A Country United

A nation of approximately 1.5 billion people consists of Han Chinese, Buddhists, and Muslims. The one child policy, we learned doesn't apply to Muslims and even the Han can have a child right away if the first born is a girl. A second child is possible after waiting about 8 years.

In Xian, we came to see the army of the Terracotta Warriors built by the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang to be part of his massive tomb and the first one to unify the country. The 'Q' sound in Mandarin is pronounced "Ch", so his name gave the country its name. Coming back from seeing the Warriors by the local bus, we were hopelessly lost as the bus had changed routes due to construction, so found a policeman, who despite speaking no English, walked us for at least a good 20 minutes only to hook us up with a guy, not sure how he knew but John, a local Chinese spoke who spoke English, agreed to walk with us to our bus and have dinner. Xian, like a lot of Chinese cities has a night market, which is a great place to eat, so here we found lamb, goat, and chicken kebabs along with mutton soup and all sorts of delicious snacks and sweets. Walking back again to the night market with a local was a treat as we were able to order what we want and John kindly even offered to buy us dessert.

All of China has entered the 21st century in a big way and there are massive construction projects everywhere. I think I counted about 40 construction cranes on one site alone! There is also a massive campaign to beautify and make cities more friendly, so one can find flower lined roads and helpful officials from the police to the locals to get you in the right direction. I am not sure how many thousands of kilometers we covered on the China rails but our next stop is to Dunhuang, a city in NW China on the edge of the Gobi Desert.

No comments:

Post a Comment