Xi'an Travel Blog› entry 125 of 129 › view all entries
Despite its large size, Xi'an has a nice old town ringed by impressive walls. I'm accompanied to the Big and Little Goose pagodas by the businessman's 12 year son. Clouds and lightning approach as we walk around the top of the walls. After the quick summer storm passes we take a bus to see the Terra Cotta soldiers. On the way back to his apartment, the kid's house key falls out of this shorts pocket somewhere in a large field. It takes us almost an hour to find it.
Their flat is very basic - a typical cement commie-style affair with shared toilet (hole in the ground) and showers (cold) on each floor. There is no heating or A/C. They have minimal furniture. Their hospitality is overwhelming and I tell them how grateful I am. He's quite happy to be re-united with his family after a year of scraping a living in Moscow. He doesn't want to go back and I don't blame him. China's economy is starting to grow and Russia doesn't seem like the road to riches for the Chinese anymore since most people in Russia can hardly afford food let alone Chinese products. I continue on my journey after two days with his address and a promise to write (which sadly, I never do).