Day 64 : Harry Pottery

19 September 2010

Location : Xian

Some people are scared of the dark, others of spiders. Now take Qin Shi Huang (the first emperor of the unified China in 221 bc). The great man was terrified of the vanquished spirits awaiting him in the afterlife, terrified to such a degree that his panic lead to the construction of one of the most insane spectacles in the world. To protect him from the nasties, he instructed a complete life size army to be built next to his tomb to look over him in death. Along with his tomb, it took 700,000 workers 38 years to complete. Certainly put’s the moaning about the millennium dome into context.  Some fast facts for you : the 3 pits that have been found include 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses.  All life size. All different. Crazy stuff indeed.

It is a difficult thing to comprehend. We were all expecting to be blown away but it is a little too much to digest. Show me the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London and you will get a resounding “that is magnificent”. Confuse the senses with 8,000 life size toy soldiers that were buried never to be seen again, and you get a stranger reaction. One of how and why?

In other news : 4 western boys driving a fire engine through China is constantly greeted with shock and excitement. The laughter, waving and thumbs up follows us everywhere. The looks of bemusement on people’s faces is increased as every time we stop we do press ups. “International Press Up Club” was introduced to compliment “Extreme Desert Ball” at break time to curb any waist line issues. The burn, the burn …

Dish of the day : our best feed by a long stretch was in a street side cafe. Awesome Chinese BBQ with some incredible seasoned bread. The biggest shame was that the penis of a goat was sold out. We were obviously devastated!

Newbies : Jim and Paul are now a week into their stage. As per normal Jim is there to add punch to the chat whilst Paul’s forest animal metaphors maintains the surreal nature of this expectation.

Old Hands : Ross and I have been on the road for what seems like an eternity. The realisation that Ross’s part of this tale is over in just 15 days is weighing on his hairy shoulders. Is the real world ready for the new Ross ?


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