Tuesday, August 18, 2009

China Diaries: Xinging and Xi’an by the numbers

China Re-hashing Time: The following entry was written for our CampChamp ChinaMojo blog. To read other impressions from the group, visit ChinaMojoVT's blog


June 4, 2009

It’s hard to process the trip on the fly AKA when tired/grumpy/has a stomach that is destined for the Moscow Circus in the high wire act. But numbers are easy to understand, so let me start there.

6 AM: The time I woke up to take a shower on top of the toilet. Yes, on top of the toilet. The shower head was not separate from the rest of the bathroom. An adventure in cleanliness, I like to call it.

100 Yuan: The bill I gave to a storekeeper to buy 8 bottles of water for our crew. She took the bill, looked at me, and laughed. Apparently, the water was only 2 Yuan/bottle – I got a lot of change back.

Two: The number of peach Fantas that were purchased at the Xi’an city wall. A long, enjoyable walk along the top of this wall made us all want a little refreshment. Miguel was the lucky purchaser of this nectar of carbonation with Rob soon to follow. Kat even got one at the Terracotta Soldiers cafe.

Hundreds: The number of parasols that visitors to the Terracotta Soldiers had thrown over their heads to protect them from the sun’s rays. Donna was coveting a few of the fashionable umbrellas – we even saw women wearing matching outfits to go with their parasols.

4D: The number of my seat on the plane to Xinging. A lot of turbulence, but we made it in one piece. Plus, I got a chance to scribble down yesterday’s events.

A lot: The number of toasts made by our host and Xinging delegates at dinner. The food was plentiful, tasty, and beautiful. The fruit juice and dog "pee" bread was a particular favorite. Now, I will roll to Skype and then to bed.

Tomorrow, after all, is spent with the Master. Need to be rested!

-Kristen (sans Twitter, Youtube, and WP)


Fun fact: There are two Great Walls of China. One is the physical one we all know, love, and cannot, in fact, see from space. The other is the Great Firewall of China - blocking the Internet access that I and my companions had grown accustomed. A day or two before our departure, this wall came to our attention and its existence caused a slight panic as it thoroughly blocked not only Twitter and YouTube, but also WordPress and Blogspot.

The solution to our problem was only determined the night before our flight, as we sat in Rob's childhood kitchen in New York: E-mail. We could e-mail our entries to the blog. It would just be text, but that was better than nothing.

Ingenuity - the Mojo way.

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