We flew from Beijing to Xi'An this morning and settled into our non-touristy hotel. This means two twin beds, no clock, no fridge/mini bar, a scratchy vintage TV that is devoid of CNN or anything else English, and smoking everywhere - even in the elevators. Sadly there is as much pollution here as in Beijing; or maybe not - but I still can't see the sky through the haze. In fact I can't see the buildings across the four-laned road in front of our hotel.
Tonight we had beef hot pot - a very delicious meal that reminded me of fondue. You have a pot of boiling broth and you cook raw vegetables, noodles, beef, shrimp with spices of your own liking. Hubby plopped a carrot into the broth and our Chinese hosts broke into laughter. Apparently the carrot was pickled and meant for eating as a relish. Ditto when I dipped my spoon into the delicious broth and started sipping ... more snickers and laughter at the Canadian eating the cooking broth. Still - bright spot for today.
A few things we haven't seen -- people walking dogs (we've only seen three random dogs so far), joggers, nor wildlife that would be typical in our city - squirrels, birds (only the odd pigeon).
This post will be short as hubby needs to use the proxy connection that I am using to access Blogger, Facebook, Google and Hotmail. The government blocking is very frustrating. I will post more pictures tomorrow.
UPDATE: Here are some food pictures of our night at the" beef hot pot" restaurant.
|Dipping sauce of your own creation - pureed beans, chilies, cilantro.|
|All that remains!|