Day 10 (Xian)

20/07/2009 //

Xian

As there are no days without shopping in China, the way to the Terracotta Army Museum obviously went by a store. Our guide took us through the basics of making the statues, the being 1) Clay 2) Molds and 3) Sale. Stig bought a General, which could be used as an ornament, or, more amusingly, a garden gnome. They also sold some huge ones, and while they couldn’t be shipped overseas, we still had a fine discussion on how fun it would be to order some 20 of them and dig them down in a park in Oslo somewhere, to see what posterity might make of it. Anyway, we drove on to the the actual site after that. The signs all showed directions to Terracotta “Worriors”, so I had a vision of a pit filled with kvetching people. (I know, I know.)

We had to leave the facility for lunch, so ended up in a restaurant next to a faux sphinx and pyramid. I tried to make a joke and asked if it was built in the traditional Shanxii style. The guide, poor girl, quickly explained that it was a copy of the pyramid in Egypt, built in order to preserve a copy in case the real one fell down from pollution. It looked like a Vegas knock-off to me, and as we drove away, I’m pretty sure I saw a restaurant at the base of the pyramid. “Don’t worry,” said Stig. “That’s still worth a rimshot in my book.”

Back to Army. Fucking great.

— The Terracotta Army Museum was as packed as you’d imagine, but totally justified.

Then tomb, climed stairs. Sweaty.

The Palace of Emperor. Nice. Still sweaty.

Headed to Chinese medicine market. Thankfully closed, so on to city walls.

City walls: Fastest tour ever. after that, dinner: Hotpot. Like fondue, but difficult to figure out.

After that, Bell tower and Muslim Quarter. Crazy wiith shops. Think we only saw most touristy area. No prob.

Back to hotel. Rest. Watch Chinese karaoke and beauty pageant, which is apparently all they show on late-night TV, except for Culture Revolution stuff.