Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pay per view, or Terracotta Museum

Due to silly error by my part, or maybe by some peculiar fate, 90% of my pictures taken from the last couple of days, including the terracotta warriors museum, were deleted. still Though, through hard work and patience, I have recovered a few of them through various softwares for data recovery. Unfortunately, many of the good pictures I've intended on showing here today wander somewhere above us in the deleted files Heaven. Well, let's start the show then, shall we? But first, just to prepare you properly for this journey, I would like you to view the HOUND OF HELL!!!

OK, now you're good to go.

Me and Tim woke up the next morning, had a bit of breakfast, and met the new guys... well, new girls. These girls were so fresh in the whole business of Backpacking I could smell it a mile away, but I guess they were "lucky" to have me and Tim as a soft start...

After a bit of questioning, I discovered that the Girls, Ana and Lidi, were Slovenian, quite a rarity in the whole traveling business, and they were on a Chinese language learning mission. They gladly joined our forces in the Tour-de-Terracotta we had set for the day, and soon we were on our way.

After an hour or so, getting out of the city into the gloomy smoggy unknown of Xian area, we were dropped off the entrance to the excavation site that turned into a museum. Of course, we had to pay... 90 Yuan on the spot just to get a glimpse of the unearthed ruins of the great first emperor of China proper. Of course, I hate paying, especially to museums, but I guess if I'm in China already....

We paid the ransom money, and began the long march towards the main area, where the Museum is divided into separate buildings, 3 of them were built around the dig sights that were made since 1970-something.
We chose the right building at random to be our first checkpoint, and it turned out to be a sort of an art collection of the various finds there were at the dig sights. Naturally, it was boring like hell and interesting as watching iron rusts, Yet many people were drawing out their flashing cameras and pointing them wherever they only could, mainly straight into my retinas. So I joined them.


After we finished this small challenge, we pondered about walking into the museum section about the museum itself, which is a paradox by itself... and then we just thought better of it and fled the premises.

On to the next building, we entered a huge warehouse of the the second dig sight. It was huge, and contained a lot of... well... Absolutely nothing! Maybe a piece of shattered warrior here, a horses ass there, but other than that, it was big and empty.


The few artifacts that they have recovered from the dig sight were perhaps the ones that were displayed on the corner of the warehouse. Not really exciting, but interesting, one may say.


I, on the other hand, found another thing that was far more interesting...

We moved on to the next building, dig sight number 3. It was much smaller, but it actually contained a lot of warriors, some headless, and artifacts. Also inside the building was a small shop that offered a spooky 3d rendering of your face onto a Terracotta warriors body.

Our little tour ended inside the crown jewel of the whole museum, pit number 1 - A huge warehouse filled up with rows upon rows of clay warriors, horses and the like. all standing at guard, waiting for their masters call. All the pictures I took were destroyed, but the video survived the photo-caust.

You'll have to excuse the video... it is directed to Raquel, so there's a lot of mushy stuff... :)

oh, and don't believe me when I say 6000 warriors... there were barely 600. most of the holes are empty.

After a bit of rest, we headed back to the city, and roamed around for a bit, till evening came and we could watch the lights illuminating the bell tower and its counterparts of the center of town.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The show must go on

I've been thinking of a lot of them opening lines as an explanation for my seemingly overdue absence. I know most of you were shivering in your beds from the blog rehab I have made you go through, but I really doubt that any real harm was done. For my explanation, let's just say that I'm not a real writer. A REAL writer will write day or night, through the cold winter and the hot summer... Sure, he may have here and there the infamous “Writers block”, though such blockage is not my case. You see… I was happy. When I'm happy, I don't feel like writing. Simple as that. I've felt much more the desire to chew my own teeth than to sit down and babble about what I usually babble.
But now I'm, once again, brooding. Raquel has left by now, that you all know, and I was left alone to wander this savage land of chinese. All in all, There is a Ton of information in my feeble mind just waiting to pop out right now, and I don’t know if I'll be able to salvage it all into a form of writing.

Let's start with a quick summary – we were in Shanghai, sad and beaten after failing to secure a job that would have granted us with a visa. Our last day was comprised of buying tickets to Beijing (after we found out there were none to Xian, well except for "standing tickets"), and most of our time was consumed by actually finding the tickets office. I think we spent some 2 or 3 hours under the scorching sun, walking from one counter to the other, from one giant building to the next.

To Shanghai "Bail-way"
Only today! Special "Wickets"!
Anyway, we left Shanghai, and, thankfully, the annoying Wenona (long story). The train to Beijing was a fast one, and we soon emerged in the big city. Really, Really, BIG city.
We found out quickly enough that the Subway station near the railway station is closed, probably due to the fact that it's still being built as we speak. Everything is and looks as though it was built or in the process of being built for the sole purpose of the grandeur of the coming Olympics spectacle. But never mind that. The next 5 days or so we spent by walking to and fro the main city area... you can't even try to escape it, since the sheer size of it doesn't let you. The only “outside” area we've been to was the “Great wall”, which was actually worth it, though throughout the 4 hours hike I kept on wondering why I keep on paying for stuff I end up suffering at? But luckily, We had brought my 7eleven umbrella I bought on the first day in China, and though it looked silly, it helped a lot..

would you like starfish with that?
Believe it or not, the scorpions are still alive when put on the stake
Forbidden city. We didn't enter the city itself... it costs money, you see...

Me naked on the wall

Me Wishing I'd be dead, on the wall

At a night club area

Just dancing with my homeys.......

We Were ambushed by hundreds of kids with a fetish for foreigners. we just stood for 10 minutes taking pictures with them.

We knew the day of reckoning was coming, and the tears were welling up as we got closer to that moment. To tell you the truth, I didn't realise how much I'm going to miss her.. And I'm not even talking about the sex... just seeing her face on skype video made her look so distant.. too distant from my grasp. When will I see her again, in person... I do not know. Booking a ticket to Xian was the only imaginable thing I could have done. I didn't have any idea where to continue, nor the will to actually move myself to do something, so Xian became the default, since Raquel and I were suppose to go there together. I left the next day, and got to Xian today at 8:00 (now it's actually yesterday (and now the day before yesterday)).

Even before I was out of the train station, I had managed to get ridiculed by the ticket officer for my bountiful chest hair.

Everybody in the town were waiting for me

Brushing that aside, I phoned the lady of the hostel I was planning to stay at to get some directions, which turned out to be relatively easy. I Quickly hopped on the bus, next to the grim gray walls, where it took me far away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city. May, the hostel owner and a very nice English speaking girl, picked me up at the bus station, and I followed her to the hostel, next to… well, actually, it was next to nowhere, on the corner of a corner of a quiet dusty side street.. She took me to my dorm room, where a single guy was trying his best to sleep (till I came). I settled down, spoke a bit with the guy, Tim by the name, had some lovely breakfast offered by the hostess and her cute great grandmother for a cheap price, and soon I was on my way to explore the famed antiquity of Xian.

The hostel. Guess which one of them is it...

It was fairly easy and cheap (one yuan) getting to the center of town, even from where I was staying. Soon enough I was gazing at the Bell tower, a relatively meek and undoubtedly reconstructed piece of architecture, especially when you got the huge Shopping mall towering above it. I didn't even bothered getting inside the tower itself, since the price was fairly high and not worth it.

The bell tower, and the mall tower.

I moved on, walking through the bustling streets with the sun in my back boiling everything to unbearable temperatures. As I was walking through a relatively calm street, watching various printing and symbols making shops (such as M for McDonald's), I stumbled upon the cutest sight I've seen in a while – 4 puppies chasing and playing with each other on the other side of a glassed door of a small pet shop. I, of course, entered and joined the festivities. Of course it was weird for the chinese people who were inside to see this strange foreigner coming out of nowhere and chasing after little puppies, but they didn't really mind, so I took the liberty of being at liberty.
I also saw one of the most insanely gorgeously stunning cat I've seen in my life, with a smooth grey white and black fur, and so cuddly you can eat him.

But never mind that. After a bit more of walking, I entered a peaceful market, where the vendors don’t actually give a rats ass whether you buy their crap or not, since they were too busy playing cards and enjoying the quiet day.

A Good luck cricket

I ended up on the southern gate wall. I must say, that the walls around the inner city are really well preserved, but unfortunately, someone decided, much like in Jerusalem, that all the other buildings should be built by the same stone and the same color as the ancient wall itself, which makes a nice shopping mall looking like nothing short of a state prison.

I came back to the hostel in the late afternoon, to be welcomed by the hostess and her family, And Tim. We ate dinner together, watched a movie, and went to bed while talking about different stuff. One of them was the plan to go together the next day to see the (in)famous Terra-Cotta warriors museum. Yeah, I know it sounds so exciting one could burp, but I promised Raquel I’ll see it and do a little representation, so the next post would be a museum walk and my annoying remarks :)

Kids playing in the sand next to a soon to be opened internet room

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


When you fail to achieve something at a certain point in your life, it feels like crap. It's just like that. You need to feel like crap, so that you can maybe remember it later on in your life, when your'e already dwelling deeply in on other matters and other businesses, and have a laugh about it. Unfortunately, I'm at the Crap feeling situation right now.

I've tried my best, and it wasn't enough. I knew that, of course, But I also knew that, given the chance, I can improve myself as an English teacher, develop my representation skills and teaching abilities. I already have had the English Language bagged and tagged, and all I had to do was to learn how to transfer it to others. No, as a matter of fact, All I had to do is find someone who is willing to give me a chance to become a teacher.

But there was no one out there. Sure, Raquel and I moved from one interview to the other, from one phone-call to the other, but it all ended up with the same negative results; A big NO.

We thought of entirely giving up, after being thrown off the jin-mao tower, where "Wall Street" English institution resides. But a day later, I got a surprise call from one English school I almost forgot about. They wanted me and Raquel to come that same day for an interview and a demo class. I splurted something that sounded like a consent and hung up the phone. What I couldn't say on the phone was that Me and Raquel were confined to our bed due to a stomach virus... The only place we've had enough strength to go beside our own bed were to the bathrooms. So after some deliberation with my woman, I called them again and postponed my upcoming failure to the next day (wednesday, if anybody has lost track of time).

The Next day arrived, and I was feeling a bit better, though Raquel was feeling worse. It ended up by me going alone to the scary interview, though the interview wasn't the scary and embarassing part - the Demo class was. They gave me 30 minutes to prepare for a 20 minutes demonstration of how I teach. And I showed them how I teach. It ended up with "Don't call us...", and me feeling like crap - at that moment, the "Failure" era, mine at least, has reached its peak.
It meant a lot of things, this one and only interview - It meant that we've sacrificed much of our time in China in favor of getting a job, which we didn't. It also means that we were unable to secure a working visa, so Raquel will be going back to London on the 23rd - a week from now.
So now we will head for Beijing, to spend our last remaining days together. What will happen later is still, well, unknown.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Battle at Shanghai

"It would be so easy to find a job in here!.. All you have to do is speak English and the companies will kidnap you!.. It was be a walk in the park for you!


not only it's nearly impossible, I've been also walking not only through all the parks, but all over Damn Shanghai, from one office space to another, directly going to those English schools just to get an interview!

Ok. I'll start from the top.

It's been two weeks now, though it felt like a month. For some reason I remember the first days quit clearly; me and Raquel were casually walking along the touristic streets, enjoying the lively gigantic city view. We were young and carefree.
It seems so long ago.
Then, an Idea was born.
You see, As the days wore on, Raquel and I grew more cautious of the time we've got left together. Raquel's flight back to London is on the 25th, and we did everything we could to try to change it, delay it, refund it, exchange it, eat it and so on. Alas, Our efforts were in vein, and that dreadful deadline was fast on our trail, and it seemed that nothing could stop our upcoming separation.
So, it seemed that desperate times call for desperate measures. That was when the idea of settling down in Shanghai came to be. That decision meant many things, such as sacrificing many good traveling days for the benefit of job searching without any success guarantees. But after asking around for a bit, we were easily reassured that finding a job as an English teacher (not many other options for people who don't speak Chinese) is easy. All you need to do is speak English, and you're in.
I regret to inform anyone with that thought, that its total bull-shit. Really, crap, false, lie and so on. Unfortunately me and Raquel learned the slow, hard way what do you have to Be in order to get a job as a English teacher, whether its for kindergarten kids, or for business college students.

We began the normal logical way - searching through the internet for various Schools and E-mail addresses to send our CV's. Every day we found new internet sites, new job offers, and our resumes were sent to practically all the known English schools.
But nothing happened.
According to my estimates, we sent our resumes to at least to 15 different locations, but no replies were ever made.
Needless to say, we grew a bit restless, so we hopped to the next level of contact - Phones. I got a hold of a Chinese sim-card, and we began a verbal harassing to all those companies. That got us a little progress, since my spoken English is pretty bloody awesome sometime, but we hit a new wall - the "NATIVE" English speaker prerequisite. doesn't matter how well I speak the language - If I wasn't born in a "Native" English speaking country, I can just forget about the whole thing.
And, of course, our last concern - Experience.
Both Raquel and I aren't good at lying, nor we are willing to lie, so every time we were asked about our experience, we replied meekly that we have practically none. I sat in front of I don't know how many Chinese women who, without saying, claimed that they have nothing to offer me due to my lack of experience and my incorrect location of birth. Sorry mom.
So now, we are stuck. I have an interview on tuesday, the one and only I managed to squeeze, even though they have seen my resume. But that's about it.
It seems getting a job here wasn't meant for us. It means also that staying together would be our new problem, pretty damn soon.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hacking into the blog, again

This happens again! This time, a picture of the young Padawan of our traveling hero. This is a blue screen waiting for pictures to arrive. G-bar - keep them coming!

Just pictures

Hey all. Just some Random Pics... ENJOY!!!!!!!!

Guilin, with the Pagodas

Ice Skating

Ice Skating in Shanghai, fency shmency place

Shaving once in a While...

No spitting in the Metro, Shanghai

Raquel is trying to eat with the chopsticks

Naked and (NOT) sexy ontop of the Moon hill, Yangshuo

Trying to sleep on the train to Shanghai

River view of Shanghai... Gorgeous, ain't it?

Same same

Me and Shmoo looking at the Terraces

Trying to cool off during our bike ride in Yangshuo

There's something crawling on me Raquel!!!


Enjoying the unbearable heat in Sanya, Heinan russian Island

Raquel doing the same

Artistic view of the horrible musicians and the water caligraphist

Raquel and I