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The Train to The Walled City of Xi'an

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you all,

Today I stepped back within the walls of China's number one tourist city for the second time in my life. I actually never planned to come back for a visit due to its size and the amount of people that live here, but hey, if its there, stop and say G'Day...why not!

The day began with us grabbing Bus No: 1 from west to east Lanzhou. We tried for rice and ended up nearly throwing the inedible noodles back at the man whom obviously had ears only for show. How many times can you say NO FREAKIN CHILLI (Boo Lajio, Boo Lajio, BOO FREAKING LAJIO) and still the bowl of noodles comes to your table blood red. After several attempts at eating we both gave a portion of what they asked in money and pointed at the noodles sitting in their red soup and said BOO LAJIO. He looked at the bowls and gave a small gulp and said sorry.

Seriously, it's like the northerners can't comprehend NOT having or anyone not wanting chilli in their food so when you ask they take pitty on you and decide for your benefit it would be best 'for you' if you DID have chilli...ALOT OF CHILLI and this is what you get.

We purchased breads and water for what we thought would be a fifteen or so hour train journey. Our train was at 9:40am and we expected to arrive in Xi'an anywhere between 12am and 2am. In reality we left at 10:00 and arrived only TEN HOURS later at 8pm that evening with our breads barely touched. Maybe the updated version of the Good Book (LP) has updated times OR our train driver was in a rush, but the journey from Lanzhou doesn't take between 14 and 15 hours, it takes only 10 hours.

We filled in the hours reading, drinking water, walking up and down the corridors, talking to and trying to get rid of a group of young kids whom wouldn't leave us alone. I don't mind talking to the kids, obviously as I love teaching Primary School, it's when they yell at you from three inches away and not listen to you when you ask them to be quiet, this is when it becomes a problem. You see, this begins at a very early age, they are taught to yell by their father whom also yells at and for anything he wants. The males all yell at each other and everyone around them.

It is normal to yell if you are a male here in China....and I HATE it!

After trying time and time again to ask one of the children to simply talk quieter for him to continue to yell in my ear I waited for thirty seconds and simply YELLED at the top of my voice that 'THERE IS NO NEED TO YELL AT ME OR ANYONE WHEN YOU ARE THREE INCHES AWAY'. I've had to do this several times in the past, and yes, even to adult males whom yell at you also from three inches away.

Believe me, IT WORKS!

Within seconds the adults have scampered away and the childrens parents have quickly come to get their little Princes and hidden them in their section of the carriage. I know it sounds harsh but the males in China get everything they want and ask. Three in the morning if they need toilet paper or hot water for their green tea, they won't go searching for the 'floor attendant' or even go to the front desk. They will yell at the top of their lungs until they have been attended to, and no, they will not stop yelling. You will hear a continous 'Fuyuin' (say Foo You In or waitress or floor attendant etc) Fuyuin Fuyuin...on and on and on until they are taken care of. It really SUCKS! Most males will NOT join a line at the train or bus station etc, they will go directly to the front and push in on whom ever is being served. It doesn't matter if it is an old man or women or even a foreigner...in they go!

DO NOT allow them to push into any line you are in. Yell Boo Hao, Boo Hao and they will look at you stunned and then go to the end of the line. If they yell at three in the morning, open your door and tell them to 'shut the fark up'. They will usually then go in search of the floor attendant. They'll probably never to the front desk, it is too far away for them and according to them, they shouldn't have to!

Correct the children whom push in and yell.

If they do this to their parents and they allow it, fine. Never allow them to do it to you. As a foreign teacher you are an invited guest in China. With you comes western ideas and culture. You are not expected to become Chinese and you are not expected to be treated as if you are Chinese.

Anyhow, back to the journey. It became relaxed and quiet from then on!

ACCOMMODATION: We arrived in Xi'an around 8pm. The 'You Stay You Stay' people were there to greet us. Everyone we had meet had paid 120 or more Yuan in Xian. We followed the '120 Yuan man with a bathroom and hot water' and he drove us to the Blue Sea Hotel on Bei Xin Jie near Geming Gongyang (or the park near the North East Gate). Its right near Xi Wu (5) Lu. This is the road that is being dug up for the metro and it has blue tin walls running down the middle of it.

The Metro...I thought it was going to be a underground train line metro thing but the blue tin walls have pictures of a simple bus line or road running down the middle of the road...an express lane only for buses!

HHHHHhhhhhmmmm!

After checking in we headed out for a walk. First stop of course was the Bell Tower and the area around. Whilst walking we dropped into many hotels and youth hostels and priced double rooms with bathrooms. All of them were around 140 to 200 Yuan. The three International Youth Hostels were probably the most costly for a double room and they wouldn't drop in price, not a single yuan. Dorm beds were around 25 to 40 Yuan in all.

The Bell tower Youth Hostel is right opposite the Bell Tower of course, there is another past the huge Parksons store down the main road heading right from the Bell Tower (facing the south gate) and there is actually a third YHA right at the South Gate on the side of the huge Chinese style restaurant. At the moment there are road or building works going on and it is hard to find.

Xi'an is such a beautiful city at night. There are so many people happily walking the streets. The weather was pretty bloody humid so we decided on grabbing a seat in....sorry, but Mc Donalds! Yes, we gave in....but it was so cool in there and out of the hundred or so people in there I'm sure most of them were foreigners. It's alright to give in once in a while. The price killed me though.

Why don't Mc Donalds serve 2 Yuan noodles in China? Thats the big question!

Breads Beers N Noodles to ya...shane

Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian

Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian


Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (1)

Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (1)


Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (10)

Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (10)


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Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (11)


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Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (12)


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Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (13)


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Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (2)


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Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (3)


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Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (4)


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Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (5)


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Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (6)


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Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (7)


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Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (8)


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Goodbye Lanzhou Hello Xian (9)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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