Ni Hao! Internet has been less than ideal, but I’m alive and thriving and only slightly less weight, thanks to an endless supply of carbs in my diet!
I will keep this short and sweet because I’m having to type on my phone and I don’t love how the last post turned out! Apparently my OCD for symmetry and formatting hasn’t been affected by China 🙂 and besides the pictures are far better than my words!
The train ride from Beijing to Xi’an was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I decided to “hard chair” The train ride which was 13.5 hours long and it turns out that a hard chair is exactly how it sounds. I was crammed in a box car with six people to a table and no personal space. This is how the majority of people travel in China regardless of the link or time it takes to get somewhere. People were sleeping on complete strangers and had such a sense of community. On the downside I still haven’t grown used to the germs and lack of hygiene according to how I’m used to people acting in public in the United States and people were eating pickled cow ears and chicken feet yes literal chicken feet right next to me for all of those 13.5 hours. But I survived 🙂 and am so appreciative and humbled at how fortunate I am, and thankful for the experience even though it left me very very tired with no sleep.
I was able to visit the Terracotta Warriors and also the Great Mosque and Muslim Quarters on my short stay, and I absolutely love Xi’an which is still a biggish city but with a great community.
I met some amazing Germans who adopted me for the day at the Terra-cotta Army and we walked the Muslim Quarter last night which is an incredible mecca of foods, smells (not all enjoyable) and sights.
I had a fried banana this morning which is officially on my favorite foods ever eaten list, and strolled around the Mosque. Today is the first day I’ve felt completely relaxed and not stressed in several years and it’s amazing. I was very shocked to learn about the Muslim culture allowed in China and the Muslim Chinese are beautiful people.
“Stinky” Tofu is the worst smelling good you can imagine, worse than the durian in Thailand. And I’m about to head off to Shanghai on a 15.5 hour train but I paid for a sleeper car this time!!