Archive for October, 2006

Published October 7th, 2006 by Mliesie

It’s good to be ‘home’!

We made it to Xi’an and back again…..with no serious problems whatsoever. I was a bit worried about taking the train, but I shouldn’t have. The beds were good, the company was good, hardly any smoking (it’s actually forbidden IN all the carriages!), the one and only thing that REALLY put me off was the aweful snoring of my neighbour. Towards the morning I was on the verge of kicking him, but I don’t think he would have even noticed…Despite the lack of sleep I felt perfectly fine upon arrival in Xi’an and after having booked our room/bed in the hostel and getting our tickets for the way back (soft sleepers to Yananbei) we went off for lunch with a friend of Lois (hotpot….very spicy hotpot!…my lips felt like Mick Jagger’s) and after that Ellie and I went to the “Home of Love”, an HIV/AIDS project for which Ellie wants to raise money. I’ll get back to you on that one. As time flies by when you’re having fun, we dropped our bags at the hostel and went to the Muslim Quarters for dinner. Great when you’re not able to read Chinese characters…fortunately pointing to what you want works everywhere in the world.

As I do not want you to get bored by telling you too many details of the stay, I’ll keep it as brief as I can. We rode a bike on Xi’an City Walls which was a fun experience ( as you can see from the picture..)

Silly me on the City Wall!.jpg    ….after my bike ride on the City Walls..

…we watched a water & light concert at the biggest fountain square in China, at the Wild Goose Pagoda, we met up with some other VSO-volunteers which was fun but also very helpful as most of them are experienced vols and so could share their experiences with us! We visited the Terra Cotta Warriors together with Neta, a girl from Israel whom we met at the hostel; she is travelling all alone through Asia for a year (talk about being brave!!!) and ofcourse we needed to do some shopping….. very much an East meets West experience. For impressions on Xi’an and all we did there, please visit my Spaces to have a look at the pictures.

Ellie and I were really happy to go back home again after these five days. Xi’an was packed with people, due to National Holiday and on the last day we also experienced the aweful pollution; it was misty all day and your eyes would water and sting…YUK! As you can imagine we couldn’t wait to get on the train, on which we had soft sleepers up to Yananbei and from there got ourselves hard seats, back to Yulin. Again another night with no sleep as the train stopped at every station on the way while stepping on its breaks 3 to 4 times before actually standing still. My back didn’t like it!

All in all it was an interesting and fun trip, but just a little too long for us. For those of you who ever plan to visit Xi’an…..3 days is nice. You can do the main sites, go shopping and have some nice meals. Most important….you will survive the air pollution!

Hmmm, looks like I did a pretty good job on keeping it short about Xi’an, now let’s go on to Yulin…Naaah, just kidding! It was great getting home; blue skies, sunshine, people staring at us again and while walking into town to get some food, students recognised me and stopped for a little chit chat. Yes, Yulin has definitely become my new ‘home’!

As Friday was Mid-Autumn Day and many of our students are not able to go home, I invited some over to my house for Italian pasta…..with home made sauce and Chinese noodles and eating it with chopsticks! They loved it…and to be honest…I did a pretty good job. One has to be creative here in China, so who knows what will come from it when I get back home?? You might be pleasantly surprised!

Mid-Autumn chopstick pasta.jpg       Mid-Autumn chopstick pasta!