Xi'an's Old Town
Xi'an Travel Blog› entry 60 of 174 › view all entries
November 8th, 2009 – by: domnicella
I was then greeted at the station by a giant poster with my name on it.
I met Chris, a boy from Belgium who's been traveling for six months already, and gave him my maps of Beijing so he wouldn't have to buy one and was rewarded with a newer travel book for Southeast Asia than the one I currently have. Pretty sure I got the better end of that deal. We set out together and wandered the Muslim Quarter, which is fantastic. Absolutely love it. The Muslim Quarter is a section of Xi'an that is a network of dozens of streets and alleys that are lined with vendors selling everything from food to local wares to kitchy tourist souvenirs. We found a noodle man who made us two bubbling bowls of soup, teaming with seaweed and bok choy and mushrooms and a bit of tofu.
At this point it was closing in on 4pm, and I was dragging. Not great sleep on the overnight train + walking the length of the city twice + not feeling my best and blowing my nose every other step = one tuckered out buckaroo. Came back to the hostel, showered, and mellowed out for a couple hours. Around 8pm we set out for dinner, and stumbled upon something like a thousand Chinese doing the electric slide in the dark. I need to say that again. A THOUSAND Chinese people doing the ELECTRIC SLIDE. In the dark. Dancing around, grinning like idiots, to the completely wrong music -- HYSTERICAL. We just stood there howling with laughter. What the hell are these people doing dancing in the dark on a Sunday night?? Is this standard protocol? Did I miss this in the guidebook somewhere? Freaking HILARIOUS.
From there we walked along a highway until the sidewalk suddenly was no longer, with no shoulder to be had, pressed against a wall with massive buses whizzing by like smashing foreign pedestrians was a favored hobby of theirs. Crossing four lanes plus two merging in from a different direction in the dark with no crosswalk or stoplight or what have you is a feat unto itself. We were definitely almost roadkill on more than one occasion. (Hi Mom!)
Dinner was eh. Probably the saltiest meal I've had in China yet. My mouth was on FIRE, and not because it was spicy -- because the salt made my mouth so raw it hurt. Ugh. That, and the waitresses fought over who had to serve us. Literally, screaming fight. Not because they wanted to serve us. Oh no. They wanted no part of us. Which was made clear throughout. I then came home and zonked out cold; Chris went for a few beers in the bar downstairs.
Not a map to be had, but thanks to Chris and our extensive on foot tour, I've got Xi'an's grid pretty much memorized. Comes in handy, that's for sure. Talk about a full day.
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