December 12th, 2008
I saw the headline elsewhere, but for whatever reason I only clicked on it when it appeared on 京报网: A train ticket from “The east is red” to “The sun is rising”. The pictures say it all, provided you can read Chinese:
Awesomest train ticket
These days there are too many awesomest things: Netizen “Luo Xiaoman” showed a Hushang Bao reporter a train ticket whose starting point was “The East is Red” and whose destination was “The Sun is Rising”.
“The east is red, the sun is rising. China has brought forth a Mao Zedong….” I believe every person who sees this ticket will immediately be reminded of this familiar melody. And do these placenames really exist? Seeking verification, I find that in China there are many villages called “The East is Red” and “The Sun is Rising”, only Heilongjiang Province has many, and there is only one station each of “The East is Red” and “The Sun is Rising” on the railway system.
“东方红”站位于现在虎林市与饶河县之间的密东铁路的尽头站，而车票中显示的“太阳升”站，是位于黑龙江省大庆市大同区太阳升镇的“太阳升”火 车站。这张2005年的车票显示，由“东方红”站至“太阳升”站需要经过多次转车，而售出这张车票的是“东方红”火车站。昨日记者打电话询问该站工作人员 得知，票上的“鸡下哈让”分别代表4个中转地：鸡西、下城子、哈尔滨、让湖路。这样的车票现在还可以买到，不过当年的车次已经改变，现在这条路线的车次应 该是6224次。
“The East is Red” Station is at the railhead of the Mi-Dong Railway between modern Hulin City and Raohe County, and the “The Sun is Rising” Station that appears on the ticket is the “The Sun is Rising” Station in The Sun is Rising Township, Datong District, Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province. This ticket from 2005 shows that to travel from “The East is Red” to “The Sun is Rising” one must change trains several times, and it was sold at “The East is Red” Station. Yesterday, having phoned the station to ask a worker, your correspondent learned that the “Ji Xia Ha Rang” on the ticket represents four stations at which one changes trains: Jixi, Xiachengzi, Harbin and Ranghu Lu. One can still buy this kind of ticket, although the train number of that year has been changed and the current route number should be the 6224.
It’s really tempting to translate 鸡西 as West of the Chicken. The world needs a West of the Chicken Station.
Translation of the East is Red lyrics comes from Wikipedia. Don’t blame me.
Anyway, it’s almost worth a trip to Heilongjiang just to get such an awesome train ticket. Wait, a mate of mine will be moving to Harbin soon…. Perhaps I should send him on a mission….