Disclaimer: The content in normal font is the original text from the journal I wrote on this trip when I was eleven, and my comments from current 22-year-old me has about younger me’s writing are italicized.
I woke up, got ready and dressed after the last night in Beijing. I finished packing, went to breakfast and put my bags away. For breakfast, we went to the buffet again and had rice noodles, bacon, fruit, dim sum (Chinese dumplings), yogurt, congee, cornflakes, a cup of tea, and a cup of coffee. My metabolism… Chinese people came up and wanted to take pictures of me because they don’t see very money blonde “little girls” in China. Well, they don’t see very many “little girls” in general. Wow I was about to add this last sentence in my own comments but apparently younger me beat me to the punch. Way to go! Not even Chinese. I didn’t learn why that was the case until later. Today we are going to the Forbidden City, the Empirial Gardens, going shopping, and leaving Beijing to go to Xi’an on an overnight, soft sleeper train. We took a subway to the city. We looked around, I talked to Kevin, a local guide, about getting information for my magazine project. Our tour of the day was kind of boring. We went into an art gallery and my feet were in pain again. So we were going to try to get a foot massage later today after we go to the zoo with our personal guide. One of the pandas refused to turn around my magazine photo, so I took a picture of its butt and put it on the last page. “The End.” For lunch I had garlic cucumber, king pao chicken, rice, and sprite to drink. Is anyone else getting extremely hungry? I swear I cared about more than just food. Maybe. I also had tea at the art gallery. I spilled tea in my hair on the plane, why was I given tea near art? I had been systematically desensitized by walking the wall. How does eleven year old me know about systematic desensitization? Also, because of walking by ditches up and down numberless stairs, and 1 foot deep steps, my fear of heights has diminished. We were in a taxi for 20 minutes to get to the zoo. My parents would kill me if they knew exactly what we were doing. Why? Starbucks pretty much every day, shopping for more shoes, and watching gory movies, which I think are cool. Those are the reasons? They survived knowing this and clearly so did I. Anyway, we went to the mall to get new cute tennis shoes that aren’t in America anywhere. They were pink and purple, and had fish and waves on them. I will post a picture the next time I go to my dad’s house where they are. I still have everything I got in China, even though they are just sitting/hanging in my closet. After we got the shoes and a few other things, we went to starbucks. I had a caramel macchiato. You could try other things, Alyx. There are other options. Who am I kidding, I still struggle with this. I am all about trying new things, but once I try something I like I stick to that. This is something I am working on, but it’s only an “issue” when I go to the same place frequently. We went home and I packed up more, while Aunt Tracy went to the store to buy snacks for the train. One of the snacks were saltine crackers with chocolate and vanilla crème inside. They were pretty good for something like that. That sounds delicious! We took an overnight train to Xi’an from Beijing. We were first class. I don’t remember it so I will just have to fly first class some other time so I can remember the experience. I slept on the top bunk, but it was very hard to get up. At the foot of the bed, there was a tv. I slept well for a 12 hour train ride.