How the Cookie Crumbles

Life in the fast and slow lanes after SIXTY-FIVE


Xian, Part 1 – Old City Wall (and more)

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 available at the reception desk. The man was pleased with my brand new polymer Canadian bills unlike the ones I’d converted at a machine in a previous hotel. The machine didn’t like polymer bills. Too slippery?

Our first stop of the day was at the old Xian City wall, which stands 12 meters high (13.1234 yards). A lot of stairs to climb to the top surface (15 meters 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 – bikes for hire)

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 (bright weather for market day)

 © 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

                              © 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (brisk shopping and selling)

Next we visited the Shaanxi History Museum: thousands of artifacts, too many people, and stifling.

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

                                  © 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (entrance in museum)
© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (magnificent wall)

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 tourist warrior wannabe)

© 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

                             © 2014 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (Life-size, headless and eerie)

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 is fuzzy. Too much beer?  lol

Xian Quick 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 grave sites 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 May 5th, Xian, Part 2 – Terracotta Warriors (at last)

© 2017 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

FYI: This is a re-blog of the best parts of my trip in 2014.

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

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


64 Comments

100-Word Challenge for Grown Up – Week #134

Check out ‘What is 100WCGU?and http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week134/

 100wcgu-72

The Flock

“Okay, Health and Safety’s next.”

Feathers ruffle. The flock scolds. Chak. Chak

“Who’s he?” Stanley asks.

“Blackie.”

“Huh huh. That’s imaginative?” His head bobs and feet shift on the branch. “Huh huh. Dumb name.”

“Quiet. The Festival’s tomorrow at Gore Park. What’re the rules?”

“Huh huh. I know.”

Blackie gives him the worm-eye. “Out with it.”

“Huh huh. Beware of gum.”

“Peter. Stop preening. Why?”

“Beak sticks? You die?”

“Splendid. What else?”

“Huh huh.” Wings lift.

“Yes, Stanleeey.”

“Avoid plastic bags.”

“Why?”

“Huh huh. Tangles and poisons.”

“You’re ready. The Mrs. says chicks busting out today. Must fly. Till to-morrow.”


44 Comments

HOT Flash – Cracked

morgueFile free photos

morgueFile free photos

“See that guy with the coke bottle glasses.”

“Ya?” Ralphie scratches his brush-cut.

“Come on.  He’s headed for the Chinaman’s restaurant.”

A chained German Shepherd yanks at his restraint and snarls.

Petey hurls. “Yuck, he’s cracked. Who eats garbage?”

“His mother’s the church cook, I heard. Doesn’t she feed him?”

~ * ~

We are nearing the end of the Fall Quarter of Flash in the Pan. The theme is Disturbed.

The word limit for Cracked is 50 words. I used all of them.

Check how to join:  http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/


99 Comments

Tick Tock, Tick Tock

Something is going on. I wish I had an idea what or why.

Is anyone experiencing an increase in traffic in their mailbox? Is everyone you follow showing up in your inbox INCLUDING all the followers they have when they comment?

I’t been an eventful afternoon but I don’t have time for all this extra READING, which I can’t help doing because these other comments are in my Inbox after all.

Does anyone know how to get a complaint out to the right party at WordPress so this stops?

Another blogger just put out a lament also:

http://theinvisibleshadow.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/whacky-wordpress/


25 Comments

Saturday Centus: Nightmare

Congratulations to Jenny Matlock. It’s Saturday Centus –  Centennial Celebration. Check it out at:  http://jennymatlock.blogspot.ca/2012_03_01_archive.html

The prompt this week is the whole first paragraph.

~*~

My untied shoelace changed my life. As I leaned down to re-tie it, I kicked away a few leaves. When I turned my head slightly to look where the leaves had been, I was astonished to see a rubber-banded wad of hundred dollar bills nestled in a little indention in the muddy ground.

Temptation is a wicked bitch. My right hand grabbed the bills. I ran like a rabbit.

Nightmares followed. Whose money was it? I called the police.

“You found money? Where? When?

“A week ago while jogging in Dundurn Park.”

“Why call now?”

“It’s the right thing to do.” I lied.

*

Days later, the phone rang. “We need to talk.”

 “Who was your accomplice?”

“What? No! I found it.” Sweat slithered down my back.

“This is marked ransom money, Boyo.”

Fear clutched my throat. “I had nothing to do with it…”

“…With what?”

My luck just changed. Again.

“Please….”


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Happiness is…

Mostly, it’s the little things that make me happy. At first look, they might seem small and meaningless but just wait till you get to be my age, you’ll appreciate them too. In the grand scheme of things, the smaller they seem, the greater the pleasure. Let you show you some of them—it’s not THAT funny!

  • finding the leftover chocolate when scavenging for a snack and not worrying how long it’s been there
  • finding my slippers in the middle of the night on the way to the can
  • finding I’ve pulled up the covers on the bed on the way to the bathroom so the bed’s nice and warm when I return. Yay.
  • not having to get up to the can more than once or twice a night. Burrrr.
  • the cat’s sleeping in and not waking me to feed him
  • sleeping past 6:00 AM
  • giving up on all those miracle creams that are NOT working their magic anymore
  • not forgetting to gas up before my trip so I won’t be stranded
  • finding my keys where I put them (in my purse)
  • finding my cell phone still has a charge
  • remembering my PIN number

If I could just remember where I’ve put my glasses, life would be almost perfect. Oh, by the way,  I can’t forget that my lip reading skills aren’t up to scratch yet so I have to keep asking my kids and grandkids to repeat the question…or is it the answer?