Sunday, October 22, 2006




Spent the day touring the area. Xi’an is the ancient capital of China, home to many emperors of long ago. It is a mix. Hard to describe: Toll roads, potholed roads, no roads, a new blvd so damn bumpy that 15mph is top speed, a modern freeway, traffic in the city beyond belief, smog so thick you can cut it with a knife (worse than LA on its worst day), modern university surrounded by extreme poverty, a space satellite tracking center, vendors everywhere willing to barter down to practically nothing, high end stores, dingy cubicle stores, incredibly squalid alleys that I would not venture down, beautiful high rise apartment buildings, ancient structures from the dynasties, very well preserved and maintained, every store and museum seems to be loaded with staff, way more than necessary, (I am guessing that unemployment must be very high), lots of fancy tour buses carrying Japanese, lots of bicycles and motor scooters and motor scooter trucks carrying incredible loads. And mixed in with the Nissans and Toyotas, a few Buicks, Fords, Chevys and Mercurys, must be a status symbol for those few afluent entrepreneurs.

This day we saw, Xian old city wall, Banpo village ruins, terracotta warriors, a silk factory, a jade factory, and our last stop of the day was at the emperor’s hot springs palace where he kept a bunch of his 3000 concubines. (Does that make for a long life or a short life?)


We were also supposed to go to a wonderful place for a dumpling dinner, a Chinese play and then stop at the Bell Tower for night pictures! The country mice yelled no more take us to our beds...... Our tour guide, Emily, is a student of history and is very knowledgeable of ancient times here in Xian. I can’t imagine a better guide but she has way too much energy for us. Emily was disappointed that we “couldn’t” go on. She then wanted to send someone to our rooms to give us a massage! Bob quickly went to the hotel room and locked the door. Guess that meant enough.

While Bob took a snooze, Pat decided to try to pack all of the new purchases into the overweight suitcases. I, Pat, have decided to buy a very large dress today and tie my Xian purchases onto my body. What do you think, will it work? Don’t tell Bob. Idea, we will just leave the girls clothing that we brought in our bags here in Xian. Oh lots of room now.

While in our hotel room, we could be in the USA. It is difficult to realize we are in China. But once outside the hustle bustle of everyday life is unbelievable.

Having problems with our damn computer again, no pics possible today.


Bob & Mary B said...

Hi Bob & Pat-
Looks like i get to be the FIRST post, today! Sounds like Xian is sort of like Tiajuana on steroids!
Good idea, Pat, about the big dress. I'm sure you'll just SAIL thru Customs. Give it a try and continue this Blogspot from a Chinese jailcell. Kewl!

Anonymous said...

Great to hear that you are still alive.Can you ship your treasures??I know a company that will ship a 40 foot container to Oakland for 1900 US--take care bill rose

Anonymous said...

Whew! Glad to finally hear from you again. Beginning to worry that the Team Salsa women became concubines and the Team Salsa men were in jail. Ha! Bob's description of Xian says it all in a nutshell. Sorry to hear about all the polution. It was clear and sunny when we were there in April. Keep the posts coming.

Anonymous said...

And so the adventures continue. You keeping track of mileage on this trip as well? We are glad to hear you are healthy, safe and having a good time. The trip should only get better and better with the arrival of everybody and the girls. Don't forget to give them a hug for each and everyone of us. Oh, and keep those pictures coming.
Susan & Dave J.

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys-
Good to hear from our intrepid travellers again. What's with all this resting stuff? You have touring to do!!

Love you guys, look forward to seeing more pics when able.

Jane and Bob

Anonymous said...

By the end of the trip Bob will be looking for a massage! Glad to hear you are all still well. Marlayna