I start looking around for newer, more sober company and I meet a man whose car once broke down in Naas, and a young farmer who landed in Beijing two days ago to study Mandarin at the University. "Back home I work in a field," he says, wide Italian eyes looking up at me. "And now I have to find somewhere here to live." He takes a sip of his tea and leans in, admitting: "I only know the word for 'house'." I try to reassure him with my tale of turning up to live in Iceland without a word of Icelandic but we both know it's not really the same thing.
Eventually I decide to leave the bar early and go and get packed up for the train.
"One last word of advice before you go," says Will, giving me a bear-hug. "Don't take the lower bunk."
But I do have the lower bunk! It's the only ticket left that Qing could book for me – the train is full.
"Oh well, that's alright, don't worry," he says, backtracking quickly. "You'll be well looked after in that case. You're going to be sharing that seat with every Chinese mammy on the train."