Thursday, January 03, 2008

Xian, China

Go to Shanghai for 100 years of Chinese history.
Go to Beijing for 1000 years of Chinese history.
Go to Xian for everything before that.

Xian, home of the Terracotta Warriors. Unearthed about 30 year ago, it is considered to be the 8th wonder of the world. Andre the Giant was also considered by some to be the 8th wonder of the world. Whatever. It was a bunch of clay soldiers, most standing over 190cm tall. I'm 192cm, and I tower over the average Asian man. So either there were some super warriors 2000 years ago, or the Qin dynasty is a bunch of liers.

Other stupidness involved... the original farmer who discovered the tomb in 1974 is there to sign a book if you buy one. Thats all he does day in and day out. It was so utterly lame, it gave the whole thing a cheap feel to it.

The Wild Goose Pagoda. It was big. A Buddhist temple in the middle of the city.

I took a walk around the block of the hotel one night. It was the most gloomy city scene I've seen before. I remember walking the streets of Okayama, listening to Radiohead's Kid A, in the rain. I thought that was gloomy. But this topped it.

There were few people on the street. Those who were were picking though piles of trash, scavenging for whatever. The plastic, chemicals, and toxic waste that couldn't be salvaged was dumped onto burning trash piles on the sidewalk. Glancing into the garages that served as homes for extended families, you could see the whole group crowded around a static covered black and white TV. Occasionally a dog or cat ran by.

Back to the hotel for some Xian style singin' and dancin'!

Next: Guilin, for mountain views and a river cruise.

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