English Version 23
Another long day. Time is limited it seems.
First I go to the supermarket. Thereís one at the west gate, where I can go in 5 min. I have a list of things I have to do or buy, while Iím in Xiían. Itís long.
This supermarket isnít just big, itís HUGE. I get a good impression of two stories, but the stairs goes on. Four I think.
I find the clothes pegs, but they donít sell string! I show them my clothes pegs, point at my laces and drag them out with my hands and hang an imaginary piece in the form of a small bag of washing powder on it. After having been through every single saleswoman in the department for hardware the conclusion is depressing: Meiyou. Donít have. I canít believe it. Theyíve got EVERYTHING. Later one from the hotel accompanies me to another shop and I get my 6 m green string, which now is hanging all through my room fastned to an electrical wire in one end and a water pipe in the other.
Now I`ve climbed another wall! You might guess which? The city wall of Xi`an. Like in Pingyao the old wall is still standing - or parts of it must have been rebuilt, because according to Lonely Planet China it doesn`t. It`s quite another experience than The great Wall at Simatai. It`s as wide as two lanes and a shoulder in each direction - around 12 m the guidebook tells. It`s just flat of course and when you look to the sides there`s no nature just houses. On the inside lots of beautiful old style Chinese houses, but mostly new ones. On the outside the skyscrapers are reaching for heaven. The sky is the limit it seems.
You can hire bicycles here, it`s a mere 14 km to go all the way round. As I was not allowed to bring my own bike I didn`t rent one. Might also be good for my legs to do some walking?
I met some Danish people from a larger group on bikes. As they stopped right in front of me I couldn`t help saying: Oh there are others on bicycles? In Danish of course. They didn`t pay much attention. One of the men was wearing a t-shirt which said: I climbed The great Wall, so I asked them where they`d climbed it? A lady said: Oh, I don`t know, where was it?
They didn`t know!
I couldn`t help feeling a bit sorry for them. They were like cattle or sheep being dragged from one eating spot to another. Maybe I sound too much like a saint? I guess I feel like it too - sorry.
Having walked about 1 km from the entry spot at the south gate I can see just one person passing me any minute. To the other side they`re just pixels on a TV-screen. You can be alone here too. Now the guy is gone but small dots are closing in. Better be on my way!
I walk all the way to the southwest corner. When I`m on my way back I meet a Chinese woman I passed earlier. Then she was walking backwards as to find a better spot for a photo. Now she`s STILL walking backwards. Interesting. There must be some special Chinese culture burried here!
I`ve done it all wrong. Maybe the evil spirits will come haunting me?
Later I go for the The small wild goose Pagoda and The big wild goose Pagoda. Thereís not much to say about it but Iíve grown accustomed to finding my way and act in the traffic. Almost like a native. But itís a long way and Iím not back until 18.15 and have to buy a deodorant and take a shower before my ďdateĒ with Carly.
Another Chinese woman with dreams of something else but the present and predictable.
Iíve told her Iím a postman and donít earn much so she leads me to the muslim quarters, where she knows the right places, and a special Dumpling-restaurant, where we get whatís called beef and soup. The meat is frozen when the dough is wrapped around it and thatís why the meat juice stays in the package. Thereís also a bowl of soya sauce. She teaches me how to do and with the very last dumpling I succeed.
Once more a woman who is extremely open about political stuff. We discuss the Cultural revolution, when she wasnít born yet and I hadnít a clue about what was really going on. The campaign for extinguishing the sparrows sheís never heard about, she canít really believe it, but will not deny it either. Neither does she know about The big leap Forward.
The evening flys by so quickly. Itís exciting but at the same time exhausting, because her pronaunciation isnít as good as Jiayuanís. From time to time we have to clear up words and expressions she doesnít understand.
The last we come to talk about before she has to go home is her idol!
Iím standing at this point, if not Iíd fallen down from the chair: Erwin Rommel.
She pronounce him ďrÝmmenĒ, but it IS he. I canít believe it. Why? Sheís read a lot of books about him Ė in Chinese. Iím very surprised. And then I get a lecture on his great skills as a soldier and army commander, what I donít doubt, and his resistance against Hitler. I didnít know anything else than heíd made life difficult for the allied forces in North Africa, so I just listen.
In this way itís almost midnight and I have another address to e-mail.