Well I’m here in Xi’an, and I’ve seen the terracotta warriors! Score.
Getting from the drop point of the airport shuttle to the hostel was certainly an interesting experience. I was going to try flagging down a taxi but it wasn’t entirely clear how to tell if they were free or not. I’ve since worked it out.
A guy that was on the bus with me offered to help, which demonstrates the generally friendly attitude to tourists I’ve experienced in China so far. Fortunately a very helpful woman at the airport information desk had sold me a map of the town and written down the name of my hostel on three occations, so I was set.
As I was trying to work out the taxis a motorbike rickshaw thing pulled up behind me (yes on the pavement) and got my attention. After haggling him fown from 60 to 40 (go me) we were off for one of the most hair raising journeys of my life.
Firstly you have to understand that the roads in China don’t seem to have any rules that I can make out, more of a philosophy – fortune favours the bold.
So there we are rattling around at speed, on pavements off, cutting up taxis buses, anything, running red lights etc etc. Initially I was trying to get a few pictures to record the feeling, I quickly changed my mind as holding my camera gave me one less hand to hold on with. Then things got interesting, the guy wasn’t sure where the place was so every now and then he would pull over and ask for directions. Then usually have to turn round and go the other way. He did this regardless of the one-way nature of the road we were on. Let me tell you this, I never want to be on a four lane one way street filled with headlights coming at me again. But seeing as I arrived in one piece with only minor mental trauma it’s probably to be counted as ‘part of the experience’ 🙂