Well I still have a fancy birthday meal credit to use up, but last night in Xian we went to the Islamic food market and ate sooooo much tasty food. It is chinese food with an islamic influence, so tastes quite different to what we think of as chinese food - more spicy barbeque flavours. We had things like barbequed lamb kebabs, rice cakes, flat breads, skewered squid, little sweet potato cakes with figs, squished nut things - I have no idea what anything was called, but it was delicious.
We visited the terracotta warrior museums in the afternoon which was incredible. What amazed me is that the warriors are so lifelike, with individual expressions, and differences in their costumes and stances. And in one excavated pit there are an estimated 6,000 of them! I have an added appreciation because I went to evening pottery classes a few years ago and it took me about 3 weeks to make a pot with a handle.
Anyway, here are some little photos of our trip in China so far.
The forbidden city in Beijing:
Some chinese tourists on the move:
Steven's new favourite food:
At the bird's nest stadium, which is almost finished apparently:
Getting dumplings made for us in a food court:
Us at the Great Wall!
A guy hoisting part of a business sign onto the top of a building in Beijing:
Steven got his haircut and I 'read' a magazine whilst I was waiting. Interesting to see a very western format featuring the latest beauty products that we would recognise at home - folic acid etc, and then a recommendation to use lamb's placenta in the middle of it all.
I have yet to see a normal looking dog in China (er..I won't comment on why that might be actually!) since all the dogs we see are toy varieties and look completely ridiculous. The whole Paris Hilton carrying your dog around in a handbag craze has hit China big time, and dogs are all tiny, sometimes very cute, sometimes able to walk on their own, always vicious!
"Sinead, how did you get that terrible wound? Were you bitten by a huge scary animal?"
"Um... yes.. it was a big scary dog that I couldn't fight off. Really... big.. and scary..."
Steven and small dog stare eachother out. The small dog won.
A girl we were chatting to on the train who has a very rare ticket to the opening ceremony of the olympic games on 08/08/08. Her dad has connections it seems...
In the above image note the 2 tiny seats this girl is sitting on (the guy on the seat next to her was standing up when the photo was taken). The sleeper seats - beds on the train - were sold out, so me and Steven spent 11 hours overnight sitting on these hard little seats attempting but failing to get any sleep. The picture below was taken the next day at the terracotta warrior site in Xian (hence my facial expression!)
Detail of a warrior with his horse - these were made over 2,000 years ago, incredible:
And the Islamic food market!
Talking of food... I must be off. Thanks for all your messages! xxx