How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life 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


103 Comments

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

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