This is a photo I took way back in 1995 somewhere in China, Xian maybe. It is one of my favorites.
What I remember about Xian: It was very dirty and the trees were covered in coal soot, the Terracotta Army is located outside of town right next to an amusement park featuring actors dressed up as prehistoric cave people, and I was nearly robbed by a couple claiming to be starving art students. Of course this was ten years ago, I am sure things are much better now. Here is what I wrote in my journal at the time:
“Feb 14, 1995. I just realized that today is St. Valentine’s Day. After more that 3 weeks on the road these things slip by. Today is also the last day of our journey. We’re on a train back to Beijing. Xian was a big disappointment. A very dirty, smelly, ugly city. The Terracotta Warriors were cool but we went through hell to get there. We joined a tour group and ended up going to lots of places we didn’t want to. Finally, we ditched them and caught a public bus…
[Later] …We visited a Taoist temple and a Mosque, both really interesting. Around the back streets of the temple were incense sellers, fortune tellers (mostly blind), and traditional doctors with dried snake and suction cups. We came across two people we had met 2 days before. They were nice and friendly and invited us to see their art school –so we did. It turned out to be a big con to try and get us to buy expensive paintings. It really pissed us off. All is all Xian was sucky and tiring.”