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Welcome to Xi’an China!

18/09/2011

After well over a year of trying, I finally landed a teaching job in Xi’an China and actually arrived about three weeks ago.  Getting setup for living and teaching has taken a lot of time, so I am just now caught up enough to post my first blog from the city.

I’ve already taken a lot of photos but don’t want to overwhelm you with too many right out of the gate, so I’ll just do a quick overview in this post, then upload more specific photos in the coming days.

Let’s begin with a view of the Bell Tower which sits in the middle of the the old inner-city’s center circle.  The city center is surrounded by (what the city claims to be) the world’s oldest complete city wall, stretching several miles in length.  I have no reason to dispute their claim.

(Tip:  Clicking any photo will bring up a larger version.  Clicking that version will display maximum size.)

The Bell Tower in the middle of the city plaza in central Xi'an.

Another view of the Bell Tower... This time from the west side. Note the large new shopping center on the right.

A closer look at the shopping center... and of the smog.

Now let’s take a look at some photos of the campus and where I’m staying…

The south gate entrance to the University.

A little wider view of the south gate.

Xi'an Jiaotong University was founded in Shanghai in 1896, but eventually moved to Xi'an after World War II.

The event center, just inside the south gate of the campus.

My office is on the 7th floor of the School of Foreign Studies building.

I share my office with a guy from Berlin, Germany (originally from Leipzig), hence the German icons on the door. (I don't mind.)

My desk is on the left. When I mentioned to my Chinese colleagues that I should probably bring a few personal items to “personalize” my work area, they reacted with a puzzled, “Why?”. According to them, a work desk is for… well… work. To add personal photos or other items would be revealing too much about yourself. Perhaps I’ll leave it the way it is.

Now let’s take a look at a few other things around the University area…

I'm staying in a hotel named "The Haunting" until the remodeling job on my apartment is complete in mid-October. I’m a little troubled by the hotel name. I keep expecting the ghost of Jack Nicolson to jump out at me at any time. (Oh wait… He’s still living, isn’t he? LOL!)

Across the street from my hotel is a new apartment building going up. The construction going on in Xi’an would make your head swim. For example, during my first week on campus I noticed a new student dorm going up. The entire front of the 10 story structure was open to the elements when I arrived. A week later, I saw student garments hanging in the windows! Amazing!

Oops... Now how did THAT photo get in here? It must have been an accident. (Ok... ok... I'm a guy... what can I say?)

Near the south-east gate of the campus is a pedestrian bridge that is also handy for stringing phone/internet cables.

I must duck my head to keep from getting tangled up in the cables as I climb the stairs. At least the "easy access" makes repairs easy!

Standing on the pedestrian bridge now... this would be considered a "sunny day" in Xi'an.

Now let’s head back down toward the south gate for something to eat…

Across the street from the campus south gate is what I call "food street". Every night about 6:00 p.m., food vendors setup shop to sell their wares. For a little less than a dollar, I can get my fill of fried noodles or veggie rice.

Outside a small grocery store on this street, a woman boils peanuts (yes... boils... more on this later) and soy beans to make edamame (called "máodòu" here.) Yum!

The finished products.... At about eighty cents (US$) per pound, it's a bargain... and is super fresh!

Take a look at the video…

Ok…  That’s all for today.  As I mentioned above, I have many more photos to post, but will break them down into category and start making additional posts soon.

Until then…  Zàijiàn!!!

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2 Comments
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