Well, Xi'an was a hoot!
…Wait, I said Hainan, didn't I? Yes, well…Plans change. Repeatedly. At the absolute last minute, at the cost of some kuai, I decided to cancel my tickets to Hainan and instead go for Xi'an, which is somewhere I've been before, in fact. I decided Haikou just didn't have that much to offer, looked expensive, touristy and not at all worth spending a week in. Whereas even though I've been to Xi'an, the Great Mosque and Muslim Quarter offer tons of amusement, plus I've wanted to do some gift shopping for quite some time.
And let me tell you, THAT mission was a great success! All sorts of Chinese knick-knacks for people all over the US of A! So be watching out for a package, coming your way soon! The Great Mosque, especially, is one of my favourite places in all of China. For one, it's supposedly the first and oldest mosque in all China, which makes sense given that Xi'an was the capital of China during Islam's expansion. It would have traveled east along the Silk Road, and then been introduced and established in Xi'an. But it has a decidedly Chinese character. In orthrodox Islam, living images are banned in artwork, since it's considered the realm of God. Depending on how strict you want to be, it can include plants too, but generally it means animals, people, and of course, Muhammad or God. But the steles in the courtyard have turtles at their bases, holding up the Arabic script edicts. Definitely Chinese. I dunno; I think it's neat to see cultural diffusion in action like that.
In other news…I'm 80..90% sure I'm returning to the USA next month. Surprise?
I've decided I need to step back from China for a bit and belong again…The tourist crowds in Xi'an may or may not have moderated that decision =.= But I haven't been home for the holidays in…I want to say 4 years? Five? It'd be nice to do Thanksgiving and Christmas at home. Well, I say that NOW. Before the drama which invariably gets invoked at any family gathering. But, yeah, I do say that now. So I'm thinking early November, I'ma fly back to the States for a couple of months, maybe work…Gulp…RETAIL…During the holiday season. And then find something else for spring. Plus I'm not especially loving my job right now, I've the cash, the timing is perfect for a transition and flights are cheap. So yeah; no reason not to.
Will my next adventure be China? Possibly, but I think I might be better served finding something else. Turkey has held my interest for some time…And hell, maybe I'll just stay in the States and speak English for awhile, haha. And kill some more trees with my trusty high-carbon footprint chainsaw…That's what I think I'd really like to do! But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Looks like I'm returning to America, and I come bearing gifts. So let me in. Or else.