Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Changing My Plan

The weather and the hostel were so wonderful I couldn't make myself leave. So I spent an extra day in Xi'an. Took my time getting out and about. Lazed around the courtyard of the hostel in the morning, eating breakfast, chatting with the staff and reading and internetting. The staff finally started suggesting things I should go see - hint, hint. So I started out on foot to try and find the Bell Tower. I got to the tower and was instructed at the Ticket Taking Booth that I had to go back to the Ticket Selling Booth a hundred yards back and buy a ticket. This is like the 5th time I have had this same problem. Why there has to be two booths, and why the first one always appears to be hidden doesn't make any sense to me. I really gotta quit expecting the world to make sense, don't I? So I was a little ticked and decided I didn't want to see their stupid ole tower anyway, so I went to the nearby mall instead. Well, that was a total bust, and I ended up back at the ticket booth to the tower. And the tower was not much of a treat. So I was off to the Drum Tower with very little hope. I guess I should olden times the bell towers in China rang throughout the day to let everyone know the time, while the drum tower did the same at night (I guess drums are easier to sleep through than bells). The Drum Tower was actually a little nicer, and I was in time to see a perfomance of the drum troupe. Afterwards I headed to the Muslim Quarter of town and browsed the markets (which are not Muslim in any way) and bartered for a few tacky souveniers with some really funny vendors, and some more annoying ones too. Eventually, through a very circuitous route ended up at the Great Mosque. It was quite wonderful. The first mosque I ever visit, and it's in China. I do things a little backwards sometimes, don't I? After my very pleasant wander through the mosque I headed to the South Wall of the city to look for a temple on my map. I didn't really find it, but the walk was great and I found some really trendy streets and nice street vendors. When I decided it was time to go home I hailed a cab and told him where I wanted to go. He refused! I couldn't believe it. The next taxi I hailed I got in first, before I told him where I wanted to go, and there was no problem. I have spent the last couple of hours here in the bar at the hostel eating dinner, having drinks and chatting with other travelers. I didn't really want to leave, but many more things to experience.


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