Temples Discovered, City Wall Explored, Great Mosque Uncovered

OL had a coughing fit last night that left me wondering if he was vomiting in the bathroom. Nope just mad coughing in the middle of the night.

Which meant we woke up at 8:30 kinda cranky. But we had to get breakfast before 9:30.  If we wanted to eat here at the hotel.

Breakfast buffet was a pleasant surprise for me. Scrambled eggs with mushrooms carrots and bok choi, chinese sausage, taro wrapped in sweet potato and deep fried, custard bao, pork bao, and plain bao. Congee. Watermelon, toast, oatmeal, macaroons. Tea and coffee.

For OL not so much. They were out of toast. And the orange juice came out of the machine hot.

Then off to the Temple of Eight Immortals outside the city wall. We follow the map but end up on a different street.

Keep following it. Walk through neighborhood. Wonder if going wrong way so I ask someone in Chinese. Lol. She can’t read characters so she sends me to someone else. She tells me it is around the corner.

We keep going. Stumble on it. Beggars flank the entrance.

Very beautiful and not touristy.

Quiet.

Peaceful.

Lovely buildings. Nice garden in back too.

Worth visiting in Xian. We really enjoyed it.

There’s a cute little “antique” market across the street worth browsing in too.

We wandered toward city wall and stumbled on another temple, Tang Wangji temple. Smaller but nice to see a real temple.

They keep peacocks out back in a cage. Beautiful birds. But they are eating each others’ feathers. We think they may be starving. I wish I had some bread to throw them.

However it’s being renovated so in 2 years expect a clean newer looking temple.

We continued onto dong men stopping for a mei nian da and bai shi ke le beside the wall. It was 12:30 and we weren’t hungry yet.

Getting to the eastern entrance to the wall is in-fucking sane.

Requires pedestrians to run across a 4-5 lane rotary with traffic coming from two separate directions and merging. I tell OL, give me your hand. The we go. And make it. Phew.

Btw, it’s 20 yuan for students but when you ask about it, they say only for Chinese students. Bullshit. We paid 40 yuan each to get up on the wall. And it wasn’t worth it.

Lonely Planet guide says 4 leisurely hours walking entire wall and we are only walking a quarter from east to south gate.

Wrong. Time estimate is so fucking off. Took us about 2.5 hours to walk that tiny section because it’s long and the stones all exude heat at you.

We’re pretty sure I got mild heat stroke at one point because my head ached, I got so nauseous I couldn’t touch water and my stomach cramped up.

Worst part was when we saw an exit sign went down 100 stairs and found the exit locked.

Had to go back up the wall. Kill me now. Considered throwing self down stairs so I could die and someone would come remove the body and rescue OL.

Luckily we found Gatorade and a cooler place to sit. Btw, all the guard posts along the wall are locked which makes for a dull repetitive walk. By the time we got to nan men we were dying to get the hell off the wall and eat lunch.

It’s after three as we walk up nan dajie. Our goal is McDonalds. We get up there enter and find no food just seats. Turns out the counter is downstairs so we go down and the woman makes me repeat my order 5 times. Evidently she thinks I don’t know what two means even when I say it in Chinese and use hand signals too.

They are out of ling du ke le too. Or so the bad check out bitch tells me since the guy anciently poured two regular cokes. Lying whore.

Anyway, we get our food and there is nowhere to sit. Why? Because the Chinese use McDonalds as a hotel. Half a dozen people are sitting at tables or in booths sleeping. Yup sleeping. No food in front of them. Others have finished and are hanging out. Some are eating food from other places.

Fabulous. Finally find a table and sit down to eat.

Afterwards we walk to drum tower because OL wants to change the name on his chop to haughty language king. Ao Yu Wang. Did I mention we spent all last night coming up with his new name. Or rather him shooting down all my suggestions until he made his own up.

Find the guy who made mine and he agrees to change it for 20 yuan. Then I see Marie’s paints for watercolors and pick them up for 50 yuan.

I also get souvenirs for family there.

Stumble on the Great Mosque and tour it. Fabulous meshing of Chinese and Muslim culture. Neat to see Chinese characters and Arabic script right next to each other.

Then we walked home. Nearly run over again at a rotary. This city hates pedestrians but doesn’t have a subway. Just non air-conditioned buses filled with pickpockets.

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