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I don't think I

Me and the Terracotta Warriors
I don't think I could ever forget how excited I was to see the Terracotta Warriors. I looked forward to the trip for weeks, getting Bao Ying to help me get the train ticket (it was a hard seat, more than 24 hours, but I can't remember how long it took anymore), pushing the school for the promised time off (I finally pointed out to Lily that none of the promised "trips around China" had ever taken place, and they agreed to let me take a few extra days to go), and told all of my students about it. I even started singing a little song about it. Do you remember that song by Presidents of the United States of America, I think? The song about peaches? Yeah, that one. Except I did it as "Going to Xi'an, gonna see a lot of statues. Going to Xi'an, gonna see a lot of statues. Millions of statues, statues for me. Millions of statues, statues to see."
Yeah, I'm weird.
By the time I went, Paul had already gone back to New Zealand. He ended up really regretting not coming with me, and I think he would have had a good time.
Enough about that, though. The actual seeing of the statues... I was in awe. I've studied them in history classes, they came up in my Chinese History quite often, but to actually see them... It's a very awe inspiring sight. They're divided up into several different warehouses. each one extremely large. The one that we most see in pictures is the one where all the statues are lined up, still in their trenches. Frankly, no photo does it justice. Heck, the whole experience really doesn't do it justice. It's incredibly overcrowded (how could it not be?), but so... oh my. I can still close my eyes and see it, smell the dirt in the air, and remember what it was like to actually be so close to these parts of history. I don't think there are words to describe it.
In the last warehouse I went to, they had several of the more famous statues in individual glass cases, so you could get a lot closer to them. It was so strange, to see these proud looking Chinese warriors, all with their individual faces and poses, up close like that. I wandered around them, wishing I could touch and totally understanding why I couldn't. But I so wanted to. Can you imagine, touching that bit of history? So much skill and effort went into creating these statues, so they could be left under the group for centuries, with no one to appreciate them. And there's no way the people who built them didn't know they were going to be underground, and they put that much effort into them....
Anyway, that last warehouse had a place where you could get a picture of yourself with the statues. I had a "proffesional" one taken, which comes with this purty certificate that says I was there, and this one was taken by the photographer's assistant with my camera. They both turned out. I love how the blue in my shirt matches the blue on the horses.
I have to say that going to Xi'an was one of my favorite experiences in China, and the one I look back on the most fondly. I got to explore this amazing city, meet a lot of interesting people, and generally do whatever I wanted for several days at a time. It was an outstanding experience, and one I'd love to do again. I remember at one point thinking "But, then, if I come back with a friend, I'll be all blase about this stuff. You know, been there done that." But in retrospect, I don't think I could be that way about Xi'an. It's just such am amazing place, with so much to do. I'd love to live there, should I ever return to China.


In completely unrelated news, my cat is home.

I hadn't mentioned that Little Demon Spawn went missing, mostly in an effort to keep myself in denial. Basically, he was staying with my friend Margery while I was away in Halifax, and about 2 days before he was to come home, he disappeared. Since he's well known to be afraid of the sky, afraid of cars, and basically afraid of outside, neither Margery nor I thought he had gone out. Her house is about... oh... 4 times the size of my apartment, which is a lot of space for the little guy to disappear into, especially since he likes to hide.

Eventually, though, we had to accept the idea that he was out. She went looking for him, went door to door to the neighbours, called the vets, and was making posters and ads for the paper when she was told by a neighbour that they had caught sight of a black cat hiding under their deck, but he ran away. That was yesterday, and she didn't want to get my hopes up.

Well, this morning, all pitiful and probably quite hungry, he showed up at her place again. She called me in the wee hours this morning while I was at work, and I couldn't even begin to contain my happiness. My cat, my little devil in a cat suit, is home. She brought him back up to Edmonton this morning, and he is now curled up near my feet, not going anywhere. He's a bit thinner, and is meowing more than usual, but he's safe. He even bit me in that loving way he does. I'm so much happier.

I know I meant to write about something else today, but frankly, my cat's home, and it kinda drove all other thoughts out of my mind. It's my weekend (yay two days off!), so I'm going to catch up on my sleep.