Xian

Jun 26, 2010 by glennji

A soft-sleeper from Beijing brought us to Xi’an, a Shaanxi city which has expanded past its ancient walls with the same flurry of activity and industry that we saw in the north. Once the capital-city of the region, Xian is now most famous for the discovery of the Terracotta Warriors nearby.

And admittedly, they are pretty cool. Row upon row of individual, life-sized statues inexplicably standing to attention in three covered (roofed & walled) pits. There are different ranks, different weapons, horses … apparently there are even the different “facial types” present in China at the time. I don’t believe anybody really knows why they were built, but one tour guide suggested that the emperor wanted to rule an army in the afterlife — I prefer the much more plausible hypothesis that an ancient army was turned to stone by a mountain shaman, and will one day fight again for the new emperor … feel a bit bad for the soldiers without heads, ‘though, not to mention those entirely destroyed.

Our hostel in Xian was nice, set in the last Ming-style (or is it Qing?) building in the city. As we opted for their most expensive room (to spoil ourselves), it was a proper little palace! Furthermore the grounds were home to three cute little kittens — funny, the Chinese word for cat is “mao” — who we nicknamed Black & White, White & Black and Little Lion. They would fight and play, as kittens do, and liked to sneak into our room and stretch out on the enormous bed…

That night there was a “dumpling party” in which we rolled dumplings (gyoza, is that Japanese?) into various different patterns and styles — or attempted to at least — under the watchful eyes of the locals. Once made they all went into a pan, were cooked and served up to us … for free! It was a good chance to chat to people, and we ended up having a bottle of wine with a couple of Aussies who had just travelled from Vietnam and Thailand.

Similar Posts

post image
NAS to see you!
May 23, 2022

After too many years, I’m finally building myself a NAS: network-attached storage, a device for backing up files, photos, and all the data that is otherwise in the cloud. Say goodbye, FANGs, I’m going self-hosted.

post image
Dangerous Prototypes
Mar 22, 2021

Whilst Dee and Jules play videogames downstairs, I sit in a beanbag in my makerspace and contemplate the various hardware projects that I would like to complete over the next couple of years.

post image
Coffee Experiments
Mar 13, 2021

I guess I should update the ‘blog?1 Not an easy thing to do these days, since even finding the time to do something as self-indulgent as public journaling probably just means there’s something else I could be doing instead, but maybe it’s an experiment I would like to continue?