Today awoke at 6:48 am. And for one second I didn’t remember yesterday. It was the best second I had in Xian. Then it came crashing back.
Being pick pocketed. Losing my money and cards. My wallet and all its contents. Everything. Gone.
I fell back to bad dreams about muggings.
Woke up and breakfasted in hotel.
OL hit the ATM since he’s the only one with an ATM card. Then he hailed a taxi for our excursion to the Shaanxi History Museum. They are supposed to have a couple terracotta soldiers you can see up close. This was going to be the day that salvaged this god forsaken, no scratch that, devil ridden place for us.
The cab driver does not use a/c. We are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 10 minutes. Finally arrive at museum. The ticket line wraps four times through the tent and then down the entire block. Easily a two-hour wait. We decide to scrap the museum.
Mind you no one stands in line. They are four abreast and routinely cut and bump.
We move on to the next thing on our going up in smoke itinerary. The Big Goose Pagoda. I kid you not, that’s it’s name. We walk to it. And what a staggering disappointment. This is one of the top two sights after the Terracotta soldiers. OL tells me he is underwhelmed. So am I.
It looked old and shatty and the smog only made it worse. No good picture taking.
Then a Chinese lady charges at me with her kid rambling in Chinese. I think she wants a picture but I can’t tell what she is saying. There are 3 tripods set up and my first instinct is scam. She’ll try to charge me for the picture so I shake my head and get out of there.
After being robbed, I’m not letting anyone near me. If you want a pic, snap it from a distance.
We walk around the pagoda and opt not to pay the entrance fee. Try to find the nearby park but can’t.
As we round the back of the pagoda, some horn dog Chinese guy runs up to me. Saying “Take picture” and leering. Clearly salivating/preparing for his nightly jerk off.
I shake my head and keep walking. Even OL is grossed out by the guy.
We meander around and find a Dairy Queen where we indulge in a green tea blizzard. The best thing in Xian. Dairy Queen.
A weird guy leaves his family and wife and sits at table next to us. Then he proceeds to stare/leer at me for the next fifteen minutes. I stare him down 3 or 4 times but he drops his eyes and then comes back to me in 2 seconds. I tell OL. Finally, the wife gets so pissed she calls him back over to sit with her. What a disgusting troll.
Then we give up on the park and get a taxi to hotel.
Taxi driver drops us on wrong side of road where we have to cross 4 lanes of traffic and after stealing 1 yuan tip for himself. (Note: Tipping is not the norm and usually not accepted in China.)
We return to hotel. I fucking hate everything about this cesspool. Honestly, if an asteroid took this city out, it would be doing the entire planet a service.
It reeks here. Smells you can’t imagine assault you on every street. When something smells this evil it has to be.
I do hand washing of pants in sink to work off some steam. It’s now 12:30 ish. We decide to take OL’s stuff to the post office to send off to (Austria) aodili.
For some reason my Chinese is fine with the postal worker. He packs everything well. Tapes the box up. Super efficient postal worker. OL does an excellent job on the form. And it is the only thing that went right today. Well that and my hand washing.
Stench along the way to and from the post office is gag inducing. I almost vomit in my mouth.
Hand over nose and try not to breathe stink.
We decide to get lunch at McDonalds near Bell Tower. That goes okay. Ofc people use the tables as their personal playground. Not eating McDonalds but drinking canned tea they bought elsewhere. Throw the fuckers out.
After a rip roaring burpcapade, we head to Muslim quarter for tshirts. OL is tough bargainer. We get 3 for 75 yuan. She opened with 150 for one.
Then I see a scarf I like. They profess it’s silk. Yeah, right. She refuses to give him price since he bargains so hard. OL opens with 30. She refuses to come back with price. So we leave.
Try a few more places. They open at 380 and the next 580. But it’s silk. We shake our heads and start to walk out. OL offers 30. He knows I won’t go over 50 and only if I love it. And I didn’t love any. Saleslady throws us out of store. Lol.
Now OL makes Xian mad. A nice change of pace for us. As we walk by we heard a guy get a backpack for 40 yuan. So really our price was reasonable. We leave and head back to hotel. So hot.
Here’s the thing I can’t stand. The Xiannese people are beyond racist. They stare at me openly and for long periods. Like I’m an alien. Something there for their entertainment.
Children run up to me, crowd me and stare. Sometimes say ni hao or helllllooooo. It didn’t bother me with kids so much because I get that they have no social skills, but after the mugging, I ignore them. Don’t let anyone near me or distract me.
But the adults. One guy literally stalked us for 20 minutes staring at me. Even after we let him pass by us. That’s creepy.
So I say to OL. Look I get that these people have zero social skills like him whose walking down the street holding his dick (note there is an actual man walking toward me grasping his dick through his pants), but I wonder what happens outside cities. I mean allegedly these are the most civilized people in the cities. I’m wondering if we went to a village are they naked and throwing shit at each other cavemen style?
We get back to hotel and rest. I’m having diarrhea from the mugging. Nervous stomach reaction to stress. Sucks.
We read Beijing book and fantasizes about getting out of this hell hole. Went to check email and found my yahoo app works but hotmail and yahoo websites are blocked.
Tomorrow we send my souvenirs back to US. Oh btw, robber got all my receipts from packages sent to US, hope things go well otherwise they are lost too. Can’t follow up on them.
What it comes down to in China is that the disparity in wealth is so great people have no access to clean water and others have Rado watches in the same city.
So we go to our first restaurant for dinner. Get pepper and chicken sauteed with ginger for OL and I get egg drop soup and sweet and sour chicken. Meal goes well.
Except for when a random Chinese woman gets up from her table and goes to the xiao jie’s area to refill her tea cup. Then she goes back to her table. Ballsy.
But she’s not finished illustrating the complete lack of any manners commonly seen here. She saunters over to our table doesn’t say a word to either of us, picks up our tea pot and fills her husband’s glass. Mind you if she didn’t want to or couldn’t speak English, she could have tried Chinese and gestured or even smiled. Instead she looked at us with utter disdain.
And there was a Chinese couple at the next table with a pot of tea too. She could have asked to borrow theirs. It’s just blatant rudeness and lack of any social grace or manners.
I move my purse and camera figuring she might help herself to my stuff Xian style.
We won 5 yuan from the restaurant lottery, which was very nice.
1195 yuan more and the city might pay me back.
Came back to room and planned Beijing trip.