How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

Xian, Day 7, Part 2 – High Speed Train and a Banquet

103 Comments


On our way to lunch, I noticed renovations to something that looked like strip malls. Notice the second floor, middle addition. This is all brick with no framing inside and nothing else supporting the walls. I noticed this practice in different areas as we traveled throughout the country.

© All Rights Reserved by Tess @ How the Cookie

© All Rights Reserved by Tess @ How the Cookie

We passed numerous nurseries and fruit farms.

© All Rights Reserved by Tess @ How the Cookie

© All Rights Reserved by Tess @ How the Cookie

© All Rights Reserved by Tess @ How the Cookie

© All Rights Reserved by Tess @ How the Cookie

More empty apartment shells as we entered Zian.

© All Rights Reserved by Tess @ How the Cookie

© All Rights Reserved by Tess @ How the Cookie

We had our mid-day meal late, around 1:30 p.m..Somehow, I took no pictures of the food.  My brain needed a new battery; the jets weren’t sparking.

Lunch:

  • Drinks as usual (one: beer, water, OR soda)
  • Tea (yellow)
  • Rice
  • Egg steamed in wheat flour sweet dough
  • Green beans, garlic and fried onions (salty)
  • Sliced potatoes, garlic and yellow onions
  • Cauliflower, carrots and green onions
  • Sweet and sour chicken
  • Fried cabbage, carrots and green onions
  • Garlic sprouts with carrots and fungus
  • Fresh apple slices for dessert

Goodbye Lisa, Who will be our next guide?

We’d loaded our luggage on the tour bus when we left the hotel in the morning. Next stop: a high speed train to Xian. We’d been told it travels as fast as 250 km an hour. Nope, it did not. Our tickets had the gate, coach and seat numbers on them. When the doors opened, passengers had a two minute window to get in or out. I mention this because many passengers had luggage or packages in tow, which we had to stow ourselves. I spied an area aty the back of the coach where we’d entered. With Sue’s help, I made that bag jump onto the middle shelf. Why did it weigh so much? I hadn’t purchased anything. It turned out our seats were at the opposite end of the coach. Each time we stopped, I jumped up  to watch the back exit, worried someone might take my suitcase.

Boarding time was 3:41 pm, arrival slightly before the specified time of 6:10. Our new tour guide, Steve, ( 30-ish and a comedian) waited for us at the depot.

We drove straight to The Tang Dynasty Dancing Show and Dumpling Banquet. I was too far away for a clear picture.

© All Rights Reserved by Tess @ How the Cookie

© All Rights Reserved by Tess @ How the Cookie

 

OR

Still shots of all the costumes and amazing-looking girls:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=The+Tang+Dynasty+Dancing+Show&rlz=1C1EODB_enCA562CA564&espv=2&biw=1242&bih=585&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=OfkJVIvCCpD3yQSynoLADw&ved=0CEYQsAQ

The show was stupendous; the girls were beyond knockouts! Dinner consisted of a dozen different dumplings and were delicious

The tables were arranged dinner theater style as you’ll see in the pictures below.

Appetizers:

  • Tea
  • Beer / water / pop
  • Cucumber salad
  • Fried fish (white and mild)
  • Fungus
  • Celery
  • Bacon
  • Beef slices
  • Pot Stickers

The dumplings were artistically made to represent what filling was inside. For a better version than I could have taken with my iPad, click below:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=dumpling+feast&rlz=1C1EODB_enCA562CA564&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=-fsJVNmZFMmRyASahoLIDA&ved=0CFoQsAQ&biw=1242&bih=585

Delivered to our table were various flavored dumplings:

  1. pork and shrimp
  2. celery and egg
  3. pork, chicken and shrimp
  4. celery, dried bean curd and egg
  5. pork, egg white
  6. pork and hair weeds
  7. pork winter bamboo shoots and chicken
  8. pork and duck
  9. pork and mushrooms
  10. pork, black fungus and
  11. vegetable
  12. Walnut and jam (dessert)

 ~ * ~

I had internet in our hotel room that night, but had to ask for a code at the registration desk. As well, the converter I’d used in Beijing to charge my laptop and iPad didn’t work. Contrary to the last time I’d used the converter, this hotel outlet preferred straight prongs.

Hotmail was no problem. With Google, I could only read mail, but not send. I had the same experience in Beijing.

At our first hotel, one women even Skyped from the lobby with family members somewhere in the U.S. Before you wonder, she was loud and kept walking around with her iPad for WiFi. Most distracting. Still, I’m amazed at the benefits of this new technology.

 

Next on September 12: Xian, Day 8, Part One – Xian: Old City Wall, Shaanxi History Museum, Terra Cotta Warrior Factory

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

 

Advertisements

Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

103 thoughts on “Xian, Day 7, Part 2 – High Speed Train and a Banquet

  1. Love seeing these pictures and reading the commentary. A trip without leaving home!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tess – I continue to be amazed at the pace of your travels. Would you say your activities were in the 12 to 15 hour window. How much free time did you have on an average day. I recognize ‘average’ doesn’t exist on a planned tour – but am looking for a general idea. Did you take any of your pictures using your iPad? Your continuing ability to transport us to this ‘other mysterious world’ and to allow us into feeling we were there beside you is a testimony to your writing skills. You have a keen eye for detail and now I see why your flash fiction is absolutely always spot on. This detail is a way of life for you. Oh how I would like to have your talent.

    Like

    • Sheri, we had zero free time for a while until we went on a cruise. Thank goodness it arrived when it did because we had no idea how much we needed that breather. We left no later than 9:00 (sometimes 9:30 depending on schedule and didn’t get back to the hotel anywhere from 8:00 or so. One evening I recall as being 10:00
      I took all my pictures with my iPad mini (new to me a couple of months before departure.
      You are, as usual, extra generous with your comments. I guess the things that grabbed my attention is what’s ended on my page. True, I do like the little things because I find them interesting. Thank YOU, for following and spending time with me as I show you my take on our tour.
      ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The food sounds amazing! I loved the pictures! I remember skyping from Ireland. It helped when I missed the babies. 🙂

    Like

  4. A Dumpling Banquet–I wouldn’t mind having a go at that. But I could do without the fungus appetizer. 😉

    Like

  5. Oh how cool is this?! The dance and dumpling banquet sounds wonderful. I would have to try them all. I’m always up for unusual foods, so yes, even the fungus. Still can’t get over the empty apartments. that just seems a bit dystopian already. A world perhaps ended before it began. My grandkids skyped with their dad when they went to NC with us and he had to stay home in FL. Amazing…things we dreamed about as kids have come true. I laugh every time I see a Dick Tracy comic.

    Like

    • Since I’ve returned from that vacation, I’ve found out there are TOWNS empty, never been lived in. Shopping mall, never opened and sitting for years. I wonder if that was just for employment? Stupid waste of money and letting builings, towns, shopping malls go to decay in how long?

      I absolutely believe technology is wonderful to keep in touch with college and university kids, traveling spouses, old friends found, meeting relatives, vacations and on and on. 😀

      Like

  6. Tess this seemed lie a very jam packed day. The dumplings sound scrumptious. Now i am terribly afraid I am one of those travel bloggers wandering about lobbies, streets, dark alleys, local squares in search of the elusive Wifi. I’ve even stood on a stool in a bar in Spain while holding my iPad over my head int he hopes of connection. ;(

    Like

  7. The menu sounds delicious. You’re seeing a lot of the country, all sorts of things. It’s been very interesting to follow.

    Like

  8. Those brick walls amazed me. Maybe you’re far in from the juncture of tectonic plates–no earthquakes? I couldn’t quite figure where you were. The Eurasian and North American plate abut in China, but north of where you were (I think). Even without earthquakes, seems odd. Pygmies build very unstable homes, but they don’t care if they fall down!

    Like

  9. Tess, I am enjoying your trip so much. I laugh at the lists of dishes for lunch and dinner. Onions celery are so popular. Pork is too. Glad you enjoyed the show. One surprise after another. I also wonder how those buildings stay up without support!

    Like

  10. Fascinating dumpling contents Tess! the dancing is awesome I’d love to try some of those costumes 🙂

    Like

  11. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Time to continue the travels in China with How the Cookie Crumbles. Thanks Tess – I have heard some tales about meals that have been served to visitors and it is comforting to see that the menus appear to include local ingredients but nothing too exotic!! Very interesting as always.

    Like

  12. Please explain pot stickers? Another interesting day had by all. The desolate buildings though, look so sad.

    Like

  13. oh yes, you certainly ate well!! I think that might be my favorite part of your posts: the food and their descriptions. Keep ’em coming!

    Like

  14. Not a part of the world I’d be interested in actually visiting but I AM enjoying the cyber-tour. 😉 I like hearing about the varieties of exotic foods you tried in particular.

    Like

  15. The dumplings sound very tasty. I wonder if your Google troubles had something to with Google’s issues with the Chinese government.

    Like

  16. Hoping you are having a Great weekend 🙂

    Like

  17. I love dumplings 🙂 Thank you for sharing your travels with us Tess, I love reading about them 🙂

    Like

  18. This was a fun evening, not sure of these short windows to board trains though. You are so right the dancers and costumes, beautiful. Dumplings! Loved this one.

    Tess, I honor your fortitude. I think I would have been starkers with the pace of this tour.

    Like

    • A breather is coming and it hit me like a ton of bricks. From go-go-go to a slow-down of pace, it felt weird.
      Ha ha. The short window of time was for lugging the suitcase in unfamiliar territory, jammed with people and only two minutes to make do.

      Like

  19. Skeletal apartments and dumpling banquets. What a day.

    Like

  20. Those empty, half-built apartment cities are amazing. Surprising that some enterprising American hasn’t come along to finish the job. Amazing video–did you film that? Great clarity.

    Like

  21. Loved the video Tess. It sounds like a lovely evening – how were the loos?

    Like

  22. From my favourite singer Imogen

    Like

  23. Your fruit farm photo looks a lot like a vineyard – did you try any of the wine?

    Like

    • Sigh. True, it does look like a vineyard. I thought so at first too. There were a lot of nurseries with young peach and cherry trees as well. I may have mixed up the pictures. What we need is someone who can read the sign below this picture,.although I’m not sure it’s the same field, as it was on the opposite side of the road. 😮

      Like

  24. Amazing the contrast between the starkness of the empty buildings and the wealth of colour and richness of the show. The dumplings sound delicious, I love them but have to go down to the south east coast where my boys live to find the best Chinese restaurants to experience them 😛 Better even to have them in their home country as you did….yum! The extent of all you covered each day on this tour amazes me Tess, talk about packed in! The show must have been stunning, those girls are gorgeous 😀 ❤

    Like

  25. Wonderful post and your comment section is additionally vibrant! I’m so impressed with the quality of comments and folks who engage with you Tess. It speaks to your skill as a writer and as a person.

    No supports inside those buildings is fascinating. And then the empty high rise apartments perhaps showing a society growing too fast?
    The food sounds amazing but I would have trouble with so little fluids. I drink something almost constantly.

    The pace of your trip is exhaustive! I too was worried about your bag on the train. Can’t wait for the cruise. 😉

    Sounds like you enjoyed your next guide, Steve. I look forward to hearing more!

    Like

    • Thank you, Pam for your in-depth comments. Later I will have a closer picture of brick additions. I thought I was talking through my hat when I noticed there was no framing inside the brick. I’m not an architect, nor engineer, nor am I involved in or know anything about construction, but this bothered me.

      Like

  26. Thanks for sharing. I love to travel via you!

    Like

  27. It’s not that there is no support for the walls in those brick village houses. It’s because upon cement foundation, concrete poles were built in various places, normally in the center inside and one on each corner. Instead of the wooden frames that have all the studs all over the houses, concrete poles with rebars in the center are built from the foundation to support the roof, which is also built in rebars and concrete. Unlike wood studs, only several concrete poles are usually needed to establish support for a small village house, usually one on each corner and a couple in the middle in the interior. I know this because my father used to be a developer in Hong Kong and I had gone with him to the construction sites all the time when he was building houses in the country side. with a few concrete poles , concrete floor and ceiling, bricks are then piled up and sealed with cement to fill up the opening. Many studs need to be densely populated in a wooden house, but not for rebar and concrete houses. From the outside, it looks like there is no frame, but there is, or the roof won’t stand. See the post below to understand how the brick houses do have support and frames, only one that isn’t subject to termites…

    http://www.dezeen.com/2012/07/04/house-for-all-seasons-by-john-lin/

    Like

    • Hello John Lin
      I am immensely pleased to receive this information. I’m happy you have taken the time to write and explain about construction as I have no experience in that field. My eyes were all I had. I’ve forwarded this information to another couple in our tour group and my friend’s husband found this intriguing to read about. He thought this is a similar system to the way building are put up in Greece. Do you know anything about that?
      How did you manage to trip over my blog? I’m glad you did. Thank you again. ~(*_~)~~

      Like

  28. What an experience this trip must have been! China has always seemed so mysterious to me. Thanks for posting the photos and sharing the menus and the shows. Next best thing to being there!

    Like

  29. There’s something eerie about a lot of the photos, the empty shell buildings, the grey skies, I wonder if it felt like that there, or if it’s just how it looks?

    Like

  30. I too thought many of the young women astoundingly beautiful and the skin!

    Like

  31. I’m a little behind–can you tell school started? Love the color of the dancers’ costumes and the stages. I also found the dumpling images ridiculously creative!

    Like

  32. Such a contrast between the bleak countryside / deserted housing projects and the glorious dance shows. I love how you present both sides of the story ❤

    Like

  33. The show is spectacular! And I could live on dumplings like those – um, yummy! But the strange empty skyscrapers – maybe no worse than empty buildings anywhere. Still, you can see through them, as if they were never meant to be lived in, just scaffolding against the sky.

    Like

  34. The empty buildings are all over China. They have whole towns and malls which have never had anyone but construction workers in them. We were told that more and more ‘country’ people are coming into the cities and ‘if you build it, they will come.” On the other hand, I wonder if the government isn’t just providing jobs and a paycheck.

    Like

Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s