Monday, September 3, 2012

Our Friends in China

During the two weeks we were in China we made several friends. Almost all the friends came to us through serendipty.

First I'll talk about Candy and her family. We took two tours while we were in Xi An. The way these tours work is they pick you up at your hotels. So each person or family must be picked up and slowly the bus fills up. We left for the mountain early in the morning and soon there was a family sitting a head of us. Two girls sat in front of Tony and I. After two hours of sitting on the bus the little girl turned to us and smiled. She said, "Hello"
We responded with, "Hello, you speak English!"
She giggled and smiled proudly at the other girl who looked several years older.
Tony and I whispered together trying to decide what to ask next.
Our friend Shou was the only other English speaking person and he was sleeping. Tony and I longed to talk to someone and this little girls seemed eager to talk.
"How old are you?" I asked.
"Whats your name?"
We found out that the other girl was her cousin and that they were visiting Xi An on vacation with their four aunts. They let me borrow a hair tie to hold my hair back for the mountain. I felt very grateful.
We enjoyed the conversation but after we arrived at the mountain we all headed up at our own pace.
When we got back that afternoon we meet up again and now they were both even more talkative. We talked the whole way back to Xi An.
That night when we separated I felt very sad. I felt like we were meant to somehow stay connected. We said good bye when the bus dropped them off at their hotel. They all said good bye and left.

The next morning we got on another bus to go on a tour to visit several holy sites and a huge budist temple. We were resting on the bus when we got to a hotel and who got on but Candy and her family! We were all so happy. Shou's dad lite up. Candy took to Shou and he to her. We chatted and enjoyed the different sites.

When we separated that second day, I actually cried. I felt so sad like my heart was breaking. They got off the bus and we called our good byes.

The next day we went to the airport in Xi An on our way to Beijing. We were all sitting around relaxing waiting for our flight, when I saw one of Candy's tiny cousins walking by. I jumped up and ran after her. Her mom was there and she lite up when she recognized me. She said, "Fate!" in Chinese. She brought me to Candy and the other family members and we all hugged and laughed. I said I'd go get Shou and Tony. We all got back together and laughed and hugged.
We got one more picure all together. They were about to go through security to head back to their home in Sichuan Province.

It was really special. I'll never forget that wonderful family!

Visiting Xi An - Part 2

Xi An is also the home of the Terracotta warriors. These are thousands of clay life sized solders who were part of a grave of a emporor.
According to Wikipedia:
The Terracotta Army or the "Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife, and to make sure that he had people to rule over.
The figures, dating from 3rd century BC, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi province.
The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits near by Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum.[1] Other terracotta non-military figures were also found in other pits and they include officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians.

We took a taxi to the location because the bus was too expensive and too slow.  There were lots of foreigners there. They built the museum right over the dig site. There wasn't AC in the building with all the warriors. We were dripping sweat.