First impressions of Xi’an, China

Hi all!

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I’ve been pretty busy getting early start for my final year in school recently but I’ve managed to go on a short trip to Xi’an just last week. So here’s my first impression of Xi’an!

Note: The use of the word Chinese in the following article refers to the people of China. 

Disclaimer: These points do not represent the whole of China (which is way too big!) nor are they meant to offend anyone. It is simply and solely based on my experience over there. 


1. Their toilets stink. Especially those at the underground roundabout walkway at the bell and drum tower. As long as you’re marginally approaching the toilet sector in the roundabout, the area will stink of pee and sometimes shit. It’s not like there are no cleaners but somehow their toilets still stink. The stench also clings to your shirt for quite sometime. So don’t be surprise if you find yourself emitting eau de toilette. Even their squatting toilets often have residual shit leftover from the previous occupants. You’ll also find that most of the lock on their toilet doors are spoilt so the Chinese would just pee without closing the doors. Yes, even the adults do so.

2. Spitting. A notoriously well-known trait amongst the Chinese. Surprisingly, I didn’t see many spitting on the grounds in the city area. Instead, I’ve notice quite a number of people going to the dustbins or the toilets to spit. Spitting is a cultural habit highly ingrained in the Chinese, which I don’t see going away anytime soon. But, if they would spit in spit-appropriate areas to keep the place spit free, then hey! It’s a step in the right direction. Well done, people of Xi’an!

3. Chinese are just plain rude. In particular, Chinese tourists. Plus it was the school holiday season when I visited Xi’an. Not a good time with the wave of Chinese tourists invading the tourist spots and city area. They shove, they push, they’ll do almost anything just to get the out of anywhere first or to get a good shot of the place/object of interest. They simply cannot understand the idea of patience and queuing. From immigration to train stations to tourist spots, you just can’t escape this ugly character of theirs.

4. I hated the food in Xi’an and most likely will hold the same opinion for food in other parts of China (based on the experiences of my friends over there). It’s overtly oily (perhaps due to their preference for chilli oil over chilli flakes) but even so, their normal food was still quite oily as well. Another contention I had was how salty their food is. Is salt in Xi’an cheap or is it so cheap it’s literally free?!?! All their food was literally so salty. The only food I had that was appropriately salted was dumplings. There was once I had a simple egg fried rice in a restaurant. The first mouthful and I was literally crunching into salt granules. So I thought maybe they didn’t stir the rice well. So I gave it a second go. It yielded the same salty crunchiness. Enough was enough.

5. Shopping in Xi’an malls tend to feel like I’m in the wet market in Singapore. Probably worse.  Sellers are constantly shouting over each other to attract customers. It’s not in all malls or shops. But it occurs. It’s like a pissing contest to see who has the loudest voice. Personally, I wouldn’t enjoy shopping under this conditions. It’s just plain irritating and noise polluting.

6. That said, don’t be put off by a trip to China. The (natural) scenery is beautiful and it reminds me of all the historical dramas. Just close an eye to their actions and keep calm. Not all Chinese are horrible but unfortunately a majority have those few (ugly) traits which seems to have been programmed into them. All will be well (hopefully)… In any case, just count down the days you can leave the place, lol.

Till the next post, bye!

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