Unfamilar Territory

It has taken me a few days to get my mindset shifted to be able to enjoy China, but I think I am coming around. Not only is it the change from Thailand to China, but the change from small town to big city, warm weather to chillier, and traveling with folks to traveling solo all happening at once. Those things considered, I'm doing pretty well.

The big thing to see here in Xi'an is Emperor Qin's Terra Cotta Army. If you've never heard of it, any explanation I give will sound dumb, so I suggest you go learn about it. Sufficive to say, it was pretty cool. They've built a great museum around the whole thing and showed the whole process of excavating them.

Yesterday, I went to see the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. It was built in 709 or something, way way back. Around the pagoda, there are beautiful grounds an other buildings in the traditional style. It was a great place to sit and soak up the traditional China-ness of everything.

All my other efforts here are in regards to the small things. While they don't sound like much, the few small victories I've managed have raised my spirits much. Riding public transportation, ordering food by pointing and smiling, and purchasing a train ticket to Beijing using only gestures. But with my small victories have also come small defeats. Last night, somewhat down about the whole Chinese-Chinese-food-is-not-at-all-like-American-Chinese-food thing, I opted to indulge myself in the cultural experience that is pizza hut. Same same, but different.

The whole time that I have been in Xi'an, it has been foggy(/smoggy?) and it rained pretty good yesterday, so I haven't been too inclined to go adventuring. But that has allowed me to catch up on a few movies here in the hostel and also catch up on my reading. Tonite, I leave on a sleeper train to Beijing, which I am greatly looking forward to. I hope to see some of the country side that is the China in my mind. Just as long as we get out of this fog(/smog?), I think I'll be fine.
Tuesday October 17 2006File under: travel, China

Toggle Comments (6)comment?
on Tue 17th Oct, 2006 01:26 am UTC Andaroew. said:
same same. but different.
on Tue 17th Oct, 2006 04:08 am UTC Saxtoru said:
Same same, but different.

Sounds like a blast. I've been reading a book (amazing surprise!), and Nick Danziger arrived in China just about the same time you were arriving in China. One of his first stops, and apparently yours, was the terracotta army and then on to Beijing. Cool coincidence.
on Tue 17th Oct, 2006 04:55 am UTC Mom said:
So, head's up to my children, get busy, 'cause I want a wee tomb like that in which to be ensconced--with terracotta figures of all my relatives. eh? Oh, and did I say fresh flowers every day? Hop to it.
on Tue 17th Oct, 2006 06:41 am UTC Horge said:
Yeah sorry I forgot to mention about the food. That was my experience there too. I was in Beijing 4-5 days and only attempted Chinese-Chinese food twice. But while in Beijing, obviously go out to the Great Wall and visit the forbidden City and the temple of Heaven. Also, my favorite was going out on a paddle boat in Beihai park. And lest I forget one of the cooler things about Beijing, buy yourself a bunch of DVDs. I think I left with 15 at about $2 a pop. And they all worked just fine at home. Mail 'em home if you have to, just take them out of those cases for lighter and smaller shipping. (course maybe they're even cheaper in Thailand)...
on Tue 17th Oct, 2006 05:28 pm UTC Jule said:
Small accomplishments? I have yet to ride the Port Angeles bus, train, or order food by smiling and pointing (I usually just pound my fork and knife). Did you eat any crazy foods (other than pizza hut?). Is there an option to put any crazy stuff on your pizza? anyway, i got my buddy kevin dialed into your blog and hopefully he will give you some chinese phrases to say...
on Tue 17th Oct, 2006 10:29 pm UTC nathan said:
i'd be impressed if you could escape the smog. did i mention that china sounds more fun than being unemployed in new york?

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