As the Dust Settles in Xi’An

I’ve been in China for a little over a week now and I think that it is safe to say that I’ve gotten used to it by now.As much as I tried to deny it, China intimidated me.  It got to me a little and that developed a lens that I’m trying to break as I type.

Objectively speaking, the Chinese are a loud and unpolished people.  That can be seen in how they scream on their Cell phones and spit in the street.  But are they mean?  Are they dishonest?  Or are they just intimidating?

I have to admit that at home when you see someone screaming on their cellphone, you don’t see them as a help resource.  You see them as someone to stay away from.  But if yelling and spitting (just two easy examples) are in the national culture, does it mean that dishonesty and meanness are?

It’s much the same as seeing a man walk down the street in a feminine way and 99% of people assume he is homosexual.  The truth of the matter is, that would probably be the better guess if you we betting money on the situation.  It’s just using indicators.  But it isn’t always accurate.

Also when you see a muscular man try and arm wrestler a professional arm wrestler (often small and wirey), you see the muscular man shamefully defeated.

I walked into a dumpling shop today and the people were completely helpful and didn’t rip me off at all.  I got in and out with a pot of dumplings and a water bottle for less than 1 dollar.  Given, the dumplings in Xi’an have tasted like feet compared to the ones in Shanghai.  Xi’an has one big claim to fame and that is the Terracotta warriors (one hour outside of town).  This site was discovered by a farmer about 40 years ago.  It consists of 3 pits that contain 8000 clay warriors (life sized) to protect the first Emperor of China as he went to the after life.

It is an amazing sight, but if you aren’t an archaeologist, it will soon be shuffled into all of the other exhibits that you have ever seen.  It’s nice, but it’s not the claimed 8th wonder of the world.

Today I was in the Muslim quarter of Xian and it was amazing to get 2 pounds of dried fruit and two pounds of Baklava for only 3 bucks.  That’s amazing!

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