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Week 2 in Xian

Earlier this year I wrote about living in various places abroad. This is definitely tier two living. see here for my explanation. Its not a major issue but there are things I would do IF I knew how to get there AND could have someone to communicate with once I got there. The tea market, the antique market, the herb/spice market to name a few. Last night we went to the Big Goose Bagoda. Or is it Pagoda? I really should know,lol.Anyway, there is a strip of restaurants adjacent to it so we ate at a German restaurant and I decided to do something I never do-eat steak! It was thin and tasted good.After that, we headed over to see what this tourist attraction had in store.

If you are a person who doesnt like touristy places, this isnt a place you would necessarily like. I hope to compile my vids and post them but that will have to wait til I get back home. We missed the water show but everything is lit up, people are selling things that light up and fly. There are stores that are a little, ok very much so, cheesy with Chinese music and cheap toys everywhere. There is nothing traditional about it really but Im sure they bring in loads of money from the trinkets in there. There are places to put on local dress and take pictures or to have your caricature drawn. There are places to play games, or you can relax in the garden that is spread out around the Big Goose.Its not even necessary to go in or up inside because there is nothing in there, or so Ive been told, but a square that isnt even big enough to take a decent picture out of. In addition, the places you go to here may be historical but you can count on not knowing what it is youre looking at because there is no translation.

So what else have I done in the past week? Ive eaten at a couple restaurants. My favorite thing to eat is still the fried sandwich lady who makes this fried sandwich that I could eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner but it is only a dinner food much to my dismay.I have mine with green beans, potato slices, and egg. all is deep fried, including the bread and some spicy sauce that is spread on your sandwich with what looks to be an old, raggedy paint brush. I actually think its best that I only eat it at night. That way I wont be disgusted with her tools! haha. Also bowsers are good. Theyre these little dumpling type things with meat and veggies inside. You can bite them once or pop them in if you have a big mouth. You get ten for 5 rmb and they will fill you up if you dont eat a lot.In fact, thats what Im having for dinner today!! The other day we ate someplace with no English words on the menu. I got OJ because there was a picture of it. Had I known they knew coca cola, I wouldve gotten that. Changing it either would have taken 10 minutes or wouldnt have happened so I just kept with my order. There was also no white rice on the menu that we could see.Thankfully, the rice pot was visible so he walked up to it to tell them its what we wanted. The reaction of those who dont speak English is to continue to speak to you in Chinese, to smirk, or giggle, or to walk away.All I do is laugh. Especially when he says, in English, 'what did you say?' as if theyre going to repeat it in English for him.Ive also noticed that others around you want to see/know what youre eating.They will look at your food or order sheet to see.Strange.Yes, Im brown but I do still have to eat and since Im in this restaurant it stands to reason Im eating something that you also eat!

My main form of transport is the metro. Its a straight shot one way or the other and seems to be quick, not to mention cheap.It is also cool and clean. It does not take you from the airport though.We rode the bus the other day only because we started at the beginning of the route and our stop was at the end so you couldnt really get lost-in theory. It took about 30 mins so you start to feel lost but you get to see the town, which is nice.This is an option IF you know where you are going. Cabs are kind of the same. You can have it written on paper. Actually, you will NEED to have it written unless you speak Chinese. Taxis are metered but I hear that if its raining they wont run or may turn off the meter and charge you a large flat rate.There are also tuk tuks but you must haggle. Impossible if you dont speak Chinese.

Ive finally found a mall that is more normal. They dont look like what I am used to coming from the US or AD and many have those stores with maybe 50 articles of clothes hanging. That means you either cant afford or are unwilling to pay the amount of money they are charging for their clothes.The one I found-and like-has normal stores though Im pretty sure I cant fit the clothes.I was more so looking for purses anyway. At the bottom of the mall (basement), I hit the jack pot with purses for as low as 70 rmb.The same purse in AD would cost me 150dh at the lowest but probably upwards of 200 dh. Definitely going back there again!

Since Ive been here, Ive seen 3 brown people. So still can count us on one hand,lol.Yesterday, I yelled 'ni hao !!' from across the street while vigorously waving my arm at a guy. He smiled and waved back. It was hilarious.So are the double takes you get when they see you.Its almost like Im a Chinese person in that instance.hahaha.

Thats it for week 2 I think.If there were a place to volunteer, Id be doing that on my down days.Otherwise, I am a lady of leisure until the mister gets home from work.

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