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August 16th 2007
Published: August 16th 2007
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Dumpling overloadDumpling overloadDumpling overload

Finally feasting on dumplings in Beijing and looking annoyed. I swear they multiplied on the plate.
So many of you might have wondered how I would fare returning to China (aka the Motherland) not speaking or being able to read the language. We've survived and emerged for the most part unscathed but let me tell you a story that is sure to amuse...
My fear of getting snared in the grips of crippling traveller's sickness and Tyson's deathly allergy to peanuts has kept us from trying tasty (but sketchier) food that was sure to please. After a few days in Beijing we decided to test the waters by going to a local dumpling shop (despite the fears of dumplings stuffed with cardboard or strange animal intestines). We figured this store would be welcoming as there was large color pictures on the walls with delicious looking dumpling bowls and an explanation in english of the history of Beijing's local type of boiled dumpling. However, when we received the menu there was neither English nor color pictures of the food on the menu. In responding to my hungry stomache, we searched for characters we could recognize.... which came down to the characters for cow and meat. When we pointed to this item, the cashier (who spoke no english) pointed in confirmation and gave us an incredulous look. We nodded and held up our fingers indicating two of it. We thought we were going to get two delicious bowls of steaming dumpling soup. What we got instead were two plates of cold beef shank. She must have thought we were some odd tourists chewing on nothing but plates of cold beef. We quickly changed our order to go...

Xi'an has definitely been our favourite place in China so far. Xi'an is still quite a large city by Western standards but is a lot more laid back than the franticness that is Beijing. Most travellers stop here for a few days before journeying onwards to Beijing or Shanghai. We have come away from Xi'an pleased...
The Terracotta Warriors are in the category of sights that you hear quite often about but can't comprehend how large it really is until you see it right before your eyes. With over 6000 lifesize soldiers its a sight to behold. The compound that holds the warriors has been well made and they have created an upscale shopping complex that surrounds the compound. Despite the upscale image, you still have sellers attempting to entice you with miniature replicas of the warriors for a mere 5 yuan.

Random observations:
I didn't quite understand the extent of tea running through the veins of the Chinese until I came to China. The Chinese seem to enjoy tea and tea products ranging from green tea popsicles in the summer to leaving tea leaves in the bottle of their water bottles to soak all day long.

Three wheeled vehicles are quite popular here in Xi'an and arn't going out of style anytime soon. These vehicles range from the tuk-tuk to the heavy weight-bearing trucks to the personal car. My favourite is the personal car as it resembles a Honda Civic but squish the body and narrow the front of the vehicle to a triangular point. Does the front passenger get the shaft on seat space versus the backseat passengers?

Next stop... the fabled Taoist mountain Huashan made famous by the Snapple Green Tea commercial.



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16th August 2007

food picture fun
That is a funny story about the dumplings! It has happened to me many times. Now I bring a little book with drawings in it. There is a few pages in the back for me to actually draw what I want. You do have to know how to draw a little, but it works wonders!

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