XiaoZhai 小寨 Shopping
Yesterday, Meg, Jason and I went on a pseudo-shopping spree. My bounty consisted of two maxi style dresses (I’ll post pictures another time). After a morning of bargaining at the bargain market at XiaoZhai 小寨, we ate Korean food 韩国饭. It was quite a hot day, about 33 degrees Celsius, so I spent the remainder of the day indoors, until the evening when I ventured with Sara to the gym 健身房. Jason headed off on an adventure: his trip will take him to Nanjing 南京, Shanghai 上海, and Hangzhou 杭州.
SEXPO On Saturday, Jason and I went to a most curious event, for Xi’an. At the Qujiang exhibition center, where the art gallery is located and adjacent to the TV tower, there was the Shaanxi Reproductive Health & Sex Culture Fair. This could be more aptly named as a sex industry trade show, obviously not as raunchy as you might imagine the American counterpart to be. I won’t go into any great detail, but I will tell you about some of my observations. As might be expected, it was mostly frequented by men, and I was the only foreigner, apart from a few Kazakh models in the “Victoria Secret’s” inspired lingerie show. Hordes of men were crowded around the stage for a small peek. Although it’s apparent the gender disparity, it was never more apparent than at the exhibition. In addition to the trade show aspect of the fair, there was a couple of quasi-exhibitions: ancient paintings, a contemporary art gallery, and cultural relics. Sex is still a taboo in mainland China, especially amongst women. I still have students who are uncomfortable even discussing marriage, qualities or characteristics of their ideal spouse, and dating!
Summer Birthday Dinner On Friday evening, Sue & Dan organized a birthday dinner for those of us celebrating a summer birthday. This included myself, Mike, Meg, and Angela. Those in attendance included Jason, Michelle, Chris (John went to Hua Shan early), Sara, Ross & Edith, Beth (her husband Barry was with John, Matt & Tina, Matt’s girlfriend), Suzann and Mike brought along Dang Li (a mutual friend whom I hadn’t seen in over a year!). We dined at the Shida campus restaurant, enjoying a wide variety of Chinese cuisine. My favorite is a dish entitled 酱油花龙茄, it is plated in the shape of a dragon and its brown soy sauce is sweet without being overtly so. Sue & Dan even arranged two cakes from a company called V Cake. V Cake allows you to order over the phone and delivers the cake directly to your door! One cake was a Chinese-style cheesecake and the second was a mango-topped sponge cake. They were, surprisingly, delicious, especially the mango cake. After our meal, a group of us headed for a rooftop bar, but unfortunately, the bar turned out to be more of a Chinese teahouse and 白酒 (bai3jiu3) establishment, which isn’t particularly our cup of tea (no pun intended!). Instead, we headed back to Chris’ place for drinks and conversation.
Keep your eyes peeled for several new entries including the Wedding roundup, Jason’s birthday, the last installment of D&M’s trip, Hanzhong, my much anticipated entry about working in China, and a few other Xiananigans.