Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I had a lot of fun in this city, mostly thanks to my couchsurfing host Marui. There were two other British girls also staying with Marui and they met me from the train. It was good to wander the streets in a new city with someone other than myself and have a good laugh with people who have the same sense of humour! We walked around the city walls and ran around the city trying to find the right bus, asking all kinds of people for directions (it is always a bet on whether the Chinese person will understand your Chinese the first or the 8th time you say the same thing!) in the rain and eventually made it back to Marui's just in time for hot pot - delicious! We also tried all sorts of snake wine concoctions and some other things that I think it is best I know not what they are. I do know that I was very merry.

My case study in China nearly did not go ahead at all except for the help of Marui. The day before I arrived in Xi'an my case study contact at Xi'an University announced that she and the professor I needed to interview were off on a 10 day conference. They were my only link with my case study and I thought I would not be able to go ahead with my research. However, after explaining my crisis to Marui, she managed to find a couple of Chinese English students (through a friend of a friend who's husband knew an English teacher!) who could help me translate my interviews. But they only had tomorrow free and the town where I was to meet them (and where my case studies were based) was a 5 hour bus ride away. So off I went at the crack of dawn to Yan'an. After a very successful and very fun day in Yan'an, I returned the next day to Xi'an in the hope of finding a professor at Xi'an university to interview who might know something about my case study. I was planning just to turn up by myself and hope someone spoke some English, but Marui came to my rescue once again and after us both getting our hair cut (important things first!) we went off to the university where after much questioning we eventually managed to find a professor who had also worked on the project. He gave me a really informative interview, without which my case study would have been rather weak. All translated by Marui of course. I was incredibly lucky to meet her!

Xi'an city walls

The neighbouring buildings

The terracotta army

Big Goose Pagoda

Marui in front of one of the bronze statues intended to show the tough nature of the Xi'an (Northern) people

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