XI’AN: Day 146, Friday May 02 2014

 

Life was looking a little better that morning as Nate and I came down stairs to Karen and John enjoying huge sandwiches from the hostel breakfast menu. Not ones to be kept down for long, my siblings were already preparing for another long day of sight seeing.

Karen thought the sandwiches were really expensive though they were only 28 rmb! “You were squawking about an expensive dinner the other day!” She retorted when I exclaimed how good the prices were.

“Well it depends what your ordering, for a western sandwich at a hostel this price is great. For chinese food it’s expensive,” I tried to explain. She remained indignant. I wasn’t feeling the greatest so I stuck with toast and asked if one of the apples we’d picked up the other day could be washed and cut up at the hostel. Surprisingly they brought it back with free yogurt! Awesome service.

Trains back to Jinan were either inconvenient or booked up, so we booked a flight at 500 rmb.

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Karen and John wanted to do the hostel trip to the terracotta warriors because it apparently included a “must see” tomb (I’d heard it was only a grassy hill) but seeing as that trip was full we decided to just do some inner city sights. First up was a 14km tandem bike ride around ancient city wall.

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Biking around the wall was ridiculously fun. The boys had the fronts and most of the work and Karen I had the lazy back seats. I would give Nate some awesome speed bursts accompanied by the “neerumm” sound. We took the wall easy, stopping for rests along the way, and handed our bikes back right at the two hour return time. Only downside was all of us got sunburnt.

After our bike ride we made our way to the Muslim centre of town. The crowded streets full of mingling smells from all directions made Karen feel queazy again. Neither her or John ate lunch, but I did. Muslim rice was delicious after a breakfast of only toast and apples. K and J went back to the hostel for a nap while Nate and I went to check out the shopping district for cheap souvenirs and small gifts. Picked up some terri-cotta warrior statues, some pens, post cards, and a ring for my brides maid proposal to Karen.

When we reconvened at the hostel Karen and John were ambitiously talking about going to see a light show that night. When Nate and I mentioned we’d rather get massages plans changed pretty quickly. We went for the “ok but close” massage place over the “good but far” as recommended by the hostel. Took a little while to find it. We went to a hotel to ask for directions and were directed to the fifth floor which wasn’t the right place at all. When we finally founded the massage parlour we were greeted by women in very short skirts and low shirts. It left me wondering about what kind of place this was, but as it was recommended by the hostel I assumed it was ok.

The massage was foot based with a little back, arms, butt, and legs added in. The girls brought us buckets of water which were so hot we couldn’t put our feet in. They had to add cold water to make them a comfortable temperature. They had us soak our feet while they massaged our arms. Nate’s toe nails must have been atrocious because he was the only one who got them cut. There was lots of getting up and down and going in and out of the room, which clearly took talent in a miniskirt. My girl managed to keep herself pretty well tucked in (though she did put my hand in her crotch when massaging my arms, which was a little awkward). Nate’s on the other hand didn’t even give the effort. Karen and I who were on either side of him got quite an eyeful.

Foot massage was amazing. Went back feeling very relaxed. John however had a pain in the rear end as he’d gotten his butt beaten up! Nate and I grabbed drinks at the bar before bed. It was a cool place, two levels with a live band every weekend. Very chill, and happy hour featured drinks for 20rmb.

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