Goodness in China

Last night my good friend lost her wallet while she was walking back from dinner. It fell out of her jacket pocket. It’s not a pleasant feeling for her and it doesn’t help that she’s in a foreign country. There were money, IDs and bank cards in the wallet. The four of us rushed to backtrack with her from our campus to the restaurant.

We checked the garbage bins along the way. We also checked the shrubs and other possible nooks and crannies. Once we’ve reached the restaurant and the wallet wasn’t found, we suspect the worst so we decided to go to the police to report the lost wallet.

We had a hard time finding a police station. Desperate,  we stopped two Chinese passers-by and told them about what happened and where we wanted to go, they decided to take us there. Just before we arrived at a police station, my friend got a phone from another of our friend and he told her that the wallet has been returned to our dormitory. We were so happy! We immediately took a taxi back and met our friend at the school’s gate. He handed over the wallet and my friend checked the contents and everything was there including the money!

This event has reaffirmed my belief that the Chinese people are honourable and helpful when it matters. I hear bad stories about China from people abroad and here. Last night, it was a good story. It was a heart warming story of an honourable person who returned the wallet and two strangers helping someone in need. Thank you.

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Xi’An Food

This is the third and last write up about my trip to Xi’an. My first write up was about our tour of the Muslim neighbourhood and the second write was about seeing Emperor Qin‘s terracotta army. Now it’s time to talk about Xi’an’s food.

Xi’an is at the north west part of China. People there tend to eat more noodles and steam buns (or baked buns)  then rice. As well, they eat more mutton. The latter doesn’t really go well with me because the smell and the taste of mutton is too gamey  for me. Saying that, I did try a mutton soup that’s is popular in the area. The soup has little bits of baked flat bread in the soup. It’s almost like crushing some crackers into a chicken noodle back in Canada. I could only eat a bit of it because the mutton flavour was too strong.

The next day, I had another type of soup. It’s spicy and it also has another spicy that made my mouth fizzes and tingle. The sensation lasted about 10 minutes after eating. I wonder what the spice was?

The other two popular local dishes are baked mian bao stuff with shredded meat. It’s a meat sandwich. I tried one, it’s pretty good. The dish that I like the most is the cold noodle with sesame and peanut sauce.  I like it because the noodles are big and it’s not fried. It’s refreshing. Lately, I’ve been eating a lot of fried food.

Baked flat bread. Popular in northern China.

Fire spewing out from the stove as the noodle maker takes a break to check his phone.

My lunch. Freshly made noodle with sesame and peanut sauce (i added a bit of chili) and 3 baozi.

 

Pieces of baked bread in my mutton soup.

Having supper after a long 1st day. (L-R: Me, Anne, Lisa and Jon)

Close up of my dinner. Freshly made noodles with veggies and beef. yummmmmmy.

Steaming dessert. This lady has a sister in Winnipeg!

This soup made my mouth fizzes and tingle. Not sure what kind of spice can do this effect.

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Xi’an Day 1

I’m not going to write much because this weekend I’m preparing for my midterm exams —  I don’t like this part of school. I will let the photos do the speaking for me. As well this is the first blog out of the three that I will write about about the trip to Xi’an.

I woke up at 4:00 am and at 4:30 am, I met up with my fellow travellers (Anne, Charlotte, Hyeonji, Jiyoon, Jon and Lisa) to go to the airport. We took two taxis and it cost us 274 yuan. Very reasonable. Our flight departed Hangzhou at 7:20 am and arrived in Xi’an around 9:30 am on Air China. The bus from Xi’an airport to the city center was fast and cheap (25 yuan).

We stayed at Han Tan House that is only minutes walk to the city center. My bed was very comfortable and the blanket is thick and warm — it is cold there in late October. They can speak English and they are very helpful. It’s the best hostel I have experienced in China so far. Thank you Han Tan House & staff.

Enjoy the photos (taken by Jiyoon, Jon and me) :)

Our dorm room with comfy beds at Han Tang House. Charlotte smiling for the camera while Anne in the background setting up her bed.

Jon, Charlotte, Anne, Jiyoon, Lisa and Hyeonji are busting out to explore Xi’an. We’re heading to the Muslim neighbourhood famous for their food and shopping.

Lisa is showing us that we’re in the right place to see the terracotta army. We’re all excited.

A street scene of the Muslim neighbourhood. The streets are narrow and with many shoppers.

Beside eating street food and shopping, you also can get street dental care. Bring your own painkiller and say AAAHHHHHH.

A vegetable vendor selling a giant veggie. That thing is big enough to feed a village!

They have livestock too!

A fun shot of Hyeonji, Jiyoon, Lisa and Charlotte.

 

Up early and walked all day, a good time for a late afternoon nap at a teashop – Jiyoon, Jon, and Hyeonji.

 

Time to head back to the hostel. Tired and happy. L-R: Charlotte, me, Lisa, and Hyeonji.

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