Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Scorching in Xi'an

Sesame candy (Halva) in Xi'an, a Muslim speciality

It is a real scorcher out there....I got up this morning and went straight to the Xi'an museum....then back out to the Muslim quarter, walked along the streets and got some good photos of the street food there, browsed in the shops, managed to get away with absolutely nothing (well, just one little small horn drug box....). I went to the Mosque for a look around. The mosque is designed exactly in the same design as a Buddhist temple, which sort of shows how these guys are totally stuck in an architectural paradigm. Xi’an is at the start or the end of the Silk Road through central Asia, depending on your perspective, so the Muslim influence spread east. Xi’an is a 6,000 year old town and in it’s day had 66 or 6.6, can’t read my writing, million people, and like Rome and Constantinople in their day, was once the greatest city in the world. It’s just unbearably hot out so I hung out for a while in this big grocery store to cool down in their air conditioning and got some stuff for today's overnight train trip to Beijing...although I did it on a full stomach so I probably did not get enough stuff, but I won't starve.

Lots of interesting things for sale in the Xi'an markets

I have someone hanging over my shoulder watching me type this, this room is full of Chinese people playing computer games. There is some sort of program they can use that pastes Chinese characters into a little screen and I guess that's how they communicate, because there’s no way they could make a Chinese keyboard, so they have to use a normal keyboard somehow. We have been a bit of a tourist attraction to the locals...the other night we were staying in a historic inn, and we were eating dinner and people walking down the paths along the canals could look in the open door and watch us eating, and they would stop and gather at the door, and take our photos. But most of the time we are ignored, no one tries to hassle us too much. Every once in a while someone shoves a fan in your face, but they aren't persistent.


Anonymous jenn said...

I think it's funny that they were taking pictures of you eating! Does a round eye or gaijen eat so differently that they need photographic evidence??

7:48 AM  
Blogger Pammie said...

Hi Jenn,

I think they were so wrapped up in tourist mode and taking photos of everything they saw, and part of the tourist attraction to them was seeing westerners there, which also rate a photo!

6:29 PM  

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