Rivers of Mercury, Jewels for Stars: Our Trip to Xi’an (Part I)

Ashley Neumeister
July 10, 2014

Okay, I have put off writing this blog for far too long. A few weeks ago, we went to Xi’an on a mobile learning trip for a long weekend. This is a brief description of how the weekend carried out.

Thursday afternoon: we packed up after we finished our first test and head out to Beijing West train station. We were to take an overnight train to Xi’an. This was my first time on an overnight train outside of the U.S., and I didn’t really know what to expect.

Thursday night: We weren’t all together on the overnight train, but at least we were relatively close together. Kalli met this cute Beijing boy on the train and let him play with her camera. He proceeded to give us all of the lychees that his family had brought on the train.

A Chinese overnight train has six sleeping berths per compartment, and that is your seat and your bed. I got the middle berth, but that meant I still had to do some Tomb Raider-style climbing to get in the berth. Because I was rather high up, and because I wasn’t sure how common theft was on overnight rail, I decided to sleep with my backpack and small duffel in the berth with me. It wasn’t the best of sleep, but it’s better than what I’ve gotten on a lot of overnight transportation.

Friday morning: We arrived in Xi’an around 8:30, and proceeded to our hotel. The hotel was much nicer than I anticipated. It was obviously a business hotel, with free mixed Chinese and Western breakfast and automatic air conditioning (after having to deal with the room wattage ration in the IES Abroad building, this was a godsend). We then were given some time to relax before our city wall bike tour, which a lot of classmates took as an opportunity to nap.

Friday afternoon: Xi’an is the only city in China with an intact city wall, so naturally, we went on a tour of the wall, and then proceeded to bike along its perimeter. I got a solo bike, and got a lot of good pictures, but the road was so bumpy that my butt was so sore afterwards. Plus, the AQI (Air Quality Index) was okay but not magnificent, so while I’m grateful I didn’t get sunburnt, the mood was a bit drearier than I’d have liked.

Still don’t know what the title refers to? Read Part II to find out! ;)

Ashley Neumeister

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I am a rising senior at Tulane University, studying Anthropology and Asian Studies with a Russian minor. In my spare time, I enjoy writing dark supernatural fantasy novels as well as science fiction. I am also a hopeless geek, so if you&#39;re into LORD OF THE RINGS, FIREFLY, STAR WARS, or RATCHET &amp; CLANK, feel free to talk with me about it!</span></div>

2014 Summer 1, 2014 Summer 2
Home University:
Tulane University of Louisiana
Asian Studies
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