Xian the first time

When I arrived at the station a taxi driver sought me out and really really wanted me to stay in a particular hotel. I do not know it’s name. I had no interest in staying in this hotel. I had already decided to stay in a place outside the wall. The man told me that I should not stay there as the showers in the place were broken. This turned out to be mostly true. I had cold showers by candle light for a few days. At the time I though I was just dealing with a pushy man. At the time it was unusual, normally I was not harangued like this.

At the place I was staying, I shared a dorm with two Swedish girls and an American. The American said he was considering staying at the hotel the cab driver was pushing. He went around to have a look, but had changed his mind and stayed at the same place I was staying.

While traveling around with this man, an American living in 台北, we would always be asked if we were Americans. I would say no. He would say yes. Then there would ensue an argument about the American bombing of the Chinese embassy in Serbia. He would point out that the Chinese always threaten to bomb 台北. People would begrudge him this point. In the end it would turn out that they really were not very unhappy about the bombing and that they had a healthy skepticism about their government.

As we walked around the streets of Xian, he would talk about things, like having blue balls. One day when we got back to the hotel he told the Swedish girls that I was OK.

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