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Welcome to our blogs. We document our family adventure during this year of travel.  Wishing you well on your journey!

Feat. Emma, the best part of this blog!

Xian Part I

Xian Part I

29.9.2016

Xian

Even when we reserved the train tickets before leaving Canada, the sleeper trains were full and we had to take a 'slower' G train.  Slower just means more stops.  The fastest ones can make it in about 4 hours.  Ours took 5 but it was travelling at 300km/hr! 

The train station was a bombardment of noise and busybodies (people who want something from the travellers).  I ended up saying "不要" (I don't want it) to a guy who i realized later, was just curious and was being friendly in conversation.  Ops.  This assumptive culture is affecting me. 

Our first night stay here ended up in a gloomy but cheap apartment 10 floors above a very glitzy though empty mall.  

 Entering the elevator.  We thought it exciting to live above a mall until we saw the apartment...

Entering the elevator.  We thought it exciting to live above a mall until we saw the apartment...

 Found a night market nearby for some excellent noodles!  7 yuan ($1.50) a bowl.

Found a night market nearby for some excellent noodles!  7 yuan ($1.50) a bowl.

It was a great neighbourhood to walk around.  Breakfast (in several courses!) was pretty awesome too.

 Found some childhood food  豆腐花  (a sweet soft tofu dish with syrup).

Found some childhood food 豆腐花 (a sweet soft tofu dish with syrup).

 The kids discovered   肉夹馍   (Meat sandwich made from beef). They do not want this to end...

The kids discovered  肉夹馍  (Meat sandwich made from beef). They do not want this to end...

30.9 - 3.10

The next 3 nights were spent in a lovely Airbnb apartment.  How we got there was something out of a hollywood chase scene!  The apartments were too far apart to walk, directions were lost in translation and so taxi was the way to go.  As a family of 6, we needed 2 taxis but because only Alvin's phone worked (and that's where the directions were), we had to find a 2nd taxis that will follow the first.  It took a while before we could find 2 taxis that were willing.  But of course, there was still miscommunication and the first sped off with Alvin, Eli, Emma and the directions!  Our taxi driver tried to catch up but all taxi tails look the same.   Chang'an road is one of the main streets in Xian so it was packed with vehicles.  Big city driving is crazy!  He wove through people, motors, bikes, trucks, all in unpredictable speeds, mixed up lanes and roundabouts.  We followed a car for some distance whose license plate we thought was it.  We finally caught up enough to look through the window and it turned out to be the wrong one.  Our hearts dropped.  Our prayers intensified and we were nearing panic when we came upon the car next to us in traffic - and there they were - as surprised as we were!  That was the most heart pumping car chase ever.  Our superb taxi driver was so stone faced, he was hard to communicate with even when i tried to praise him for his agile driving skills.  I think he grunted in response.  But man, he didn't know - i so could've hugged and kissed him!

Wang Yen's Airbnb apartment was so comfy and spacious, we ended up just staying home.  Finally, some sit down school work time, ping-pong and lots of down time.  When we did venture out for food, we met Mr & Mrs. Li.  Their restaurant was among a block of other shops.  Mr. Li was as curious about us as we were about his open kitchen.  He ended up becoming a good friend and we ate at his restaurant everyday for those 4 days.  He introduced such yummy foods to us - all we had to do was show up, chat, and he'd bring us food to try!

 Mr. Li doing his magic.

Mr. Li doing his magic.

 Mrs. Li doing hers.  They are a great team.

Mrs. Li doing hers.  They are a great team.

 The freshest rice noodles EVER!

The freshest rice noodles EVER!

 We're back!

We're back!

 We were offered 5 more kinds of noodles - cold, hot and spicy hot!

We were offered 5 more kinds of noodles - cold, hot and spicy hot!

 Our final day before leaving the area...

Our final day before leaving the area...

 Their two daughters were helping during the National holiday week.

Their two daughters were helping during the National holiday week.

 We're so thankful to have met!

We're so thankful to have met!

Xian Part II

Xian Part II

Beijing

Beijing