After falling asleep on the train to Zhangjiajie, we woke the next morning (OK, I woke several times during the night when we stopped at various towns. The first time, I wandered down the hall to use the squat toilet only to be stopped by the warning not to use in the station.) to the end of the ride in a mountainous area.
By then it was starting to rain and by the time we got to Zhangjiajie, it was really pouring. Unfortunately, from the station (which was magnificent)
to the taxi stand was a about a 1/4 mile in the rain, so we were pretty wet by the time we got in the cab. The trip to the National Park at Wulingyuan was about 45 minutes in the rain and we got to our hotel damp but unscathed for our first real travel with no English speakers to help. (At Moon Hill, we had somebody write the name of our new hotel in Chinese so all we had to do was show the name to the taxi driver and argue price using sign language.
In the mini-series, Shogun, about half way through, after the hero has been living like a Japanese for a couple of years (maybe five one hour episodes in our time), the hero runs into a group of Dutch traders. They are shockingly gross: pinkish-red, fat, loutish Europeans. That's how I felt when we checked in to our hotel: we had been on train all night, hadn't bathed, walked through the rain, and the girls behind the counter were impeccable in their purple silk.