In the morning, Kate took the girls to the zoo while I packed the bags, bought some snacks for the train, checked out of the room and then sat in the lobby reading. They eventually got back at about 12.30, with tales of sleepy pandas, an orangutan who calmly stubbed out the lit cigarette that someone had flicked into his cage, a very inquisitive red panda and getting to pat the zebras.
Then we piled into a taxi and drove out through some pretty heavy traffic to Shanghai South Railway station, which has an interesting design – it's a circular, tent-like building with a central waiting area from which radiate tunnels that take you down to the platforms. Down one of those tunnels we walked to get to our train, where we set ourselves up, happily once more, in our own cabin.
Now, for as long as I can remember, our family card game of choice has been something called Pink Serviette - a game made up by friends of one of the girls' aunts, Julie. It's a simple, fast and fun game that I used to play with Sarah while we sat in the pub waiting for Zoe's ballet class to finish. But on the off-chance that that game would pale at some point, I brought along a booklet of card games that I got free in the Guardian many years ago, and it was during this train ride that it was finally brought out. Kate taught the girls three new games: Bunty (which was quickly renamed Pocky), Sevens and Rummy. The first two are pretty silly, but the last has now become our go-to game (which Zoe manages to win ridiculously often).