Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Xian Diary Day 7 On the way to the Great Mosque Part 2

It's... the time of the week where we escape to China! Today we carry on with Day 7 of our China trip, see all posts here.

We were in the Muslim quarter in search of the Great Mosque. Surrounded with curious sights and smells, we wandered deeper and deeper into the district as we looked high and low for the sign to direct us towards the mosque.

A typical family owned restaurant, the store sign proudly displayed the family name and their specialties. This one said persimmon cakes and roast chicken, a strange combination but the shop was double the size of others, it seemed popular and established.
An eatery on wheels, the lady turned to say "chicken" to me as we walked by. A few seconds after this picture was taken, passersby purchased all the grilled goodies while she cooked more, a tempting aroma filled the air.
A drive-through convenience store Xian style, complete with great customer service. The client was smartly dressed, cotton navy blazer paired with jeans in black high heels. Her bicycle was in excellent shape and kept clean and polished. I felt somewhat out of place with my baggy t-shirt, khaki pants and old running shoes.
Traffic jam in Muslim district! We heard honks blaring, some local vehicles were trying to pass. They appeared out of nowhere and everybody wanted their way fast. On the side of the road, a paper cut business, its artwork spilled over the sidewalk. We were amazed nothing was damaged. As quickly as traffic piled up, the next few minutes witnessed them dispersing. I wished congestions would be over so quickly in Vancouver!
The shop owner worked away at the sheet metal with his welding torch while his wife read the daily papers. Filled with stores and trades of all types, the Muslim neighborhood is a fully functioning community in itself.
At the restaurant equipment company, an intense negotiation went on, the business owner in the black leather jacket completed the sale on her cell phone. The shop was overflowing with kitchen supplies for large scale cooking of sorts, she was not the only customer in view, a couple more managed to squeeze into what little space there was inside the store.
Three ladies chatted with one another as they strolled along. There was a lot of visiting among the neighbors, everybody seems to know everyone else. We felt safe exploring the close-knit community.
A young lady rode her bike as she walked the dog. As China's economy grows, some Chinese could afford luxuries like owning pets. Pure canine breeds like Collie amongst others were seen throughout our China trip, pet supplies and dog grooming services were lucrative businesses too.
Two young boys shared a friendly joke, the red scarves around their neck indicative of their school uniform. The warm autumn sun was setting, we had roamed the area for over an hour now, where is the Great Mosque?!
As we continued the streets got quieter, we thoroughly enjoyed our neighborhood visit but the mosque was our intended destination. We stopped to ask only to realize we had gone too far and had to return the way we came!
Near the entrance to the Muslim quarter, a bakery owner displayed her freshly made honey buns, they smelled so good. The man was one of her first customers, a few minutes later, most of the buns were gone. It seemed the locals were very supportive of their business community, it was no wonder most shops had been around for ages.
Another kind stranger pointed out a shortcut to the entrance of the Great Mosque. The way was lined with religious clothing shops, we knew we were close... Day 7 will continue next week!

2 comments:

  1. i love so much your photos from xian!

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  2. Fascinating, I look forward to week seven.

    ReplyDelete