Beijing – Xi’an

“Is-a 300 RMB”
-“No, 100.”
-“300 RMB!”
-“No, 100. I know the price.”
-“OK — 100 and-a 50”
-“No, 100.”
-“No, 100 and-a 50. This a special taxi.”
-“No, 100.”
-“100 and-a 50!”
-“Bu xie da fao xi jie $%@ !!”

-“Tian’anmen, here, Mei Shi Jie [pointing at map].”
-“Yes, here.
-“Ja, wat jij wil.”
-“Jongen, ik vind het allang prima, doe maar wat jij wil.”

Beijing taxi drivers seem to be unsure if pointing at the map really means yes, I want to go there. They also don’t seem to understand that rambling on in Chinese doesn’t help since I have absolutely no idea what they’re on about. They also don’t seem to know that the sounding the horn is not an adequate substitute for hitting the brakes.

We were supposed to take the train to Xi’an this evening (soft sleeper – four beds per compartment), but it was fully booked for the next week (!) so we had to fly there this morning. We escaped the hammering heat of Beijing (35C during the day, 25C at night with suffocating humidity) — Xi’an was experiencing a torrential downpour. The temperature was an agreeable 26C, so we didn’t really mind the rain. Also, people are really nice. We got someone from Singapore to help us buy traintickets. 16 hours to Chengdu for Y113 (E12,50)!

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