Day By Day

Sunday, June 14, 2009

China Diary -- Part 11 Street Scenes

Xi'an street scenes.

On our way to the next "shopping opportunity" [I forgot to mention in the last post that the interior of the South Gate of the Xi'an city wall was a large, multi-storey gift shop] I took several shots of street life.

This, we were told, is a free performance of some scenes from Chinese opera staged in a park for the benefit of senior citizens. In China the official retirement age for men is 60; for women it is 55. After that, people (subject to certain restrictions) are eligible for a small government pension. That means that there are a lot of elderly people with a lot of time on their hands. Since they have very little money, much of that time is spent in public parks and a little free entertainment is always welcome.

Another feature of life outside Beijing is the ubiquity of bicycles and mopeds. Autos may rule the streets of the capital, but in most other cities a lot of people use cycles as basic transport, both for themselves and for merchandise.

We finally reached our destination -- a ceramics factory/workshop that specialized in producing replicas of Xi'an's famous terracotta warriors.

Lots of replica warriors!

Of course that is not all they produce. Lots of other stuff was on display in the large gift shop attached to the factory where we spent a considerable amount of time.