Today, after being here one month, when arriving almost at the gate to our apartment complex noticed a man fixing umbrellas on the footpath - this is the first time ive noticed the availability of umbrella repair people.
Its a local custom here to use umbrellas instead of hats to shade the sun or the heat of the day....so we have a collection in our apartment and Ive been using them quite often. Last week one that was otherwise in good order broke, which I went up to obtain and brought it back down to the umbrella repair man at our gate.
He had a good look at the problems that needed fixing and told me his charge to fix it would be 8 kuai - was that okay/keyi ma?
What a bargain to keep a good umbrella going - and watched him as he went about his work. What a good job and then fixed the broken spoke in the other umbrella Id had with me for the afternoon - which he fixed for 2 kuai.
That's about £1 to fix both of them....was very happy to help him with some work and save our umbrellas from being unnecessarily thrown out into the rubbish - as happens in so many western countries - and save some of our money!.
About 5-10 minutes from where we are living in a southern part of the city of Xian is a large vege market tucked in behind the main road - with a good range of fresh looking vegetables, fruit and eggs.
Could see meat stalls in the background but didn't close to look at this stage - and then decided to buy ingredients for a Moroccan omelette - eggs, tomato, red onions, spring onions and coriander (the spices are at back at the apartment, the trick of thinking how long a year lasts!)
Heading in another direction we found another area with a collection of vege and fruit stalls.....wherever there is a community there will be shops and stalls according to supply and demand....so it pays to have a walk around and enjoy the cultural experience in your areap
highrises everywhere - but just as seen in Hong Kong, when there for a few weeks 15 years ago, consideration is made for incorporating day to day needs of those living in a city to maintain community.....noted exercise areas and garden areas including covered seating areas for sitting out in all seasons scattered through the area so they were more than just isolated areas but provided enough outdoor area for a large population.
Small grocery shops attached to each building complex along with larger supermarkets and vegemarkets not so far away.
Each building complex has a security man day and night.
a local noodle restaurant - really yum noodles....and told this is beef noodles even though it appears without the beef on top that I had asked for at the counter....theres sauce underneath with bits of beef to mix through and woo hoo its hot....very tasty but...
next barbecue grilled spicey chicken, barbecued slices of beef, grilled eggplant and fried rice....even though some without spice are asked for for our group of 12 but the food seems to be only in varying degrees of chillie heat - hot, hotter or flamethrower hot....
again nice dishes but hot.
Mainland China may not be your typical yuletide holiday getaway but just as I thought I will have another dry Christmas in 2011, I was surprised to see the national park in Xian with it holiday trimmings, giant golden Christmas tree and families driving to the park to get together. Morever, it was delightful to see the dancing fountain played to the tune of Santa Claus is Coming to Town. One big department store I visited even played a Mandarin version of Jingle Bells! to entertain its customers.
I was overwhelmed at the sight and felt so at home, in this country often perceived to be naive and cold to Christian festivities.
“No need to pay!”
Where did this small girl learn this English, how does she know that, of course, accepting the flower that she gently offered me I had to offer her back… some generous RMB?
Is this already a sophisticated selling technique? A part of a scholar program?
“Thanks dear girl! I will offer it to my wife!”
Be aware that, like everywhere else, temples are praying sites, and, despite their old and exotic look, they may keep being used for their religious purposes.
That is the case of the Wild Goose Pagoda, where we tried to do not disturb the praying monks, but… only their great concentration helped us.
VT now allows the inclusion of video. As son as I edit it, I will be able to add the interesting waving sound of the prayers. It’s a promise!
Maybe because of the excess of population (maybe because they eat them…) dogs and cats are not very visible in China, where pets seem to be mainly fishes and birds.
Birds deserve a special attention, with people taking them to the parks to “meet friends” and exchange melodies. Without surprise, selling birds is an important branch of local commerce.
One thing that I noticed is the rigour used by the workers in their jobs: In shops, restaurants, everywhere, the staff lines the corridors, occupying predetermined places, and standing rigid until a client needs their service.
In a long and empty store (yes, it happens also), sometimes, it looks like a handsome military parade.
If you are in Xi'An you have to eat Baozi. (actualy not only if you are in Xi'An)That´s definitive a cultural tip.
I like those dumplings very much but if you dont know Chinese language it may be a surprise what is inside the dumplings. (especially when you buy it in the street market) It may be pork, beef, seafood, vegetables...
Besides, its also important to order it in the correct way. I mean the correct pronunciation. Once I made a mistake when I ordered it in a restaurant. Fortunately the waitress understood English otherwise they would give me a newspaper.
called Chang'an in ancient times, more than 1 million years of condensation of history. During Xi'an's 3,100 years of development, 12 dynasties such as Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang, held it as their capitals
Climatic Features: temperate and continental climate; cold and dry in winter and hot in summer and rainy season comes in July, August and September
Average Temperature: 13.3C annually
Rainfall: 604.2mm annually
Mountains: Mt. Huashan, Mt. Taibaishan, Mt. Lishan
Rivers: Hui River, Wei River, Feng River, Jing River
This is the entrance ticket to see The Terracotta Warriors cost RMB65.00, if you need a translator they charge extra RMB40.00. So what the hell is Terracotta Warriors? Those warriors are earthenware made to fulfill Emperor QingShihHuang's desire to have a perfect world after he died. So these warriors and horses and many more are part of his mausoleum as decoration or whatever purposes, all these were discovered by a farmer called Yang Zhi Fa many thanks to Mr.Bill Clinton.
In the chinese temples you can always smell the scent of the incense floating in the air. They offer incense sticks to their gods, placing them in places suited for that purpose.
The old days when women were obblied to have small feet and suffered a lot to get it are over, but you can still see old women with such traces of the past fashions. This photo shows the 2 generations...
NICE PEOPLE (2)
...All the family (and some neighbours too!) came to see me: they invited me to tea, and even offered me some noodles. They didn't know any english, I didn't know any chinese, but we spent a nice time together, and it was very interesting to see a house inside.
Maybe this is not so in big cities and in touristic areas, but in inner China, hospitality is a must.
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