…but those simple details always slip your mind.
Gulliver can’t help but note, though, that rail travel Chinese style won’t be to everyone’s liking. The old cliché has it that China is good at hard infrastructure, but less attentive to the softer frills expected by Westerners and, increasingly, more affluent Chinese. Until now, this has held largely true on the trains.
A reflection of the wealth level in Chinese society, or the limits of planning? I’m leaning toward the limits of planning. There are a lot of people in China, and it’s literally impossible for a centralized bureaucracy to know that information. Just look at the trends in private housing — while the Chinese people overwhelmingly live in tiny apartments with paper walls (by Western standards); apartments have gotten bigger, windows have gotten more plentiful, and building quality has improved.
Of course, the article does note that the Chinese overwhelmingly don’t mind this, so it may be a cultural phenomenon.