As I have now experienced exactly three taxi rides in two different Chinese cities, I think I am qualified to say that those little stripey things they paint on the roads? Mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. One wonders why The People Who Build The Streets even bothered to waste the paint. At one point we found ourselves passing a car that was passing a truck that was passing a bicyclist- on a two-lane highway with oncoming traffic.
I don't know if it's to the credit of, or in spite of, our taxi driver that we made it to Xi'an in one piece. And here we are, in a 2 bedroom apartment a block away from the university where Blondie teaches. She's there right now, in fact, discussing an article about Yao Ming in her "Newspapers and Articles" class. Apparently he made some critical statements about his Olympic teammates and the government is none too thrilled. One official is quoted as saying that Yao Ming has picked up some "bad personality habits" during his stint in the American NBA. Hmm.
In the meantime we are holed up in our loaned apartment with its splendid air conditioning and internet connection. It's not that hot, though- I actually think it's raining outside. We will most likely explore a little outside before Blondie gets back, but I'm not sure how that's going to work out. We can't read a single thing and even if Phillip could figure out how to take the bus or order something in a restaurant, I'm not sure I could make it across the street for fear of being smeared into the concrete by a bus, three taxis, and seven bicycles.
Ah! My father-in-law just called. It must have been HIM who called at 11:30 last night. (I was so disoriented. "Is that the phone? The alarm? The doorbell? What? I've only been sleeping for TWO HOURS?!") He is concerned about me. "Is she eating the food?" For anyone who is interested, YES, I am eating the food. Sort of. I had to switch dinners with Blondie last night because my noodles were too spicy. But the tofu and green onion dish was yummy. And the green beans. And the spicy chicken (which wasn't TOO spicy). I am also drinking the tea, which is poured into tiny disposable plastic cups. (And our noodles last night were in dishes lined with plastic bags. I thought this was so we could easily wrap
up any leftovers and take them home. Blondie said its so that they don't have to do the dishes.)
This afternoon we will meet some Real Live Chinese Students and I'm looking forward to that. But right now I should attempt to take a shower. I say "attempt", because the shower is a nozzle hanging off the side of the bathroom wall, two inches from the toilet and the sink.