Saturday, September 09, 2006


Today I visited Xi'an with Ron, the other foreign teacher who lives across the hall.  It's a much bigger, more touristy city than Xianyang, and since it's only about 1 hour and $1 away by bus, I can visit it most any time I want.  I didn't take my camera with me today, so I'll have to go back sometime soon to post pictures for you to see of the old city walls that surround the city (apparently you can walk on them, all the way around, which I imagine I will do), and also the old Bell Tower and Drum Tower in the middle of the city.  There are a number of souvenir markets in town, so if you want any particular Chinese souvenirs, let me know.  Otherwise you'll have to trust my judgement.  I also found a Chinese-English dictionary in a bookstore there for a much better price than I would have paid in the U.S.  All in all it was a nice day, and I think I'll be visiting Xi'an fairly often in the future, if only for a change of scenery.  Now, though, I'm pretty tired from all the walking so I'll head off to bed.


Anonymous said...


This is all very exciting and I enjoy reading this so much. Could you do me a favor though and put an English pronuciation guide behind all of these locations so I can learn how to say them?

Grandma G

Andy said...

So far I think the only two places I've named are Xi'an and Xianyang, and also Shanghai which I merely flew through whose pronunciation I'm sure you already know. Xi'an is pronounced more or less like the English words "she on" as in "Is she on the team?" and Xianyang, the city where I am teaching, is a bit more complicated. The first syllable is a "sh" sound followed roughly by "yen," the Japanese currency. The second syllable is pronounced about how it looks if you treat the a as a "short a," like in father. The only other place I see, having now reviewed the blog, is Shaanxi, which is "Shan" like it would be English with a "short a" (again, father) followed by "she," just like in Xi'an. You might wonder why there is an extra 'a' in Shaanxi - it's because there is neighboring province named Shanxi, and in fact, if you follow the commonly-accepted pinyin romanization but without any tone marks, the two would both be written Shanxi. The extra 'a' is there to distinguish the two when tone marks are not written - with the tone marks the two provinces are Shānxī and Shǎnxī. I'm in Shǎnxī, with the first syllable pronounced with the falling-rising tone (third tone), which does make the syllable sound a bit longer, almost as if there were two a's.