Day By Day

Monday, June 20, 2011

Return to China -- Part 16, Shopping in the Muslim Quarter

Xi'an, the old western capital, has a substantial Muslim population and is home to the Great Mosque. We visited it briefly on our abbreviated tour and there wasn't much time for photography. The rush didn't bother me -- I had been there before and had taken plenty of pictures [here] -- and it was a pleasant visit, mostly because of these guys.

I asked if they minded if I took their picture. They responded enthusiastically. Not only were they willing to pose, they produced cameras of their own and began taking pictures with me and those disreputable folk you see in the background as part of the group. We were there for several minutes, and suddenly realized that the rest of our tour had left. We shook hands all around, took our leave, and hurried out of the mosque to find the rest of our tour group.

Next we took a leisurely stroll through the souk and exited onto a main shopping street.

Typical souk -- narrow passages with lots of vendors competing for your business.

Saw several variations on this theme for sale. This was the only place where we saw them. Apparently China's Muslims are not all that impressed with our fine young president.

Emerging onto the main street in front of this gate, we strolled its length to find our bus.

One of the things I like best about Xi'an is its vibrant night life. When the sun goes down people take to the streets.

I got the impression that most commercial activity took place after sundown. Two years ago we visited the upscale shopping area in the middle of town during the afternoon and the stores were practically empty. By contrast these shops were doing a thriving business.


Take out on the street level -- dining in upstairs.

Eventually we came to the end of the street, found our bus, and returned to our hotel to get ready for the next day.

No comments: