Got up early despite the overly comfortable bed inviting me to stay a while longer. Had to get downstairs for the buffet breakfast though so up and moving it was. The buffet was amazing. First opportunity for some western food in a while. I ended up with a bowl of rice krispies and cacao nibs (rice bubbles and coco pops) to start with, then proceeded to a plate of bacon and eggs with a slice of toast. Didn’t even think how my body would react to suddenly getting the food it was more used to after a week of eating stuff it wasn’t. Echo was struggling with the cutlery, they apparently didn’t have chopsticks in the hotel at all.
Today was a bit of a quiet one compared to the rest of the week. We started with a trip back to Muslin Market as a few people (myself included) needed to pick up a few more souvenirs.
Mine were mostly things I’d planned to get for others. We were only given around an hour in the end to find and buy the last of our souvenirs so I got a little frustrated with Michael when he started pointing out the purchases I was making were bad deals. I could have haggled more but didn’t want to waste too much time on it, and I had some spare money to spend so I didn’t really care too much. (more…)
Started the day with a tour of the historical museum, learned about some of the artistic and cultural history of China as well as the evolution of the written Chinese language. We also had a calligraphy session where we learned to draw some Chinese symbols. One that was the basis of all symbols, and one really bloody complex one.
On the go early, had a class of tai chi and kung fu in the morning. It was still quite hot even at that early hour so the class was cut short. What we learned was interesting though, and really showed how tai chi can be a soothing or even meditative exercise when done right as it really flows from one position to the next.
Planned to go shopping with a group that was heading out, but discovered my envelope containing all my documents (except my passport) had gone missing. So I ended up staying back at the dorms looking for it. Haven’t found it yet so I think that it’s gone. (more…)
Today was a fairly quiet day. Up at 7 again, had to be up and moving early anyway as we had morning class learning basic Chinese. Suban and Michael were funny as hell associating Chinese pronunciation with English words (“eBay” is 100 in Chinese (yi bai) in case you were wondering). We’ve been getting strange looks all week from the Chinese students (foreigners yo!) and now we’re getting laughs when try to use the local lingo.
Ended up going and playing some ping pong for a little while between morning class and our afternoon schedule. Didn’t stay for long though as it was quite hot. The campus itself was like the city, had a lot of trees, but the concrete and bricks still absorbed a lot of radiant heat making everything toasty. Including the concrete tables for ping pong (look at those metal nets too, harsh).
In the evening we went to the city for a light and water show. We got there early and had a bit of a wander. Bing payed for Andreana to get photos in a traditional Chinese costume. Michael and I were taking photos to one side but got told off by the photographers partner (we got enough photos anyway so we disappeared before they tried to get us to delete them). There was a story associated with the show but it was in Chinese so we didn’t understand any of it. It was busy, so we tried to clear out early and beat the crowd to the subway. That didn’t work (Echo is in the lower photo somewhere trying to get us tickets for the subway).
It appears I don’t actually have a record of what happened on day four. According to my photos it was the day we had morning class with the Chinese students in Ian’s class for software development. A couple of the students made presentations (in quite well spoken English considering they hadn’t been learning for long) showing us what life is like at Xi’an Polytechnic University. We then spent a short time talking with some of the students (as best we could where some students were able to translate for us, or using a translation app). From there we headed outside to partake in some sporting activities. From what I can recall Gabriel, Russel, Matt, Michael and Luke played basketball while Suban, Ian, Bing, and myself played ping pong. Tanvi and Andreana returned to the dorm as they weren’t feeling to well.
In the afternoon we went back to the Muslin Market. It was much quieter and I managed to get some souvenir shopping done. For dinner we went to an Italian restaurant.