What a better way to bond with your roommate than to travel with them! It was hard finding a weekend when we were both free, but my roommate Dada and I got lucky and last weekend we took a two day trip to Xi’an! It was a trip full of new (and exhausting) experiences and I am blessed to have such a great roommate.
We started our trip by taking a train Friday night to a smaller town a little away from Beijing, where we would catch an overnight “sleeper” train. When we were waiting in the station, I was able to show Dada a little of what it’s like to be American in China with people just openly staring at us speaking English and me not looking very Chinese. One lady even forgot to turn her flash off of her smart phone when she tried to take a secret picture of us. Dada and I laughed at how I handle the fame that comes with being a foreigner in China. The sleeper train passed quickly, even on the third bunk. I’m just happy I didn’t fall out of bed during the night!
China's sleeper trains have three small bunks, the top bunk is so close to the ceiling that I couldn't even sit up! It's okay though because in the morning we came and sat on the lower bunks with other Chinese travelers.
And when we woke up, we sat around and made friends for the remaining few hours until we reached Xi’an. I absolutely loved it there. The famous Big Goose Pagoda square is, Dada told me, is filled with only old buildings in the Tang dynasty style, despite Xi’an being the capital of nine different dynasties. We hopped on another bus out to the Terracotta Warriors, a famous tourist attraction of the thousands of unique, hand crafted ceramic warriors built after Qin ShiHuangDi’s death (The Emperor of the Qin dynasty).
The ceramic warriors, we learned, were in place of what the emperor really wanted, which was thousands of live people buried with him. Dada followed random tour guides and then came back and translated the new tidbits she had learned, about the ranks of the soldiers, and the paint that faded within seconds of being excavated.
My roommate, Dada, posing in front of a Warrior
Dada looking at the walls that we didn't have enough time to ride bikes on... we'll have to come back!
Dada and I at the Big Goose Pagoda watching the water show they put on in the fountain
After a few hours, we headed back to our hostel to get some of the local food, which was delicious and I wish I had more time in Xi’an to eat more of their delicious Muslim food and meat stuffed buns. One night in a hostel, and then we ran across the city (via rickshaw and subway) to get to the train station and head back in time to do homework for class the next day.
Sitting in a rickshaw we used to get across town to catch our train! - we always seemed to be in the wrong train station, so we did a lot of dashing around the cities -
Until Next Time Xi'An!
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<p>My name is Claire Vodicka and I travel to learn language and culture and grow as a person. I currently speak English, Spanish and Chinese, with a little bit of Italian on the side. I love to take pictures, especially of people; capturing their true emotions in the moment. I'm just enjoying my time in college and documenting every opportunity I have been blessed with.</p>