I confess I have started badly.
I have been here two days and not blogged a word. well i say two days... it's 19.37 now. so I've been in Xi'an 24 hours.
So i better start at the beginning which is basically an e-mail i wrote last night..
flights were all fine. barely slept on the first one.. i maybe got 3 hours max. but i was sat next to a cute overtly 'chinese' boy who kept getting his laptop out and playing asian-sensation video games and looking at pictures of his girlfriend.
i watched a bit of troy : the simpsons movie : 'the ultimate gift' (i cried - it had the old guy from the notebook in and the girl from little miss sunshine) : knocked upmeals on that flight were ammmmazingas in. had some sort of beef and rice stir fry thing
could have cried with yumness and breakfast was egg pancake with sausages, tomato, hash browns and a fruit salad on the side.IF YOU CARE AHAHA
next flight i mainly slept and read. nothing too wild. got to xi'an in good timethe woman thought that i was coming in on my original flight (the one that got cancelled) so i called her and let her know i'd arrived.. she sent MR YU (formally mis-remembered as Mr W) down to meet me. By this point I've had a rather expensive tea in a plush yummy sofa ridden cafe.. the tea was water mixed with what looked like a cross between pine needles and weed -- tasty all the same though. get into the taxi with mr YU who speaks NO english. so we joke about how heavy my bag is and that's about it.
the taxi ride was commentable however! so, in china, there are loads of cool traffic lights telling you how long you will have to wait etc, this i expected. What I did not expect was a blatent disregard for these traffic lights. I saw well over 20 cars just decide enough was enough and plough straight across junctions on red lights. There also exists no such thing as right of way, cars do not use the lanes and i feared for my life after one near collision. I was considering renting a bike. I have since decided against this. Also pedestrians are just as bad! i watched a woman cross a 5-pronged intersection where all the cars were just plowing through, even though there was a perfectly good set of pedestrian crossings not far from her - and to make things extra special... she walked the whole thing whilst texting on her mobile!!! didn't look up once!some great things i saw on my journey- tai chi outside with about 50 people at least- a market- soooo many amazing buildings- a poodle (i wonder whether they will eat him) got to the house.
I have my own room. some of you might remember me telling you about DAVE AND MARIE.... THEY ARE MARRIED. so no incest twins for me. well, at least i think they are married, they could be 50 something siblings. They are nice enough - we had a chat - they have been in Australia for 6 months. but they leave to go 'live' at the panda sanctuary on monday... i may have this big apartment all to myself for 5 days :Si guess i will see.
i found out i have the apartment to myself for my entire 2 week stay! so I am pretty bummed out (the reason I swapped from the beautiful teaching placement in hainan island, AKA tropical paradise, to this was because I wanted company and a social life. Dave and marie are here until monday.
I also found out that because there is only one of me I will not be able to go up the mountain as they showed in the video or do the mandarin lessons - both these activities need a minimum of 5 volunteers.
I will be spending most my time (which is quite flexible apparently) looking after younger children but on thursdays will teach 8 year olds. Today I went to the bell tower and drum tower which are pretty standard tourist sites although amazing and so beautiful. One problem with being a solo tourist without any friends at all is that you can't have any people in your pictures... it's just scenery. i did take one with me in it - i looked ridiculous taking it!
Group of chinese students asked for a photo with me. all four of them had one. then they stalked me for a bit taking pictures of me looking at stuff - i preended i couldn't see them but they were being MORE than obvious about it.
Then I went to the muslim quarter to the market - and then cheekily had a starbucks!!.. (i had to try the green tea blended creme frappucino. it was yumyums). However I got lost after that and walked round for three hours in the pouring rain. Bad times. I cried a bit. Also! I can't even see the sky it's that polluted, let alone the sun!!
This really is a third world country. even with all the technolgy - the bus i went on today MUST be older than me! the engine was 'duct-taped' in and there were huge levers for things like windscreen wipers. they have no concept of queing (but i suppose i'm anal about that because i'm british)
I like xi'an. It's quite lively and although on the whole quite ugly there are some nice areas. It is the cultural centre of China so it's a bit intense with gorgeous buildings... but they're dotted in between KFCs and Pizza huts.
Anyone want any fake things?! I might get a fake watch. fake rolex pahahaha
they love it
I think I will be quite lonely for my next two weeks, and maybe even more lonely (although thinking about it less in the following week)
I hope that Thailand settles down so I can go because; although I am really loving being in China and experiencing it - being COMPLETELY alone is not something I ever intended to happen and I think that a good group of people would set me straight.
please facebook me or whatever... i have access to a computer in my HUGE EMPTY APARTMENT