun.

The next queue is a security check which is also quite an experience. Even if you don’t set the metal-detector off, you’re still going to get groped by security. Back home, the security guards feel as awkward as you do when giving a pat down. Not in China – the pat down could double up as a medical exam. I felt I should have asked my security guard for her phone number after she was done with me.

It’s all fine until you get to the waiting room for your train. The number of people in these waiting rooms is something else. I have never seen such a huge concentration of people in one place ever! Actually, thats a lie – I’m in China – I see this 3 times before breakfast every day!


All of this I can live with. What I can’t live with is the ticket-checking to actually get to the train. The pushing and shoving is something else. I’m quite a chilled guy and avoid getting physical with anyone and choose to have verbal arguments rather than physical encounters because I’m passive and really don’t give that much of a shit if you’re being a cretin. But in China, where you can’t communicate, you have no choice but to become aggressive sadly.

How does one survive this?

It’s all in the elbows. Stick them out and do not let anyone push in front of you. One moment of weakness and then you’re fucked. The Chinese will smell blood in the water and then you may a well just get to the back of the queue. I feel quite bad about this but a young Chinese girl pushed in front of me and I had no choice but to pick her up and put her behind me. She must learn!

Next – don’t make eye contact. Even wear sunglasses at night – this will make you look like someone that no one wants to encounter.

Finally – when that boarding gate opens, pretend you play rugby for the Springboks. Don’t give a shit – just push forward and use your elbows on anyone trying to push in.

May the force be with you! I have to catch a train tomorrow night and am already deciding on which wrestling tactics to use!

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