Captain’s log 7

Captain’s log: Stardate – 19.10.05
>
> We are sitting in the airport waiting for our place from Beijing to
> Xi’an. We have just spent 78 Yuan on two coffees, a croissant, and a
> muffin. This is so much more than the feast of Beijing duck, duck
> soup, chrysanthemum tea, and Beijing opera last night which cost
> the princely sum of 63 yuan.
>
> Yesterday was a good day which started at our leisure with a late
> rising and lunch, rather than breakfast, in a Japanese eatery. I
> had some emails to print off, so we spent an hour or so doing
> chores, then heading back to the ‘Temple of Heaven’ which is
> another imperial park. These emperors certainly lived well. The
> park had a playful feel about it and it was clearly used by locals
> as their backyard, with children playing, people jogging, and
> families relaxing. We left there at about 18.00 and from there
> headed up into the market and shopping district for the evening. We
> wondered around the food markets marveling at the sights to eat
> like ‘seahorse on a stick’ (that is real seahorse), ‘Beetles and
> fat bugs on a stick’, and some small animal that I am still unable
> to identify.
>
> Above us a Beijing opera was taking place so we decided to kill 4
> birds with 1 stone. 1. Eat Beijing duck, 2.Watch Beijing opera,
> 3.Eat in the market, and 4.try Chrysanthemum tea. It was about
> 22.00 by the time we got back to the hostel, where our evening
> ended.
>
> The one thing that I have noticed about Beijing in particular is
> that it appears to be a city of name tags and uniforms. Everywhere
> I go there are people in either blue or green uniforms, be they
> police, army, security guards, waitresses; the streets are riddled
> with shades of blue and green uniforms. If they are not wearing
> uniforms with name tags, they are wearing suits or blouses with
> name tags. Sometimes it says a Chinese name, sometimes it says
> ‘Edward’ or ‘David’ or another English-sounding name and you look
> at them and think “I don’t think so”. Or sometimes it just says
> ‘front desk’ or simply ‘Number 4’. How are you supposed to address
> someone with a name tag like that? “Hello ‘front desk’ how are you
> today?” or “Now listen ‘number 4’ I said I wanted rice not
> noodles”. If I had to wear a name tag it would have to be Number 1,
> thus satisfying the ‘Star Trek’ in me.
>
> There is a word here in Chinese that people use a lot. The word is,
> and I know I am writing it wrong, ‘negar’. Now I know that they are
> not talking about me, but every time I overhear it in
> conversation, it is all I can do not to kick someone’s arse, before
> I realise that they are not talking about me…or are they.
>
> Captain’s log: Stardate – 20.10.05
>
> Xi’an is a vibrant modern city. Its prosperity is demonstrated in
> its streets which resemble the shopping boulevards of Paris or
> Singapore, which host a multitude of fashion clothing stores and
> shopping precincts. Within the main city walls, this is certainly a
> reflection of modern day China, and people do not give me a second
> glance as I walk down the main streets.
>
> We arrived last night without incident and checked into our room at
> the hostel. It was not until we got into bed that we realised that
> the severe case of damp on the walls that we had deliberately
> overlooked, extended to the beds also. This did not help the colds
> which I had previously and which Mairead has acquired today.
>
> We complained this morning and have been moved to a dry, warm room
> where we are both now tucked up in bed at 11.50 with two duvets
> each, trying to reheat ourselves from the core, and planning our
> time in Xi’an and its surrounding province of Shaanxi. Our planned
> activities over the next few days will include the Terracotta
> Warriors, and the Shaolin monks, that is if we can shake these
> colds.
>
> It is ironic that it is at our most southern point so far in this
> trip that we are at our coldest. Shanghai and Beijing were and
> sunny compared to the drizzling rain and damp conditions of Xi’an.
> Never mind, it should be warmer tomorrow, and we are planning to
> see the Terracotta warriors, marvelous.

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~ by jeditopcat on 8 November, 2008.

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