Ill in Xian
Xi'an Travel Blog› entry 14 of 20 › view all entries
It was time for the worst of my illness to come back. I'd had about three days of feeling almost normal again, but it was nearly time for it to return with a little extra force than last time.
We arrived in Xian on a daytime train, which was a change from the overnight ones we'd been taking. We were mobbed by Chinese students on the train; they all wanted to talk to us and exchange email addresses, but only one of them seemed to speak any English. That helped the journey pass very quickly.
We got into Xian fairly late into the evening and fell into the hands of a tout who took us to a really grungy horrible hotel. We'd got an idea where we wanted to stay, and expected to spot it as we walked past, but he cunningly took us a longer way round through back alleys so that we wouldn't see the nicer places to stay.
We managed to do the obligatory trip to see the terracotta army, inspite of my needing frequent trips to the toilet. I wasn't as impressed by it as I expected to be; I find that this can often happen when you expect something to be really good, because it's so famous. Worth the trip out though. We were looking at the full size replicas in the souvenir shop, which of course we weren't at all interested in buying, but once the sales guy came over I had a problem: every time I said things like "no, I really don't want to buy one", he assumed I was haggling and named a lower price; the more vehement I made my protestations, the more the price came down. I managed to negotiate a ridiculous amount of money off before he understood what I meant!
We visited some of the other sites in Xian: the Drum Tower and the Bell Tower, the Big Goose Pagoda, and the Muslim Quarter.
Because I was feeling decidedly under the weather I wanted comforting food. Normally I'm all up for trying all of the local food, but I wasn't feeling up to it. One evening I'd ordered fried potatoes in a Chinese restaurant, but when they came they were more like grated raw potatoes. So, the next evening we went to McDonalds (one of a few we visited in our year away - it makes a real change from time-to-time, even though I almost never eat it at home), but I was still only able to eat half a regular fries.