Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I've been trying to post some photos on the blog but haven't been successful. Sorry. Got them onto the computer ok but can't get them onto the blogger site, as all the instructions are in Chinese and the posting automatically goes to the "blogger-china site". I vaguely remember Google (who runs "blogger") negotiating with China about something but don't remember what. Does anybody have any idea about all this? In any case, I'm back at the Internet place where absolutely nobody speaks English. But I've only been paying about 30 centimes of a euro for an hour, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

Today was a relatively quiet day for me. I took a long walk in the streets of Xian--first along the wall, which has been well-preserved and reconstructed so that you can now walk about 14 kms all around the town. However, since I didn't bring much money with me, I didn't have the 4 euros to enter and climb up the southern gate of the wall, so I just walked around along it in a very nice park where I was the only westerner for miles around. And in the back streets I saw some interesting sights without being hassled--as you are on the main commercial streets-- by beggars and vendors. In the back alleys, it reminded me very much of the streets in the popular districts of Saigon and Hanoi. Sitting on stools on the sidewalks, groups of people were playing a form of chess and also majong (sp?) . There were colorful carts with fruit for sale. Women were sewing on sewing machines on the sidewalks, too,--mostly shortening jeans--, their customers sitting on stools next to them and watching them sew. Incongruously, huge department stores and shopping centers are going up just across the street. I took a photo where you see huge, western posters with western goods across from these ladies sewing on their sewing machines, and with electric wires hanging down dangerously from above. What a contrast!

Tonight I'm going to a dinner-Tang dance show. It's supposed to be touristy but beautiful. And then tomorrow morning I fly down to Chongqinq to catch my boat. Will have the day to spend in this city, where there are some interesting historical museums and artefacts from the Revolutionary era of the 1940s.

Will try one more time to post the photos.


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