There Has a Giant Buddha?

the big the flesh...sort of...

look how tiny all the people are!

now you know I was really there (can you tell I was really there?)

As I said before, the line to see this guy was insane and the actual enjoyment/transcendence derived from being finally in his presence didn’t quite measure up. After I took in all of his glory I made my way out of the park (I’d thought to myself going in, “Oh, I’ll just pass back through all of these little temples and whatnots on my way out”). Little did I know I’d have barely the energy to hold myself up afterwards. I downed a bottle of iced tea and made my way towards the exit, defying hassling taxi drivers who insisted they should drive me back to Chengdu and that really they offered a reasonable price for the service (not). I asked a woman where the bus stop was and after she told me (I understood her pointing) I made my way valiantly and independently back to where I’d been dropped off earlier that morning. I couldn’t figure out if I’d purchased my return trip ticket, so luckily two girls who spoke English helped me figure out where I was going and what I needed to do. We took the bus back to the bus depot and let me tell you – I have never been on so packed a vehicle. I was literally squashed up against some stranger half the ride. Fun! They said it was a happy coincidence (I forget the exact words by now) that we ran into each other – for me it damn sure was, otherwise I’d have had no idea what to do, for them I guess it was because I’m all hot and stuff. From the depot they helped me get myself back to Chengdu without going insane or failing at anything, so thanks (um, Melissa?) and (I think Cindy?)!

me and my friends for the afternoon!


Bananas in Pajamas

In the courtyard of the Leshan giant Buddha park.


I love the hat...

and ready for its close up...

The Terracotta Warriors

The Terracotta Warriors museum was…boring. If I want to see a giant pit in the ground I’ll go visit the Grand Canyon again – although there aren’t any broken ancient warriors there, natch. I’m sure history buffs might find the whole thing enchanting to some degree, but I started off the tour in a bad mood because our first stop had been half an hour in a souvenir shop [blergh]. We got to watch people create miniature warriors and then have other people try to sell them to us in the next room, along with rugs, fans, keychains, et. al.

This one was wearing a diaper.

This area in particular looked like a gravesite.

Huh. I dunno.

This one’s obviously trying to do the Single Ladies’ dance.

And what good would the damn soldiers be if they didn’t earn their right to not be bulldozed by the government by selling ugly contemporary casualwear?

Big Goose Pagoda, Xian

Dayanta is an old temple in Xi’an that I went to…two weeks ago now! Ah, crazy. It was kind of crap like all China temples in big cities, devoid of anything truly sacred and full of souvenirs. But I found a cool little street to the front and left of it where there were a bunch of cheap, tasty little restaurants (bottom picture).

It was interesting to see this photograph of the temple 100 years ago…interesting, but more so shocking. I love the horse-drawn carriage at the foreground.

Sweet Eats on Muslim Street, Xi’an

This was some sort of gummy rice cake on two sticks, smeared with flavored jelly (mine was watermelon!) and dipped in seeds and sugar. Someone, I forget who, mentioned that this dessert is also common in Morocco.