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Once Around The Sun

15878 km

Xi'an, Shaanxi Province

1.October is the Chinese National Day. First day of seven when 1.5 billion souls of People’s Republic of China gets off from work and our first day in Xi’an. We have decided to sit out this crazy week here, so we can rest and enjoy less touristy attractions around the city. Arriving at the central station located in the north part of the ancient city wall proved to be less confusing than our previous arrivals in previous destinations. Maybe we are getting the hang of China, finally. Measuring up one of the motorised rickshaws, I’ve decided this might be fun and also cheaper than the regular cab. We just didn’t feel like scaling the city at 10pm after 11 hours of train journey. The guy seemed positive about the address I’ve let him read off the screen of myPhone. Off we go! The journey wasn’t only cheaper, but much faster than a cab would have ever been. Our rickshaw didn’t stop on a single red light, pedestrians were running for their lives as we approached the crossings and we have spent at least half of the distance going down roads the wrong direction…

As we have promised ourselves, the first couple of days we took it easy. Highlights of our days were the light walks and street food at the foot of our building after 9pm. I must admit that we have enjoyed the atmosphere of this corner. Little chairs and tables, the cheerful vendors, colourful food and happy strangers. But it wasn’t all just happy times as my belly decided to play sensitive. Call it travellers diarrhoea, tummy flu or whatever… Wrapped up, I had the shits. Tried looking for Ciprofloxacin and/or Nifuroksazid, but Chinese medicine doesn’t seem to recognise these. I have however thought of something that surprised me too. You remember that viral video when a guy cleans an old rusty pice of metal with Coke? Well, I’ve started my Coca-Cola treatment and straight away it worked like magic! I know, right?! What do they put into it??? But that’s enough of shit talk! If you need more, go and find your boss…

After the initial lazy days we have set to discover the attractions that Xi’an has on offer. Starting with Small Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi’an Museum, the next day it was the city walls and The Bell and Drum Towers, followed by the Muslim Quarter, where we have returned on few occasions for great character of this place and excellent food. On Tuesday we have walked out the door to see the famous Terracotta Warriors, unfortunately so did those one and a half billion of good Chinese people. After all, that’s what a public holiday is for. Fighting for each step we have kicked our way through all 3 pavilions before we’ve determined to tick off this must see world heritage. For the rest of our stay we only wanted to see the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the surrounding parks, so we had a lot of time for simply getting lost in the city, enjoy some more street food and the brilliant street shows in the evenings. After 8 the main roads filled with people of all ages for what I called ‘evening activities’. Some groups were performing synchronised dancing, others preferred singing, or calligraphy, whiplashing, more dancing or just simply sitting and conversing.

Xi’an was our longest and most relaxed stay in a single place so far and I think the most pleasant too. Mainly because of the street food, our evening walks and discoveries along these walks…


​© 2022 by JAN ROCKAR

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