Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A different Xian

The Muslim Quarter. A fantastic place! Lots of markets, lots of food, gorgeous old buildings and lots of hawkers. Simply Super! The highlight of our stay in Xian. The smells, both good and bad, the exploitation of children, quite an experience for a night. The exploitation falls into two categories: "cute and clean" vs "dirty and desperate". They sell flowers. The "cute 'n clean" lot have what look like fresh flowers. The others have withered remains and hang around for longer after you say "no". Although my heart goes out to these kids, I refuse to support their continued exploitation. After all they are only 4-6yrs old and only doing what they're told.
So we wandered through the markets full of little trinkets and many a dried fruit. Quite a colourful wee market it was. We passed an experienced foreign haggler who was doing an excellent job, much to the dismay of the stall operator. And a couple of not-so-experienced hagglers, much to the joy of the stall operator.
Feeling a bit peckish we headed into a "hotpot" restaurant. Bit of a boo-boo that one. We were told that these restaurants are usually real cheap. What people forgot to mention was "if you don't buy the extras". So of course I purchased the extras. What should have been a cheap meal ended up costing us a small fortune (relatively speaking) and we had spent half an hour melting beside the "hotpot".
Quite a busy night. But after the dinner, very happy to get back to air con.
Even the nights here are humid beyond everything previoulsy experienced!
By gum! Bring on the beach!!


Vernon said...

No, not the beach! Not in China anyway. No such thing as Poor Man's Galapagos in China, the coast is where the money talks and we walk - because even transport adds up, down on the sea side shores of China.

Brian DEY said...

Kia ora Maoris on the Move!
Where did you learn to write like that au?
Loving it!