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postcards

1 - Xi'an

I know that these emails from friends in far away exotic locations tend to be long and rather tiresome to read, especially when stuck in England, so i shall try and keep them short and keep you entertained with my terrible spelling!

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Right so here I am, China, Shaanxi Province, Xi'an at present having briefly visited Beijing. All I've really done so far is a tonne of walking - turns out that china is /much/ bigger than I had even dreamt of (and you thought it was a long way down the road to the chemist...). However I have been experiencing and enjoying the ludicrously cheep public transport in rickety busses packed to the proverbial gunnels!

I haven't been visiting many famous sites yet (though I did Tiananmen on my first night - stunning with a sky full of kites - and the Terracotta Warriors today - expensive but worth it), I've been more enjoying just being here in this world that is quite different from anything I'm used to. Saying that I feel very comfortable here (finally I'm not short anymore) and have not had a massive culture shock thanks to my 'nickbailey chinese' existence I have back home. However this is much much better than I can achieve and is so vibrant and exciting.

I think the one thing that has made the biggest impression on me is the shear size of population everywhere. Traveling by train from Beijing to Xi'an there were two or three people in pretty much every field along the way. Shops are manned by at least three people and one 'supermarket' (about the size of a really small Somerfield) had at least 14 attendants! Quite phenomenal.

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I will stop boring you there, hope you are all well,
Nick

ps. keep an eye on my website for shorter more frequent updates.