Riding the City Wall

Xi’an has a wall surrounding what would have been the old city. It is wide and flat and about 14km around. Our options on Tuesday were to walk a little way or ride a bicycle or golf cart around the whole distance. Feeling that my reintroduction to bicycle riding probably shouldn’t be a nine mile ride, I opted for the golf cart with some of the others. It was a very enjoyable view of the city, with the older town on one side, where there was a low wall, and the new city on the other side, where the wall had slits where you could place your archers to rain down pain on the invading enemies. You could see changes in the quality of the neighborhoods from poor to rich, which does beg the question: what’s the deal with communism here? Because it sure looks like every other place in terms of social classes. On the other hand, what I have not seen are those large pockets of poverty that I have seen in other developing countries. Is that because it is hidden, or because it doesn’t exist? Puzzler.

We passed the bicycle group halfway, and it looked like they were having fun. It really is a fun group of people on this tour!

After the circuit we went to the city museum. As I walk through these museums with mostly Chinese captions I get a sense of what it must be like to be illiterate, with no context clues to know what an object is for, and what it must be like when I present students with completely new information, especially my ESL students.

Our lunch today was in a local woman’s home. She gave us a card that indicated she has an online cooking course, or website. It was good food, and very interesting to be inside if one of the many high rises we have seen.

The airport, then our trip to Shanghai. Harold noticed that when our boarding passes were scanned, a picture of him popped up, and he could tell by the clothes that it was taken a few days ago when we checked in for the other flight. That’s not creepy at all…

In Shanghai, Ryan our final guide speaks excellent English with a strange combination of Irish and Aussie accent. I predict good times for our final day.

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