By: Elizabeth Bauman
What wonderful sleep occurs on a bed instead of an airline seat! Ahhhh. Woke up (apparently much later than all the other rooms) and ate a very big breakfast. Part of our group (8 guys I think) hiked up a mountain…. And we didn’t see them the rest of the day.
The rest of us took a bus to the terra-cotta warriors which were about an hour ride from the hotel. Some of the favorite parts of the trip – the ‘number one pit’ (there are 4 pits total of figures) because the warriors were lined up and you can see how much excavation they have done as well as how little they have done. The warriors were discovered only 30 years ago in 1974. It used to take a full year to restore a warrior but now it is only 6 months.
A comment by Hana Litterer was how this place will be a fun site to visit in another 30 years because of how much will change in that time. It is the constantly changing 8th wonder of the world. (Not sure if that is a self-declared title or not. Research to be done later)
Nathan Crow’s favorite part of the day was the lunch that we had at the museum. We watched the chiefs make stretch noodles and sliced noodles and then we ate the same noodles right after. It was quite impressive.
We toured a few other buildings that had excavation details, some bronze figures, and some other historical items. On out way back to the bus, we passed a farmers market and practiced our bargaining skills (with the help of my indian friend Charit I got something originally for 350 yuan for 150 yuan- thanks Charit!) others purchased terra cotta soldier figurines, miniature swords, fur hats, and panda merchandise.
On the bus back, we learned some Chinese phrases including (phonetically) hello = nee-how, thank you = shey shey, and good morning = shung showe how. I completely apologize if any of that was a misunderstanding of pronunciation and instead was actually cussing. We then had a session on the hand signals for one through ten, some of which are familiar american university hand signs – including west Texas a&m (8), and half of Smu (9).
Back at the hotel, some took a nap, others to the gym, showers, spa, and some explored around the hotel. Dinner – walked to a mall that was said to have ‘Hot pots’ and eventually found one. Ordering was made easy with a couple of mandarin speakers (thanks Teresa and Jennifer!). A Hot Pot is entirely nothing like what it sounds like. It is, in fact, a plate of cooled rice, onions, sauce, spinach, and your choice of meats (pork, dog, rooster, or lamb) and served with kikkoman soy sauce. Alright… That’s not true – it was so much better than that and very much as the name implies – a bowl with a hot flame under it, cooking seafood and vegetables, and self-served on a bowl of rice after it bowled. As Jillian and I decided against this course of action we had the most delicious udon noodles. Jillian has already accomplished a trip goal at dinner today – becoming a master at chop stick usage!
Because it was raining, we attempted to hail a cab – to no avail as Americans can’t do that in china apparently – and proceeded to walk / puddle hop out way back to the hotel. Interesting notes: Jordan’s ‘waterproof’ jacket was, in fact, not waterproof. And the monsoon in Xi’an smelled liked eggs. Ew.
Tomorrow’s agenda is a business visit with XHTDZ / Applied Materials, a bike ride on the city bridge, and dumplings with a show.
Ill try to recompile a quick story of the mountain adventure to kiddos.
The term ‘karaoke’ is old school. They now call it (phonetically) ‘kay tea way’.