I love these people.
I had the fortunate opportunity to travel along with my classmates with the help of University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) to one of the oldest captial cities in China, called Xi’an. The trip took three days, including:
1. A train ride in a hard-sleeper bed compartment that lasted more than 16. We left Chengdu at 8 o’clock pm Tuesday night and arrived in Xi’an at 1 or 2 o’clock pm the next day. As you can tell from the pictures I have provided, there are three beds to each side of a wall that divides the train compartment into about 10 to 12 sections. I was fortunate to have the middle bunk and slept pretty well throughout the night. One thing I learned while on the train is that Chinese do not like people wearing shoes into the bed, so one must take them and place them under the very bottom bunk. The main reason for this is because when one walks the streets or into bathrooms one will undoubtedly step into god-knows-what kind of dirt and grim making the bottom of ones shoes filthy. So if your ever in China and in a train… Always! Always! Remember to take your shoes off before hopping into your bunk.
2. After a long and cramped train ride, we finally arrived in Xi’an where we took a bus from the train station to our hotel in the downtown area. We then unpacked our belongings and had about 4 hours to grab a bite to eat and wonder the city before meeting up for dinner later that night. Me and some of my fellow classmates desided, since it was a beautiful, fairly brisk sunny day we would go to grab a bite at KFC and then head to the Xi’an City Wall. If one does not know, Xi’an is one of the few cities in China whose city wall is still fully entact (except, for some minor alterations where the wall was either widened or shortened, I can’t remember which). Hearing that we could scale to the top of the wall and bicycle all the way around, we hurried our way there and saddled a bike and pedaled to our hearts content soaking up the beautiful scenery and stopping for some photo opportunities. I made and have posted a short video provided in this journal entry of me and some classmates as we rode for about an eighth of the full wall’s length (unfortunately, my battery died and I forgot to bring a spare before leaving the hotel). The day ended with all of my classmates joined at the hotel eating dinner and a walk to the Muslim corner. The Muslim corner is a full block where Chinese muslims sell Muslim-style food with a Chinese twist. Also, there were markets for all kinds of souveiners (I bought a knock off Shanghai soccer jersey). It was an eye opening experience to see such a huge religious community in such a huge space and to be able to take part in the cultural differences they not only share with me, but along side the rest of the Chinese population with the backdrop of such an ancient city as Xi’an.