Big Kind Bears

Trip Start Oct 27, 2008
Trip End Oct 27, 2009

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Flag of China  , Shaanxi,
Saturday, November 8, 2008

Giles:  Big Kind Bears - that's what the literal translation in Chinese is for Giant Panda. And myself and Sam got up close and personal for a reasonable fee of about 15 quid (travel to and from, entrance to the place, English speaking guide, and lunch at an odd village).  After a while of staring at an empty playground and darkened out rooms, two baby (six month and twelve month old) pandas came out to play.  As soon as they saw we had bamboo they decided to come up to the bars and say hello, snatch the bamboo from our hands and sit back in such a funny position and chew away - such noisy eaters (noisier than Roofie washing himself!!).  After a while of feeding them, stroking them, and just realising what a lazy lifestyle they have, we moved on to other areas of the sanctuary where other animals existed (not lived, existed, the conditions were appauling in this area) - golden monkeys (got a good picture for you Mr Bending), red pandas, birds of numerous varieties, black bears, and a leopard.  All in concrete cells with bars, nothing else.  Apparently it's only temporary, but how temporary the guide couldn't understand or translate...

That aside, the pandas were obviously the star attraction and I never thought I'd get so up close and personal with them - the pictures are nothing short of brilliant and funny.  Only a few days left here in Xi'an now, must do some more bargaining at the Muslim markets before we go - just today I knocked the price of a genuine (ahem) Hilfiger jumper from 875 down to 170, and Sam got a deal and a half with her Abercrombie hoodie.  Quite a buzz the haggling part!!  The only downside is the amount of cripples and homeless begging all the time, they won't leave me alone and Sam gets annoyed when I tell them to go away, and there's no chance of trying to blend in so they avoid us...

Sam:  Aw the pandas so so cute, but also knew what they wanted- bamboo. I didnt know that they only have pandas in china, because they only eat bamboo. Like Giles said the living conditions of the other animals in the sanctuary was quite sad, i don't believe it was temporary- not with the money they make from western tourists going to the sanctuary.We still had a lovely day though. It was a nice change from temples! Love the hostel we're in, they are all so friendly and helpful. Especially love the terrecota warrior themed bar! There are alot of beggars which strangely seem attracted towards giles (i find his reaction to them highly amusing!) Im suffering western guilt, especially today when a very young girl approached us begging while we were having a starbucks. Enjoyed lunch in the muslim market for 30p and really enjoying my new abercrombie jumper for 110Y bargained down from 400Y. They admittedly are taking the piss out of a western couple with some of their asking prices. There reaction to bargaining is hilarious "i give you good price'' " i give you good price" they love saying that armed with their calculator! You'll all be pleased to hear Giles is finally getting over his cold, it was touch and touch for a while...

Much love, Gam and Siles xxx
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mumdadjosh on

We think the beggars are being drawn to you Giles because of your new designer stubble 'vagrant' look! xx

mumdadjosh on

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww..... Not as cute as bagpuss or roofie I bet?!

So lovely talking to you earlier - we miss our little dancing queen and her fatty fatty toad boy xxx

mumdadjosh on

Mum was wondering if your 30p lunch at the muslim market is connected with your current tummy troubles? xxx

gamandsiles on

Re: Diarrhoea
No where near as cute as Bagpuss! Im convinced that my 30p lunch is connected to my tummy troubles, won't be doing that again!! xxxx Lovely talking to you all too x

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