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Walked To The North South East and West Gates

Hey Hey and 'once again in search of rice for breakfast' to ya.

Noodles, noodles bloody Noodles is all they seem to eat for breakfast lunch and tea.

Maybe this is not realistic, but it seems that way to me as it's all you can find in Xi'an. How frustrating is it when you finally find a eatery that has white rice, already cooked, along side the rice cooker are green veggies and some meat..........BUT..........

The eatery person can not understand or comprehend the thought of combining them in a single wok and creating a simple dish called Fried Rice. You get a blank stare or the word Mao (none) or Boo (No). It's either that or they can't understand you not wanting noodles with one million types of chilli. Anyhow, after a search, right around the corner from the Blue Sea Hotel we found a eatery that cooked us three dishes of our choice without a single noodle or chilli in it.

Today we decided, was a day for walking and exploring. YEAH! The best days ever!

We priced Judes airfare from Xi'an to Shanghai (between 740 and 900 Yuan depending on the place. We also priced an airfare from Xi'an to Guilin 1200 Yuan no matter where you went. Bugger that mate, what fun is paying that amount and having it over in an hour or so!

I decided to train it south.

We first explored the north east. This is the gate across from the train station. We headed across to the station to ask how much or purchase a ticket to Guilin for me. In China, to walk out of a train station with ticket in hand depends how many days prior to departure you are trying to get a ticket. Usually it is between two and four days. Any more and your out of luck. The station was packed mate, I mean so packed it was the most packed train station we had walked into this summer. Needless to say we left right away as we remembered that there was supposed to be a ticket window at the ICBC Building not far from our hotel. The details are in the Good Book.

The train ticket window IS THERE and easy to locate BUT there are no signs in English nor do you have any idea what the hell the people are lining up for. I walked in the bank in search of, found nothing and walked back out. I walked around the corner and back. At the top of the stairs there are two tiny windows. Looking up to your right is the ATM window, with a line of people. To your left is a tiny window with a line and THIS IS the train ticket reservation window. Seriously it is. You can get train tickets at this tiny window if you want to travel in the following two or three days. I had no luck as the train was sold out of hard sleepers and had only hard seats.

HHHmmmm, 28 hours on a hard seat, I'll try again in a few days mate!

Next we headed into the Muslim Quater (North West Quater). Great back streets to walk and great for photos. Then it was to Lianha Gonguan (the small park near the train window). Not so nice and very small. For lunch we dropped into a small family eatery where I had clay pot noodles. MMMmmm mmmMMM, a tasty indeed and no chilli! The family were great and we all had a happy chat before we ventured off to find more back streets.

By now Judy had had enough of walking. I was just warming up for the day and headed off. I walked to each gate and corner, in fact I arrived at the hotel at 8pm that night. My sandal clad feet were a little sore after a 9 or so so street walk but if you do get to visit Xi'an, get off the buses, get away from the foreigner lined main roads and get into the 'back streets'. Here you will find small local markets where you can taste simple dishes with the locals. There are no huge Parksons stores and happily for me there were foreigners whom walked past and glanced away without a single smile or hello as I greeted them. Is there really any need to be so rude to each other. I mean they are looking at me until our eyes meet and then they quickly glance away.

Once again I find myself in a city full of 'the only foreigners in China'.

My favorite quarter was the south east. The Arty Market street was beautiful but filled with 'You Buy,You Buy' people selling 'things' that no one really needs but buys anyhow 'cause they are in China. The houses were beautiful and even the 'You Buy You Buy' people had big smiles on their faces.

I loved zig zagging my way through Xi '1 to 5' Lu's (streets - basically 5 streets). All were busy with people to'ing and fro'ing through their daily lives. Once home we headed back out and walked to the Bell Tower for a dinner search. The one thing I really noticed about Xi'an is this:

...Xi'an would be the best city in the world if you had the 'Run Forest Runs'.

Seriously, there is a big sign advertising a WC on nearly every corner. You could actually spend the day walking the city and have no problems at all. Good on Xi'an, not only are there a heap of toilets but each toilet has a money collector, so that is a heap more jobs. In the end, everyone is happy, even Forest Dump!

Breads, Beers & Noodles to ya...shane

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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