Trip Start Jun 12, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  , Inner Mongolia,
Sunday, July 4, 2010

Xilinhot... breakfast.  Always on the look out for something new I spotted the 拉面 sign... hand-made noodles.  And halal food to boot...  I felt silly asking for beer... but beer they had.

In Australia when they have hand-made noodles they make a big deal about it and some restaurants make a floor-show out of it - the chef comes out the front, makes the noodles then gets a round of applause.  Here you have to sneak into the kitchen if you want to watch...

For those that don't know how it's done, they roll out some dough, then stetch it out - that's one noodle... then they double it up and stretch it again - two noodles, then by continuing to double up the noodles and stretching them again, they can end up with 1024 noodles in no time... I've seen a demonstration in Taiwan where they end up taking one of the noodles and threading it through a needle.

For those that are still confused... as they make it, it is of course just one very long and thin noodle, it's only at they end when they cut off the ends that they become individual noodles.

In my search for different looking reading glasses I found one optician where they said they'd make them from scratch so I could pick out any frame.  It took a couple of hours all up but that included the eye-test.  During the test the optician picked up on my Cantonese accent and it turned out she too speaks Cantonese.  Finally someone's recommended the real place to go for beer.  Oh, it costs about the same for reading glass from a prescription in China as you might pay in some opticians in Australia for an off the shelf pair.

Rather cool.  We came across this instrument in a clothes shop.  The shop-keeper would play it for something to do...


As usual, we thought we'd seen most of the centre of the city, but as it turned out we hadn't seen nothing yet...  Just a few blocks further on from where we'd been the day before was a huge square. Superb atmostphere... people wandering around, skaters... 

In fact there seems to be a new craze in China... these funny skates that you just stand on with your normal street shoes.  I couldn't work out whether it's particularly easy or difficult.  You can't lift your feet off the ground as they're not attached to the skates, so you move forward with a strange back and forth movement with the feet...

or possibly mainly the back foot.  Similar to a skate board I suppose... if you cut the skate board in half.


This seems to be about the only photo we have with the three of us in China... so even though it's rather lame, I'll post it up as proof that we really were there together.

There was some sort of concert on in the square but we were a bit early so we went back down to the street for some food.  It was apparently one of the main drinking areas.  As in the whole of China it would seem, grilled meat skewers and beer are king. 

We ordered our skewers - beef, calamari, chicken giblets, chicken skin... and got stuck into the beers.  Well, Nora had her bacardi with her so that took care of her and Sally.

We ended up with a good view of the crackers... well, I think it was a good view... crackers normally do... and did... bore me.

I nipped upstairs to where they were grilling the food.  All very dark. 

A good view of the people downstairs though.  Sally's over there somewhere on the right...  Nora's upstairs with me, in the toilet.  Sally's probably contemplating the chances that the toilet will be anywhere near normal.

As you can see... it wasn't.  No lock on the door either which won't make them any happier.  Yeah, this is it... boys' and girls'...

Nora made some comment that you had to take extra paper to wipe your legs afterwards from the splashing...   

What's so special about this neon sign?  It's in the curly traditional Mongolian script!  How cool's that!!

And the concert?  Well, once Nora and Sally sit down with food and drink. it can be a bit difficult to get them moving again. 

By the time we were thinking of heading back out... the people on the next table, who'd actually performed at it, told us that the concert was already over.  Come again tomorrow night.   
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spesbona on

I took a photo in a Chinese loo - painted in red on the wall in Chinese and Emglish it said "No S*itting..!" Perhaps they meant "No Sitting?"

spesbona on

Silly me.....of course they meant "No Spitting..!"

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