Sunday 20 October 2019

Day 8 - Xi'an (to Shanghai)

Today was a good day. It was a good day because we were in China, for starters, but it was also a good day because we didn’t need to be ready until 10:30. “Finally, the sleep in we’ve been waiting the whole trip for!” (Sung by Brianna).

The plan for today was to sleep in, go to the city wall, go to the Muslim part of Xi’an and then fly to Shanghai. After the average breakfast in the buffet that advertised pancakes as waffles and century egg slices, Deniz and I got to the lobby on time (surprise surprise). That’s the first time that’s happened on this trip. Go us👏
We drove to the city wall, where we all enjoyed the strong smells and amazing views spoilt somewhat by the pollution at 11:30am.

We walked up a flight of 75 stairs that nobody over the age of 60 should attempt to walk up, and finally got to the bikes. Everyone went on the single person bikes, but Brianna and I being the super quirky and unique people we were, decided to go on a tandem bike.

Tally of bike ride: 
Broken bones: 0 
Deaths: 0 (good effort from us)
People nearly hit: you don’t want to know
People we said hello to: way too many to count
Photos taken with random old Chinese men: 7

Highlight of the wall was making it further than anyone else and disobeying the signs saying we couldn’t ride down the ramps. (We did that really fast). Obviously, this trip to the famous city wall of Xi’an wouldn’t be complete without our group doing the Nutbush and having everyone take videos of us doing it. 

We went to lunch, and enjoyed the cold noodles and the endless refills of sprite, coke, and I think our lovely teachers put the beer dispenser to good use. Lunch was at the same place as last night, so everyone enjoyed the free wifi and talking to our buddies from Jinan; Kevin, Todd, Frank, Samuel, Samual and the ever so handsome Rambo. 

Leaving the restaurant included running out of the toilets after realising they don’t flush and the doors don’t lock after making eye contact with the old lady in the bathroom trying to peacefully take a pee.  

We got back in our bus to travel to the Calligraphy lesson, when we had a minor..uh..accident. Our bus driver with 10 years of experience (we were told this) decided to have a run in with a light pole and a car using the back of the bus. 

When we arrived and my oh-so lovely-friend Brianna decided to wake me up from my “nap time” we had arrived at the calligraphy lesson with the man who said everything I tried to write was “a mess”.

We left the pagoda and made our way to the Muslim markets, which was very loud and colourful. Cuttlefish and squid on kebabs was advised not to eat, however the nitrogen puffs that tasted like stale fruit loops and the rolled ice cream was recommended. 

Most of the stores were food or traditional Chinese hair jewellery shops. The lottery was won by Alannah and Lauren, while Deniz, Brianna, Molly and Daksh bought head massagers. While walking back, Daksh, Deniz, Brianna and myself decided to get some more stale fruit loop nitrogen puffs and the rolled ice cream. 

We ate the puffs while waiting for the ice cream, and much to our horror, the shop keeper took the cardboard bowl they were served in and refilled it with puffs and put it back on the shelf. We all tried NOT to think about that as we ate the ice cream from the bowl with the suspicious stains on it.

After the markets, we headed to the airport for our flight. We ate dinner at a restaurant close to the airport. All of us collectively agreed that we were just craving some western food and did not want to eat anymore rice or dumplings. 

Checking into the airport was a bit of a catastrophe. First, we realised that we had to choose our seats when we checked in, meaning that we all wouldn’t be sitting near each other. Second, was that the check in machines weren't working. Third was that Hannah and Holly’s boarding passes was incorrect and had to be changed. Fourth was that all of our bags were overweight. Fifth was that Molly, Deniz and myself got left behind by the group as we had been caught in security for water bottles, then having a bit of a meltdown in the airport because we had 20mins before our flight left. Sixth was that Brianna kept crying next to me while watching Five Feet Apart with me (10/10 would recommend to watch)

Today was really good and we are all really looking forward to looking around and shopping in Shanghai tomorrow. 

Lucy Slater

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