Monday, May 21, 2007

I left my nipples in Xian

It was 96 degrees yesterday. 96 fucking degrees. That is hot enough to melt my nipples off of my body, hence the title of this blog entry.

Flying in China is an experience. We flew from Shanghai to Xian and from Xian to Beijing. I hope to never fly on another plane in China again. That doesn't count the Northwest Airlines plane we are taking out of here. China Eastern - Jesus Christ. I thought we might die. The air must be different in China. We encountered turbulence everywhere. Generally, I don't like turbulence. Usually it doesn't last long and it isn't too bad. Good Lord. It got to a point in which I thought they might be doing this on purpose. When the flight attendant comes on the PA system and says, "We are experiencing turbulence. If you need to use your motion sickness bag, it is in your seat pocket," you know you are screwed right up the ass.

Traffic in China is something I won't miss, nor soon forget. It will haunt my dreams. To our knowledge, there is no enforcement of traffic laws. To our knowledge, there are no traffic laws. Cars do whatever they want. Scooters and bikes do whatever they want. Pedestrians try like hell to not get hit by any of the moving vehicles. I am blown away that we haven't seen 1 billion accidents. I do not know why we are so lucky. Or why they are. We tried to cross the street in Shanghai and I decided I would like to never cross the street again. How embarrassing would it have been to have to have been flown back to the states because I was hit by a scooter?

"Pauline, you're missing your arm?"

"Yeah, it was a terrible scooter accident."

That is just uncool.

As I stated, Xian was bleeding hot. It was hotter than a witch's tit in a brass bra in Phoenix in July. And my nipples melted off my body and may have attached themselves to an unsuspecting terra cotta warrior. Not pretty.

It was unfortunate that I was so hot and uncomfortable because the sites in Xian were stunning. I wished it were February. I was bothered by the fact that everything we did revolved around every tourist trap in the city. I have never seen so many busses in one place in my life. I am also being driven to distraction by the bartering system. I don't mind bartering, but may I look at the merchandise? May I browse? Must you rape me with your calculator and aggressiveness the minute I come within 20 feet of your market stand? Back it down!

It was nice when we reached the Big White Goose Pagoda. We were able to walk around on our own. I prefer that to walking in a group of 27 people. It is difficult to manage and nearly impossible to enjoy oneself. This is also a sacred Buddhist site in China. That would not have been pleasant to tour with 27 others. I hope we do this in Beijing.

There are opportunities to purchase stuff everywhere. We have already heard about my distaste for the bartering crap that goes on here. I find boys to be stupid. They make a competition of everything. I am competitive, but competitive when it makes sense. They barter with each of the vendors and end up buying whatever was being sold. They are thrilled because they were able to claim the lowest price. Boys are buying things they will never use. They are thrilled by the hunt and conquest. I mean, one guy bought a "wolf skin" yesterday. I put that in quotes because he was told it was a wolf but it doesn't look like any wolf I have ever seen, and I just watched Discovery Channel's Planet Earth. I think someone sold him german shepherd skin. Now I hear he is trying to sell it because it smells. Really? A dead animal pelt smells? I am surprised. Who would have expected that? We never saw that coming.

I am trying not to get caught up in the frenzy. There are many things I would have liked but refrained from buying. I don't need everything I see. I need to develop a list and purchase for that list. If I don't find something that suits those on my list, I don't buy just anything. I also have to think about whether I will actualy display it or use it. If not, I move on. I hope to see many cool things in Beijing. I can purchase them here and then purchase another suitcase to cart them home in. I need another suitcase anyway because Northwest ripped off one of my wheels and China Eastern bashed the poor bastard in. It is in rough shape. But it helped contain my panties!

The German in me wants organization. Craves it. I don't always achieve it, but I do strive for it. I also like a certain sense of order. If I am in line, you are behind me. You are not wandering about until you get to the front. I have noticed this. I finally had to take advantage of the fact that I am larger than most woman - hell I am larger than two or three women - and can form a wall to prevent line cutting. Don't cut in front of me. I don't care who you are.

We were marveling at how it seems as though we have been here for ages. We have packed so much in 4 days it seems like a whirlwind. Crazy.

We saw a wonderful show last night. It was filled with dancing, singing, playing. Beautiful. But full of tourists.

I will sign off for now. As I remember other things, I will bring them up here. Trying to get online as often as I can. We shall see how that works out.

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