For once something is easy. 40 min.s delayed the train arrives at Xi`an. I walk directly to bus no.201. One has just left so there are not many people. I can follow the route in the small map in my leaflet from Bell Tower Youth Hostel, and I have been here before and there is NO doubt about when we`re at the Bell Tower.
It`s turned midsummer since Guangyuan. Even in the train this morning the sun was shining from the most blue sky I`ve seen in China this time. With a couple of scattered clouds.
There`s air-con in the room - and it works! But there`s a long way to the toilet and the bathroom. Toilet paper and soap and a nice hygiene, I also plan to stay for 3 nights.
I have an email friend here in town and shall send a sms when I`ve arrived - it eventually takes a long time. The message: "Check provider!" I`m sad to say, I`ve seen before. Last time I had to buy a new sim-card.
There is a M-zone right around the corner and I find it even it`s in the first floor.
I try to explain that I bought this sim-card in Kunming and that it probably has to be renewed. It seems it`s not working in Xi`an. But that can`t be? It`s an all of China sim-card. Can`t I just pay the 88 RMB the guy in Kunming mentioned? But that seems impossible. But she must be able to find my no. In her screen to see what kind it is? The girl is embarrassed. Her english is limited and she can`t explain the problem in a way that I can understand. She speaks to someone on my telephone and on her. It doesn`t help. I will not be rejected.
In the end she gets the other girl involved. The scene seems to be repeated. She too is speaking to everybody. At last she says, that now it works. Really? Yes, it really does! But don`t I have to pay? No, that seems not to be nesessary.
I`m still a big questionmark, when I leave. Some of what I thought to understand was, that the card should be updated in Yunnan. It seems a bit weird but may not after all. It`s not all chinese people that are mobile like I so many could use a card like this to call friends and family all over China, without moving anywhere themselves? But it worked in Sichuan!!?? But that was maybe because of my Sichuan card?
My guess is, that someone in a central position had pity on the girls and arranged it, so they could get rid of this annoying foreigner, so now the card has been opened here in Shaanxi too, even it was not "by the book". You can`t understand all things here - but it would be nice if you could.
Fortunately Carly, which is her english name, has also been busy, so we arrange
to meet at 17. This means problems too, but they can be solved with the help of
the lifeline - the telephone.
We go and eat in the muslim quarter like two years ago. This time I have the speciality beyond all: First you have a round bread which is to be mouldered down to the plate. The smaller the pieces the better, I`m told. It takes a long time. Then you hand back the plate, and have it back including rice noodles, sauce and mutton meat. It doesn`t taste like sheep, it tastes EXQUISITE!
Her english has been improved MUCH since two years ago. Maybe mostly because she speaks slower. She thinks it`s worse, she says - humble chinese thinking?
She`s now educated as an english guide, but the competition is hard with the economic recession, so she still keeps her job as a cashier for a company. She not satisfied with this. She`s very different from my other chinese friends. Maybe because of living in this metropol, for Xi`an is likke coming to the capital.
All the lights at West Gate resembles Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen without all the amusement offers.
I leave her near her home with her parents just south from the city wall and get back home at 22. I buy a beer in the way - you get thirsty in the heat - and lie down for a second on the bed, so I have to get to my feet again at midnight to get to bed.