We finished off the day by visiting the Greater Wild Goose Pagoda. It was very large and quite impressive. It is a temple essentially for people of the Buddhist faith and many monks lived and worked there.
That night we went back to the bazaar except Nancy took us a very roundabout way of getting there which took us through the worst traffic we’d ever seen. There were cars, rickshaws, mother bikes, and scooters all competing with shoppers and pedestrians to weave between shops. At points it would come to a complete stand still and a chorus of honking would begin. We spent more than an hour at the bazaar itself and then some of us got ice-cream after. This was the only ice-cream place I had really seen and it was weird from us standards. There were no “normal flavors” and some of them were even spicy. After Nancy, Cat, and Diana caught a cab and Me and Dave walked back to see more of the City.
The Next day was the big tourist day in Xi’an. We started early Seeing the terracotta warriors, which I had previously seen some of at an exhibition in D.C. Seeing them again was not all that interesting, more interesting was how the tourists acted. In general, Me and Dave have noticed a much different “walking” culture in China. In the US you leave a wide berth in between people and say excuse me and I’m sorry. In China it is so much simpler: If there is not enough space just walk through people, bump shoulders, brush arms. No one cares and it makes it so more people can move in a smaller space. Normally this comes out in crowded streets but in the massively packed building at the Terracotta warriors it was evident. There was only so much space to get against the railings to take pictures and people fought for it. Old ladies were the worst, they’d but their heads down and elbow through to the front, they knew what they wanted and were going to get it.
Next, we biked the city wall. This was my favorite part of the trip so far. The city wall encompasses what used to be the main section of the city and rises about three to four stories high. We biked the whole distance except a portion they make you walk. I love biking and love looking at Chinese roofs so this was the perfect activity. You could see all the roofs as you passed, with their janky air conditioners and rooftop gardens. It was a great time and I got lots of cool pictures.
Dave really enjoys the Chinese way of walking so for our last night him, Cat, and I explored the Muslim quarter more. He led and had a great time weaving through people and pushing past them. We walked deep through the local streets finding some pretty weird places. We ended up back on the main street for ice cream and as we weaved our way through I got to see why they warned us about street food first hand. On many of the local streets they serve meet on a wooden stick that you throw out when you are done except, they go back and get the used sticks out of the gross comingled trash cans, scrape them off, and use them again.