How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

Xian, Day 8, Part One – Xian: Old City Wall (and more)

99 Comments


Before leaving for the day’s tour, I exchanged $100.00 Canadian to 547 Yuan and paid no commission. A Bank of China specific area was set up at the reception desk. The man was pleased with my brand new polymer bills unlike the machine at the previous hotel.

Our first stop of the day was at the old Xian city wall, which is 12 metres high (13.1234 yards). A lot of stairs had to be climbed to get to the top surface (15 metres or 16.4042 yards wide). We saw pedestrians and bikers, but it wasn’t crowded at all. Due to the short time allocated to look around, we didn’t walk far. There wasn’t much to see on top where we’d entered anyway.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (On top of the wall)

 © 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (On top of the wall)

On one side we looked down on modern buildings and the other a market in progress. Buyers and sellers moved in and out at a brisk pace. The location made me think of a wide alley. Old buildings had been removed and continued to be knocked down.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

 © 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

 

Next was the Shaanxi History Museum. Thousands of artifacts, too many people and stifling.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

Steve, our tour guide, felt ill and stopped at a pharmacy for something to settle his stomach. Instead of leaving us for the day, as I’m sure he might have preferred, he soldiered on, lime-white faced.

 Our third stop in was the factory where the Terracotta Warriors were made. Reproductions of the originals (we will visit next week) are made by way of molds. No two faces are alike. The dedication to fine detail is incredible.

Warrior Wannabe

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (A warrior wannabe)

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

LUNCH:

  • Eggs and tomatoes
  • Beef with onion
  • Rice
  • Vegetable soup with spinach(?)
  • Noodles
  • Spicy chicken with celery and hot peppers
  • Tofu
  • Cubed potatoes with caramel
  • Sweet and sour fish
  • Mystery meat on a stick (delicious)
© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (Sorry this isn’t clear. Probably too much beer.)

 

XIAN FACTS:

  • Total population of China 1.4 billion
  • 200,000,000 Chinese still living in poverty
  • Floating population, living in country-side live on $2.00 a day and scavenge cardboard, paper etc.
  • Some farmers built rooms out of scrap on their property to accommodate the scavengers
  • Scavengers collectively work together to afford a room like this
  • If you own an apartment, your kids inherit it after you die. Cannot sell for profit.
  • If you are a real estate developer, or magistrate, you’ll manage to sell it
  • $300,000 USD + four-unit apartments were given to farmers moved off their land (so the story goes)
  • Some farmers did so well in new environment (new location), they became millionaires (so the story goes)
  • First day of Sweeping Festival begun (April 5-7)
  • Now more people are cremated
  • Traditionally one day for Sweeping Festival bit extended by government for travel to gravesites of dead relatives and loved ones.
  • http://traditions.cultural-china.com/en/14Traditions278.html
  • Cars with 7 or less passengers go free because of Sweeping Festival
  • Vehicles with more than 7, still have to pay toll
  • 6 billion trips are taken around the country during holidays and New Years
  • Our bus driver’s father is a millionaire farmer. Why is his son driving a bus?

Next on September 19th, Day 8, Part 2 – Xian: Terracotta Warriors at last

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

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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!

99 thoughts on “Xian, Day 8, Part One – Xian: Old City Wall (and more)

  1. Millionaires, hmm? I remain as skeptical as you.

    Like

  2. I like your “so the story goes,” because that’s exactly how I started to think about some of “facts” of life I was told. I don’t think many westerners would easily thrive in China if they lived as most Chinese do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All those bikes really makes a statement about the crowded conditions there. The meals looks delicious. The Terracotta Warrior statues are amazing. And the detail on the artifacts at the museum is pretty impressive. What a trip! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never heard of terracotta warriors. and wow, 200m live in poverty in China?? omg…that is so sad…..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I noticed you © your pictures. Have you had problems with people copying them? I’m so paranoid of using images from online, I pay for mine!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, I haven’t but I’ve noticed everyone is doing that as well as an official ‘license’. I notice you have a copy write on your page as well as was going to ask about it. Not sure if I should or should not. I didn’t think about it until my friend began sharing his great pictures of our trip. I was more worried about them but then I realized what about mine?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Like I said, I’m nutty about it. I’ve actually copyrighted my books and trademarked the blog name. Sure, creative work is copyrighted automatically, but you have no recourse for time prior to discovering an infringement (this is a layman rewording of the law–not intended as anything else). I wanted more.

        Your pictures are gorgeous. Occasionally, drag-drop them into http://images.google.com and see if anyone else is using them. If they are, send them a cease and desist.

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      • Thank you, Jacqui. I was more worried about my friend’s pictures because he has an eye for photography, I don’t. On the other hand, I do hate when you’ve created a thing and someone just takes it. I’m snarky as hell then.

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  6. I love the terracotta warrior factory. My friend bought a miniature one for me when she was there last year. I am so looking forward to the next post with the real thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I bought a set of 4 or 5 and ended giving some away because friends were oooo and aah. ❤
      They have life-size replicas in some tourist store, the first one I saw was at the great wall. Eerie is a word that immediately comes to mind. 🙂

      Like

  7. You have opened my eyes about the life and times of China… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. incredible – this post took to learn about life and reality – Thank you!!

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  9. Are you suggesting that there me inequality in China? Surely not!

    Like

  10. Are you suggesting that there may be inequality in China? Surely not! (rushing, not checking)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Such incredible things to see – how did you remember so much? I think I would have to use a diary (or take lots of pics that were georeferenced). I thought the photo of all the bikes was great….something about geometric lines…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NO. I have a memory like a sieve. I brought notebooks and pens. Some of my note made me scratch my head because I did NOT remember some of the writing at all. The trip was so fast and furious and I was on automatic pilot.
      There’s half-a-day time difference and I wasn’t sure what day it was by day 5. The World Clock didn’t work in China on my iPad. Then our schedule was changed. I was all mixed up. My notes helped but still hard to decipher as my writing is so bad now. 🙂

      Like

  12. It looks like a bike share scheme as they are identical? I didn’t know they still made terracotta warriors, did you? are they for sale or to replenish old ones? Great day Tess and you’re brilliant at gathering facts for us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Another journey that I am enjoying sharing. A trip to China, a massive country that the majority of us will not see in person. I feel that I have learned a great deal in recent weeks. Very interesting and entertaining.

    Like

  14. Hmmm…love your thoughts about the so-called millionaires…. and those in real estate too… o_O I would be fascinated by the Terracotta Army. There is a museum not far from us with an exact replica which is amazing but of course nothing like the real thing. I was also fascinated by your photo of all those bicycles crammed in together like that. they look so neat 😉 Another enjoyable post packed full with interesting facts…looking forward to next week’s Tess 🙂 ❤

    Like

    • Thank you Sherri. I actually didn’t remember going to the Museum at first. I thought what the heck is this? I wrote it all down but had no recollection for a bit. What if I hadn’t made any notes? I think of what would already be forgotten.

      Glad you’re enjoying the tour. Glad to have your company.
      🙂 ❤ 😛

      Like

  15. See if I was said son driving the bus, I’d be putting my hand out to dad. Great pics and travelogue as usual darling. x

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  16. “Our bus driver’s father is a millionaire farmer. Why is his son driving a bus?”
    Maybe he doesn’t want to be a farmer and the farmer doesn’t want to give him money for nothing, wants something in return.

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  17. I visited Xian years ago Tess, and it was one of the highlights of my time in China. I was on business in Beijing and managed to get over to Xian. In those days, foreigners weren’t allowed to wander around on their own. Photos weren’t allowed, and I tried every way imaginable to get some on the sly, but to no avail. No matter how tough the trip is, Xian is one of the unique sights on the planet. ~James

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    • During our whirl-wind tour I could hardly breathe. It is only now as I do these posts that I can separate one place from another. Each stop had lots to say for itself. I think everyone especially looked forward to seeing the Terracotta Warriors in Xian.

      Like

  18. Wonderful photos and tour for me! Thank you, Tess! I just am overwhelmed HOW the Terra Cotta Warriors came to be–the story of their creation has always blown me away. And YOU were there to view them! WOW! Thank you for sharing!

    Like

  19. Such an interesting post with great photos and neat facts. 🙂

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  20. I would go to China JUST to see the Terracotta Warriors. They fascinate me!

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  21. Great pictures Tess. You are quite the photographer yourself, lol. And um, one of those faces didn’t look so authentic in the warrior garb, lol. 🙂

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  22. great photos – and that first one should be win a frame – the lamp post and the buildings in the back – truly a wonderful shot. but all are good and I am coming back on the 19th! peace out.

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  23. Wow. They are very tidy with their bikes. Love those warriors.

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    • Yes, those bikes looked so neat, I had to take a picture. I have another picture posted where the bikes aren’t ‘for hire’ but personal bikes and they were pretty neat as well. Not quite like this photo.
      The warriors gave me chills. 😀

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  24. Very interesting Tess. Thanks for sharing your pics with us. I must say that those bicycles sure are neatly parked. 🙂

    Like

  25. Perhaps the word millionaire has a different meaning here?
    What a fascinating culture. These people are true survivors who work tremendously hard and endure with dignity. So much to admire here while at the same time, I admit, I’m glad to have been born and raised in the states.
    Love your photos and the sense of reality in your narrative.
    Wonderful stuff Tess! Absolutely wonderful.
    Did you ever tire of the food?

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    • No, I didn’t tire of the food. Not the same as Chinese food in our restaurants but I wouldn’t have starved.

      The culture has been alive for 5000 years and keeps reaching a pinnacle and then falls to reinvent itself all over again. Why does that happen? How many times?
      The millionaire thing will come up again…

      Like

  26. Love reading about your adventures!
    Am going to research the Terra Cota Warriors!

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  27. This was fabulous, love the pictures and your narrative. The Warriors, I loved these best.

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  28. I had a favorite Chinese student a few years back who brought me three small warriors back from his trip. He was about 12 and and is now 22. I am looking at those warriors right now across the room on the top of a bookcase. Glad to be reminded of that place through your eyes.

    Like

  29. Thank you for sharing your travels with me. I’m enjoying China. : )

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  30. Golly, it’s so different to any way of life I am familiar with. We live in luxury, I d say, comparatively. Thnakyou Tess for continuing to enlighten us! Much love, xo 🙂

    Like

  31. Thanks for taking us with you! 🙂

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  32. I tweeted this; thanks for sharing.

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  33. I guess it’s a culture thing about the bus driver son – maybe there is pride in making your own money if you can rather than just taking a family handout. We have bikes for hire on the streets of London like that, well not quite like that, but similar – http://inkandcompass.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/boris-bikes/

    Like

    • I’m not sure because I don’t understand the culture well enough.
      I sure do like the idea of bike hires. We have them too for the past couple of years. No. I haven’t tried them. I had to take a picture because they looked so neat and orderly.

      Checked out your link. Thank you, Vanessa. Interesting what I’ve learned after / because of this trip. Thank you for reading and commenting. ❤

      Like

  34. The picture of the bikes is mesmerizing. The list of Xian facts is fascinating. Thanks for sharing!!

    Like

  35. Tess – Wow, you really visit a lot of cultural learning today. With interest I read the old Xian city wall was not over crowded. Perhaps that’s how the Chinese do a better job keeping their prison cost population down do much better than we seem to accomplish. I do wish you had more room to lazily walk around and do some exploring on your own. I always wanted more free time at least at most locations so I could roam around on my own but knew to get that freedom, would have to return to that site at a later date and on my own.

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    • I suppose that’s one way of keeping every busy whether they have enough money to eat of have good working conditions don’t matter. 😀

      I couldn’t have seen as much as I did–not a seasoned traveler–in 24 days like I did with this tour. Go. Go. Go. The days were FULL and we certainly got out money’s worth.

      I was overwhelmed with information.

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      • Tess – I don’t believe a seasoned traveler could have squeezed as much into 24 days as your tour group managed. You had the added advantage of not worrying about how to get from point A to point B, where you were going to sleep and where you might trust the food you were about to put in your mouth. How many different hotels did you sleep in. I always calculate the times I have to pack and unpack. I have this thing about handling luggage – I hate it. On tours, I’ve always had my luggage handled and I didn’t have to worry about transfers, etc.
        An attractive element of River Cruises is the luggage situation. That’s terribly shallow of me but I accept the label.

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      • Like I’ve mentioned earlier, the tour certainly got the most bang for our buck. Good hotels with little discrepancies that only I might notice. I only dragged our luggage up or downstairs a couple of time during the whole trip and we stayed in 10 hotels.
        The scheduled were so jam packed. Wow. If they wanted to, they didn’t need to put all those stops in, right? Less cost of gas bus, driver and tour guide. ❤

        Like

  36. Hi Tess: Since you mentioned your problem with comments not getting through, I have in fact noticed that yours aren’t getting through to us. The ‘Likes’ are but no comments. Gotta love WP!!

    Like

  37. Lively murals!
    I didn’t know they make reproductions of the terracotta warriors. Some garden ornament that would make! 🙂

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    • They make miniatures as we as assorted other sizes and life-size. Hey, there’s money to be made so they make a size for everyone.

      The lady I traveled with lives in a gated community Her neighbor had been to China and had a life-sized one shipped to her home. It stood on her front verandah for a long time. Apparently she had room in her house perfect for this large Warrior.

      Like

  38. I’m awed by your skillful portrayal of Chinese life: the crowded row of bicycles, the modern buildings, the open air market, and the trash strewn only a few feet away – very perceptive of you.
    I just watched a PBS show about the terra cotta warriors. They were built to honor an emperor, took 40 years to complete, and the social structure that produced them was brutally rigid. But you probably found out much more when you actually visited. Can’t wait to see your take.

    Like

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