Monday, December 08, 2008

Day 5 - Xian, 9 November 2006

As a group we headed out of the south gate and along the wall of the city. Being in the lead, I came across a group of musicians sitting and chatting in a pagoda. As I started taking photos, they came to an agreement and started setting up. They soon launched into a folk tune and this attracted all the others. There were a few other groups further along the wall. Always older people. There were not very many people in the park at this time.

bamboo pipes

city wallchinese musicmusiciansplaying in the parkmusic group

We then headed back into Xian via the south gate, to the calligraphy market. By this time I had split off from most of the rest of the group and at the end of the market I headed off on my own. This part of town is still quite touristy.


fishchild on a tricyclestatuecalligraphy shoppagoda

I wound my way along the inside of the east wall, and up to the east gate. As I passed a hair dresser's I caused quite a stir with my long, unkept hair. I should have stopped for a hair cut.

tricycle cartage


Passing out through the gate, I wandered through the back streets. I was impressed again to see how far china has come. I saw my first cement truck in China. I remembered many years ago, watching a road be built in Le Shan in Sze Chuan province. There must have been at least 100 men. There were men shovelling the sand, screening and concrete into little mixers, much smaller than the one on a concrete truck. More men, took this away in wheel barrows, while others used trowels to put the concrete onto the road. The white lines were hand layed tiles. It was amazingly labour intensive.

cement mixer

I was now in the real china. I walked a block too far to the north. Here I came across a school, with the children just heading off home. So I was quickly adopted by a few groups of school children. I was very impressed with their english and we played the game of you ask me a question in my language, and I will reply in yours. This is a game that is impossible to play in Australia as children are taught that all strangers are a safety risk.

leaving school

showing offplaying a gameschool boysSchool Childrenschool kids

As I travelled along, I get several positive responses from the adults. Eventually they got a child to ask where I was going. I explained that I was headed to the 8 immortals temple. The child seemed genuinely disappointed. I explained that I was going there to take photos. I did not say that my guide book said that it was the last remaining temple of it's type in China. Though I do not believe this claim. By now the older boys were in on the act and they arranged for one of them to take me to the temple. I had gone a little to far and needed to back track about 150 meters to the temple.

The temple had the usual shopping area opposite with religious items but internally was quite empty and had only minimal upkeep.


entrancehistorical accountcorridortemple doorarch bridgemoon doorrooffront gatestoryurn

Heading back into town, I came across some Chinese playing mahjohng. The old man is delighted and the woman is trying to hide. At the wall there were also some people playing pool.

mahjong players

moatmoatcity wallwallclothes line

Back inside the city, I find this advertisement and have to take a photo and laugh.

"Kermit John"

Kermit John was born in Canberra Australia and 1788 depending on his good sense.
Kermit contracted to explore gold mines. After several years of persistence and hard work, he quickly became the leading gold maker in Australia. Kermit John's motto is premium quality derives from pursuing details. To show respect for his achievements later, people called his as "gold earl".

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